If you are a writer, you know it’s hard work. It takes patience, persistence, lots of time, an appreciation of the process, it’s harder than it appears…and that’s the easy part. What does a writer do after you’ve written something?
Here’s the background story on my book, Hobo Finds a Home. I grew up with dogs, each a stray who found his way into our home. A few years back, I had a skinny little yellow tiger cat adopt me. I’d never been much of a cat person but, after Hobo came to live with me, he made me a convert. I’ve always made up funny stories about Hobo’s past, and how he came to live with me. So, when I took a class on writing children’s books, Hobo’s story seemed a natural.
Since I work in a small, eclectic bookstore in my hometown, I figured I had a great venue for selling Hobo Finds A Home while promoting the store at the same time. I decided to self-publish it with BookLocker. Since its publication in December 2007, it has done well. We have been able to hand sell over 500 copies just from the store over the last few months. During this time, Hobo has received laudatory reviews in several local newspapers, and a feature article (front page, with his photograph!) in a regional newspaper, The Elmira Star Gazette. Since then, Hobo — the book, the cat, and I (as his agent and chauffeur) — have been invited to do readings and guest lectures at all the county senior centers, at several local libraries’ children’s story hours, and in several classrooms.
I worked hard on the marketing, but Hobo sells himself pretty well. I originally thought to market it as a children’s book, but it surprised me how many copies have sold to adult cat lovers and as gifts for cat people. Hobo Finds a Home appeals to a wider demographic than I knew! That’s why I was confident in approaching several presses, and found the right publisher for Hobo Finds A Home.
I read that Edgecliff Press had just started a new imprint called Edgecliff Kids. I contacted the editor, and told him the story of our book, and how we had sold so many out of a little bookstore in a rural area. Ari Buchwald saw the potential in Hobo and how hard I had worked on promoting his story, as well as new ideas I had, and he offered me a publishing contract. The book will be available later this month.
Kevin Coolidge works in an eclectic bookstore in Wellsboro PA called From My Shelf Books. He cowrites a book review column for the local newspaper called “Cat Tales: Writing About Reading. Hobo Finds A Home is his first childrens book.
Hobo lives in beautiful, rural Pennsylvania, where he writes Cat Tales, a column for the Wellsboro Gazette and works part-time at From My Shelf books. His hobbies include catnapping, sunbathing, and reading. He loves fuzzy, bunny slippers; a cold night by a warm fire, and prefers chicken to fish. He’s currently writing his next book.