My Worst Investment Ever!

Most Likely Nobody Will Buy Your Book

It took me about a year and a half to put my audiobook together. Because I didn’t understand the technology of audiobooks, I hired people, including lots of editors, to help me with it. I ended up spending $22,000 on my book. Over six months, I sold 50 copies, only selling at $10 each. So for my $22,000 investment, I made 500 bucks.

I just recently went to share this story with Andrew Stotz on his podcast, Worst Investment Ever. Here are Andrew’s Takeaways from our conversation together, and a link to listen to the full conversation:

Andrew’s takeaways

You may have a great idea, but it remains a hobby, interest, and passion if you haven’t figured out a way to get it to the market. You’ve got to figure out how to get it to the market to sell that idea.Start bringing your product to the market now. Write a chapter, share it, see what happens, and you’ll grab the marketplace before you make the entire investment.

Memorable Quotes From “Sharing Our Stories”

“What I fear most is that my life will go unnoticed”

– Northern Siberian man

“The challenge of mid-life is to answer the question: What is my story?”

– Carl Jung

“When storytelling goes bad, the result is decadence.”

– Robert McKee

“The past is always with us, in fact it is not even past.”

– William Faulkner

“Rick, I know Santa Claus is just pretend, but don’t tell my dad. He thinks Santa is real.”

– Mara, age 9

“Well, I was just a young hippie kid, sort of a misfit in Port Arthur, Texas. Suddenly, my older sister became famous. Then with her death, everybody wanted to come to our house, so I know all of the people in the rock and roll music business from Paul McCartney on down because of my sister. It’s been an amazing life.”

– Michael Joplin

“You are a beautiful, independent woman, no matter what. You have forever changed my life. No matter if you have lady parts or not, you are the number one woman in my life.”

– Katy McGlynn Gilbert, For her mother as she went in for a hysterectomy.

“Alas for those who never sing but die with their music still in them.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

What was the best part of this work? “Watching the building go up,”

What is the worst part? “The funerals.”

–  Iron Worker

“Nobody steels Priuses.”

– Redwood City Policeman     

“That’s what the girls always do to me.”

– Bob Hope, after 6-month old Katy turned away from his kiss

“Never talk about sex, religion, or politics in polite conversation.”

– Connie Gilbert

“High school was the worst time of my life. For anyone who was different from the white, middle-class, English-speaking, able-bodied, heterosexual ideal, it was a painful and alienating time. My group was invisible.”

– a lesbian, Berkeley High, class of 1957

“Definition of an atheist: ‘A person with no invisible means of support.’”

– Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

“A Methodist is just a Baptist who can read, and a Presbyterian  is just a Methodist who went to college, and an Episcopalian is just a Presbyterian who did well on their investments.”

– San Anselmo Seminary humor

“We can have a democracy, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.”

– Louis Brandeis

“A nation’s greatness is measured by how it treats its weakest members.”

– Ghandi

“The comfort of the rich depends on an abundant supply of the poor.”

– Voltaire

I’ve labored long and hard for bread,

For honor and for riches,

But on my corns too long you’ve tread,

You fine-haired sons of bitches.

– Black Bart, stagecoach robber

“I pay very little, or no taxes. That makes me smart.”

– Candidate Donald Trump

“Taxes are for the little people.”

– Leona Helmsley

“Your mother and I are leaving to tour the country in our motor home. You are in charge, Terry. Basically sink or swim. If we come back and the company is ruined, that’s OK. We’ll do something else with the land.”

– Terry Lyngso’s father

“Some poor mother just lost a son.”

– Tim McGlynn, after killinga Vietcong officer

“To risk is to lose your footing momentarily, to not risk is to lose your self.”

– Soren Kierkegaard

“The best way to tell if someone is going to be successful or not, is their ability to take risks.”

– Adele Sheely

“The mentor/teacher is the person who sees who you are, sees your beauty, falls in love with it, helps and inspires it, giving it a chance to bloom in the world.”

– James Hillman

“My physicist brother says, ‘Give me a lever and a place to stand and I’ll move the world.’ I say to him, ‘I’ll do something even tougher. Give me 1,000 words and I’ll change an attitude.'”

– Kristen Clark

“If I let myself really understand another person, I might be changed by that understanding. And we all fear change. So it is not an easy thing to permit ourselves to understand another person.”

– Carl Rogers

A person who is truly understanding, who takes the trouble to listen to us as we consider our problem, can change our whole outlook on the world.

– George Elton Mayo

“At the executive level you are always upping the game higher and higher. If you don’t, you’re out.”

– Karen Sage

    “The trusting relationship between those who govern and those who elect has been the hallmark of our compact for the past 25 years.”

    – Anna Eshoo, Congressperson

“You all love Anna (Eshoo), but do you know how she is admired in the US Congress? Look around. Of the 250 people here tonight, there are 8 members of Congress who came to celebrate Anna. That doesn’t happen. It reflects how well she is thought of.”

– Nancy Pelosi

Reactions to being on Zooms calls with Berkeley High School classmates from the class of 1957:

It’s as if I’ve followed Alice down the rabbit hole to get to know the people I didn’t know in high school and come back out having known them all my life.  It is a spiritual experience.

– Larry

Each of us is different in so many ways. Why would we develop friendships? Classmates are willing to share their journey and I love hearing about their experiences… the stories enrich my life. It almost seems like our differences are bringing us closer together.

– Brenda

The group discussions have helped me reaffirm how lucky I was to grow up in Berkeley in the 40’s and 50’s.  Our Zoom discussions are helpful to trigger memories of the experiences I had.  Our connections with our childhoods in Berkeley are good things to keep with us.

– Peter

David was glued to the screen, chanting along with some of the troop. 23 cheers and songs.  I particularly want David’s children and grand-children to see how much loved and valued  their pops and grand pops is.  Thank you again and again for this gift.

– Emily Benner

“We are all just links in a chain.”

– Bob Dylan

Behavioral treatments are very common for autistic youth, but there is less focus on how these treatments lead to more fulfilling lives. All individuals are part of a spectrum of human experiences. I take that message very seriously, and I plan to continue keeping that message with me as I pursue research.

– Shannon Ferguson

The cradle rocks above an abyss,

and common sense tells us that our

existence is but a brief crack of light

between two eternities of darkness.

– Vladimir Nabokov

“The dumb outnumber the smart. Keep them fed and busy, or all hell will break loose.”

– Peter Carey

“Let ‘er Rip!”

– Dena Pappas

Spring is Here

3 thoughts on “My Worst Investment Ever!

  1. Michael C. Joyce says:

    Rick, the audio work selling poorly does not depreciate your work, what you have to say, how much it is appreciated, or value of good-humored and sometimes poignant wisdom. The audio book challenge may be as simple as ease of access and the size of the doze our time permits.
    Another quote for you: “The meek shall inherit the earth, except for the mineral rights.” -JohnPaul Getty

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