Fox Business Network’s Washington correspondent Peter Barnes is not just known for his reports from the Capitol. He’s also a children’s book author and publisher, according to a WaPo profile about the reporter/entrepreneur.
He was on Nantucket, where his parents had moved, when he overheard a harried ferry-bound tourist ask a bookstore owner for a children’s book about the island. The owner told her that he didn’t have such a book, “but if we did, we’d sell a million of them,” Peter recalls.
So Peter decided to write “Nat, Nat, the Nantucket Cat.” He and Cheryl hired an artist. They set up a publishing company called VSP Books — which stands for Very Special Places — had “Nat” printed and asked the island’s stores to stock it. “This was just kind of a lark,” he says.
Since then, VSP has sold 1 million copies of various hardcovers and, through a deal with Scholastic, another half million paperbacks, which makes Barnes not just a rare business reporter who runs businesses on the side, but a successful one at that. Right now Barnes admits to being consumed by the recession he’s covering, but says, “Eventually when we retire, we will still have this great little business that is very rewarding personally, because we teach kids how to be citizens; we teach kids about these historic places.”
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