Bus driver, lunchroom staff member self-publishes books through Amazon

Though he is known to most of his co-workers and friends as Daniel Joseph Slabaugh (Joe for short), this food and nutrition worker and bus driver has an alter ego, Boris Copper, who has written three books, all self-published through Amazon.

Slabaugh started writing in 2008 and finished his two-part series, “Jacobs Bondage” and “Jacobs Exile,” in 2009.  He sent his manuscripts to several publishers and although, according to Slabaugh, they showed interest, none took the books on.

“I’m not very into marketing,” Slabaugh said.  “So I decided to not pursue it any further.”

Instead, Slabaugh turned to self-publishing. Amazon advertises its independent publishing as allowing authors to own the copyrights to their works, publish easily and distribute globally.

Through this service Slabaugh was able to print both “Jacobs Bondage” and “Jacobs Exile.”  Both books take place in 1763 and follow the story of a young Jewish boy who is kidnapped, brought to Philadelphia, and sold into indentured servitude.  After 21 years he manages to escape and make a life for himself and find love.

Slabaugh said he doesn’t know how many copies of “Jacobs Bondage” and “Jacobs Exile” have been sold and doesn’t really care.

“For me it was never about selling books,” he said.  “I just wanted to see them in print.”

One of Slabaugh’s co workers, para-professional Carol Bogdanski, read Slabaugh’s books and really liked them.

“I normally don’t read those types of books (historical fiction). I’m more into romance books,” she said.  “But I really liked them and thought they were very exciting.”

Bogdanski, knowing Slaubaugh from work as what she described as just the “average Joe,” was pleasantly surprised to find out he successfully published three books.

Slaubaugh has thus since become an inspiration for Bogdanski, shedding his “average Joe” title to prove he was more than meets the eye.

“I never thought a regular person like me or Joe could write a book,” Bogdanski said.  “And now knowing that Joe has, made me realize so could I if I wanted too.”