The self-publishing business has come a long way in the Internet era.
Pic above shows pallets of his wife's book clutter C. Ben Bosah's garage (story follows).
And then there is the cautionary tale of C. Ben Bosah, an environmental engineer who lives in this leafy village in central Ohio. Mr. Bosah was convinced that a nonfiction book about women's health written by his wife was a sure-fire hit. So instead of sending "Letters to My Sisters: Plain Truths and Straightforward Advice From a Gynecologist" to a literary agent or to a New York publishing house, he decided to publish it himself. His view was, why share the profits?
Mr. Bosah's lack of familiarity with the publishing world didn't worry him -- but it should have. Despite his determination and hard work, he made a succession of mistakes, from failing to line up a distributor before publication to selecting a title for the book that limited the potential readership.
But actually selling a decent number of books is another matter altogether, as Mr. Bosah and his wife, Ngozi Osuagwu, a gynecologist, discovered.
Today, 4 ½ pallets of books clutter the three-car garage at Mr. Bosah's expansive, modern home. The 330 boxes, each holding 26 books, fill virtually an entire bay. More than half of his original order remains unsold. The 44-year-old Mr. Bosah, who was born and college-educated in Nigeria and arrived in the U.S. in 1987, says that editing, publishing and shipping the book has consumed at least 2,500 hours of his time. "I'm a tough-minded optimist," he says.