Monday, November 12, 2007

Writing the Book on Self-Help : A Publisher's Cautionary Tale

The self-publishing business has come a long way in the Internet era. Literary do-it-yourselfers now have many online resources to tap, and even a growing number of role models. Best-selling authors including E. Lynn Harris ("I Say a Little Prayer") and the pseudonymous Zane ("Addicted") have emerged from the self-published ranks.

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?

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