People to Watch: Eric Obenauf and Eliza Wood-Obenauf of Two Dollar Radio

  • Photo by Meghan Ralston
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From the August 7, 2014 edition

Husband and wife Eric Obenauf and Eliza Wood-Obenauf will celebrate the 10-year anniversary of their independent, small-press publishing company, Two Dollar Radio, in 2015. And it promises to be a big year.

“We’re planning on celebrating it with a number of things: different parties in different cities (including the hometowns of Two Dollar Radio authors), releasing our first movie [“I’m Not Patrick”], filming our second movie and releasing a crop of really solid books we’re excited about,” Eric said during an interview at his Clintonville home.

For the last decade, the two have worked diligently and judiciously to build Two Dollar Radio — which began in San Diego, moved to New York City and then Ohio — into one of the most exciting publishing companies in the country.

Success has come through the care with which the couple puts into curating a specific brand for Two Dollar Radio — only the sharpest, most creative and ambitious works will be published.

“You want to keep a strong brand and … all of the books we publish, we dedicate a lot of time to. We probably get as much good press as we do because of the types of books we publish,” Eliza said.

Two Dollar Radio’s main goal is maintaining the high-level of quality books and authors it has published since the beginning. Given the chance to expand production, the two decided to hold steady and focus on more creative outlets.

“We reached a point a couple of years ago where we could’ve published more books, [but] it’s about quality over quantity. Instead of doubling the number of books we’re publishing because we have the financial resources to do so, we’re [continuing to publish five or six books a year] and branching out into other mediums like film and our non-fiction journal,” Eric said.

While Two Dollar Radio doesn’t have plans to change its business model, there are measured strategies in place to build its reputation, both in Columbus and nationally. In the next year, Two Dollar Radio will hold book-release parties and attend multiple conferences, trade fairs and book festivals on the East and West coasts and from the Midwest to Austin.

In Columbus, Two Dollar Radio will hold a big event, serving as both a 10-year anniversary celebration and premiere for “I’m Not Patrick” — an unconventional film that used no trained actors. David Connerley Nahm will stop in Columbus to promote his debut novel “Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky,” and another similar event is being finalized with an Ann Arbor-based writer.

Two Dollar Radio’s books will also be easier to find locally, with One Line Coffee and the Wexner Center bookstore featuring books, along with booths at the monthly Moonlight Market on Gay Street downtown and the Fall Flea at Seventh Son Brewing.

Two Dollar Radio is also planning to take another step forward with a complete overhaul of its website. The new site is designed to have “a very rewarding user experience,” according to Eliza, that will help readers find the right book.

“We’re trying to make the website into a daily destination. And we’re trying to make it easier for those who’re interested in our books, but don’t know where to start. The website will have a feature where [users can enter an author or book title] and get a customized recommendation ,” Obenauf said.