Couple publishes second children’s book


By Eamon Baird

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CHICAGO — Troy native Nathan Fleischer and Caroline Hoffman recently released their second children’s book, “Izzy the Instacam” on Sept. 1, 2023.

Fleischer, who grew up in Troy, met Hoffman at Miami University. After graduating in 2017, Hoffman moved to Chicago, and Fleischer followed one year later after his graduation.

While in lockdown during the pandemic, the couple decided they needed to find a creative outlet to cope with the boredom.

“When I was on TikTok I saw a creator talking about how to make a children’s book. I had a graphic design minor in college and a marketing degree. I thought it would kind of be a perfect fun little project to do while we were at home,” Fleischer said.

Fleischer and Hoffman’s first book, “Cameron the Camera,” was published on Sept. 1, 2021. Hoffman explained the theme of using social media in a book intended for children.

“I think it kind of highlights that a lot of people are in the spotlight, and that’s something you learn as you grow up, and you have a job, that there’s always moving parts, and all of those talents and responsibilities matter. You don’t have to be an extrovert to be successful or contribute,” Hoffman said.

Fleischer said social media helped him through the writing process.

“YouTube essentially taught me how to do the entire process from start to finish. TikTok gave me the idea, and Instagram is where it’s promoted. So, I definitely think that there’s a lot of uses for each of these things,” Fleischer said.

He stated that college graphic design classes helped produce illustrations for the book.

“I had three or four classes that taught me how to use Illustrator, an Adobe platform. I essentially just started from, from the top, I broke it out into different stanzas on the page,” Fleischer said.

Hoffman added that her public relations and journalism background helped with the collaboration.

“This project was kind of a conglomeration of our skill sets,” Hoffman said.

After the positive response to their first book, the couple decided to write a sequel, which was released exactly two years later.

“Izzy the Instacam” follows Izzy’s journey with her friend Cameron, where Izzy realizes that her photos require film to develop. Its themes celebrate our differences through friendship, realizing we all grow at different paces.

Fleischer said both “Cameron the Camera” and “Izzy the Instacam” have sold over 900 copies, and while they didn’t write these books to make money, he would like to reach the 1000 mark.

“I probably check the reporting once a week just to see how sales are and how I can do better,” Fleischer said. “I think that it’s been one of one of the things that you learn in marketing is that you have to have money to make money, essentially, because you have to have a budget to kind of push everything out.”

In its first week, “Izzy the Instacam” reached No. 1 on Amazon for the nursery rhyme new release category.

“I have a lot of people coming up to me saying that they love the stories and all that good stuff, but in terms of the feeling of actually getting a sale and seeing what it looks like, is really exciting,” Fleischer said.

While the couple isn’t sure what their next story collaboration will be, they are excited to continue working together.

“To have a tangible manifestation of something you worked hard on, like, our jobs are very computer-based. You tell your parents what you do during your nine to five, and they’re like, ‘okay,’ but this is something that our parents have loved, and our families can have a piece of us, and that’s really fun as well,” Hoffman said.

“Izzy the Instacam” and “Cameron the Camera” are available at major book retailers, including Amazon Books and Barnes & Noble.

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