Why I Write Books Even Though I’ve Lost Money on Every Book I’ve Written


I had two kids, a house that I couldn’t sell (it was right next to “Ground Zero” in NYC), I was almost broke, and my monthly burn was $40,000 a month. Maybe more. I lost track. I was going to go broke and then probably kill myself. I wouldn’t be able to afford diapers and food for my 2 month old baby. Two years earlier, to the day, I looked at my bank statement and I had about $15,000,000 in there. Now, late 2001, almost nothing.

I wrote some software to trade with what little money I had left.

For 12 months in a row, with the market going straight down (Enron imploding, Worldcom imploding, Tyco imploding, etc) I used signals generated by the software I had written in late 2001 to buy stocks (I only bought, never shorted) and I made my monthly nut. On days when I lost money I would cry. I saw my bank account going to zero. I had a life insurance policy so I figured I could kill myself in the worst case and my family would be able to live on the four million that would result. I tried to figure out ways I could kill myself where nobody would know it was a suicide. But I didn’t want it to come to that.

But I was good, or lucky, or my software was good, or God was watching out for me, or I was extremely lucky, or some combination of the above, For 12 months I eeked out my $40,000 a month from trading and then was able to sell my over-indulgent loft, become a living exile for a few years and work on a recovery. I started trading successfully for hedge funds, I built a fund of hedge funds, I started and sold stockpickr.com to thestreet.com, I did some angel investing.

So I wrote a book. In mid-2004 it came out. I was trading my software for about five different hedge funds or individuals (for example Victor Niederhoffer) at that time. “Trade Like a Hedge Fund” was the book. Pamela van Giessen from Wiley, who had published Victor Niederhoffer’s book, was the editor. She had really encouraged me. I wanted to write about things that people should avoid in the market. She said no, people want positive stuff. She said, specifically, call it “Trade Like a Hedge Fund” and write about all your techniques that work. So I did.

She gave me an advance. $5000. When the book came out, Niederhoffer hated it. I was up over 100% for him in the prior year He thought I was giving away all his techniques even though he only traded futures and all my signals in the book were for stocks and were signals I had been trading long before I met him. He wrote me an email, “you are a total laughing stock.” I felt horrible because I looked up to him so much. He trashed me and the book on his email list. People who had been my friends stopped talking to me on blind faith.

It was the best thing that could’ve happened. The book became controversial and became my best selling book. Barrons had it as one of their books of the year. The Stock Trader’s Almanac had it as THE book of the year for 2004. I started giving talks for Fidelity about the techniques in the book. I called Pamela the other day. “How many books did that one sell,” 14,074 copies.

Thats it. And that was a best seller (for finance books). I still get an occasional royalty check from that one. I think $300 was my last. I probably pulled about $25,000 total from it. Maybe a bit more. So nothing.

Pamela and I decided to work on my next book. I wanted to do something on Warren Buffett. How he was a more active trader than anyone believed. “Do ‘Trade Like Warren Buffet’ ,” she said. So I did. My advance: $7500.

A book is brutal. Its the worst thing. You do nothing for about 3-6 months while you write it and all the time you are saying, ‘why did I agree to write this. I am never going to write a book again.’  The book came out. Complete failure. Pamela told me the other day in total 6552 copies were sold. It came out six years ago. I thought the religion of Buffett would’ve kicked in at some point and his followers would’ve bought the book. But the religion has him as the prophet of value investing and I was saying he wasn’t. Blasphemy!

So I did another book. Because I needed to reclaim the positive feelings I felt when my first book sold over 10,000 copies. I loved the book “Supermoney” by Adam Smith, written in the early 70s. Pop finance at its best. In the book, he meets a young retired investor who had called it quits with twenty millio cash in the bank and was trying to figure out what to do with his life. That young investor was Warren Buffett. Every chapter had a surprise like that. So I wrote ‘Supercash’ about hedge fund strategies. This time, to Pamela’s surprise, I got an agent. My advance: $30,000. The book is horrible. I cant even open it. Here, right now as I write this I am taking the book off the bookshelf and throwing it in the garbage. I think I even signed this book. It sold 1565 copies.

Then the stock market went on fire. And with Stockpickr, a site my business partner, Dan, and I built in late 2006 (and sold to thestreet.com in 2007) , I had a built-in audience of a million people. So I decided to do another book. Pam couldnt buy it. I was a failure now at Wiley so they passed. Penguin picked it up. I forget the exact advance now but it was somewhere between $80,000-$100,000. If I ever told you it was more than that, I probably lied on purpose.

The book was set for publication in December, 2008. I begged them to wait. Nobody was going to buy a book about stocks called “The Forever Portfolio” in the worst bear market in history. Nobody. But they had to do it. it was on the schedule. I had written the book almost a year earlier. The world had been different. But this is why book publishing in the finance space in particular is going to slowly disappear. Ebooks and ebook publishers will take down every single traditional finance book publisher. Its inevitable. (If you want to publish an efinance book, call me and if its good I’ll give you an advance and publish it online myself within 2 weeks).

So the book flopped. The publisher would barely return my calls. In total it sold 1598 copies. All my other books had been priced from $40-70 but I wanted to do a cheap one so this was priced around $20. But it still flopped. People were worried whether or not they were going to survive. Not what stocks they should buy for “Forever”. The goddamn stock market was going down 300 points a day.

I went around to every bookstore in the city. I would write notes on the inside of every book and then put them back on the bookshelf. Things like, “if you buy this book you will make a billion dollars” Or, “you are the smartest person in the world for buying this book,”.

One time, at a random mega book store in the city, with my daughter Mollie looking on, I wrote, “I LOVE YOU” in the inside of the book. “Daddy!” she said, “what the heck are you doing?” But still the book flopped. Nobody loved me back.

One time, a friend of mine was pitching the same publisher a book. I don’t know who she was talking to. They didn’t know she knew me. She asked them, “what did you do to market James Altucher’s book.” They said, “we got him a review in the Financial Times, an excerpt published in thestreet.com, and we got him on CNBC.” She called me right afterward and told me this and we both laughed. I wrote my own review in the FT! I was at thestreet.com and got the excerpt there. And I had been doing a weekly spot on CNBC for years and talked my own book there.

So I wanted to write another book, even though I’ve hated the process of writing every single book I’ve ever written. My agent called Penguin. They didn’t want it. I actually think they personally hated me (not even a courtesy call to me when they rejected it). I didn’t even approach Pamela. I was too ashamed that I had jilted her for Penguin so I could get the higher advance. I told my agent who I wanted to do the book with. In fact, the exact editor I wanted to do the book with.

He sent the 60 page book proposal (it was the first time I ever had to write an actual proposal) to 20 editors including the one I specifically wanted to work with, Hollis Heimbouch at Harper Collins. I was writing for the WSJ then, doing other stuff for News Corp, and I thought it would be a perfect fit for her given the books I saw that she had edited. Other writers had told me she was great to work with. I had done my research.

She rejected it.

I called my agent and said, “This is a mistake. This book is perfect for her. Please do this: call her and take her out to lunch. Find out why she rejected it. Explain why it would be a good book with Harper Collins.” All 20 editors he sent to rejected the book. I was convinced not only it was a good idea but a GREAT idea. I kept saying to my agent, “call back that one editor and take her to lunch or dinner. You need to wine and dine people. You need to at least find out why they are rejecting the book. Thats what sales is. Its information, its friendship, its relationships.”

He called me back one time. We had known each other forever but had never had an issue where someone didn’t want one of my books. So now I saw what happened when someone didn’t want one of my books. “If you are going to tell me how to do my job,” he said, “this relationship is over.” I mumbled an apology and he hung up.

So I wrote an email to Hollis and explained why the book would be good for her. She agreed to meet me. She said to me, “this proposal seems like it was written by wikipedia. You need to give us a real methodology for what to do when the end of the world hits.” I went back home. Wikipedia was still on the screen. I clicked it away and wrote another book proposal. She still didn’t really like it. The ideas were great, she said, but she didn’t really like the writing. And I agreed with her. I wasn’t finding my voice with this one even though I did think the ideas were good.

The WSJ stepped in. Roe D’Angelo who runs their books department. She thought it was a great idea for a book so the WSJ bought it, Hollis and Harper agreed to edit it but Roe found an excellent co-author, Doug Sease, who had been at the newspaper for about 800 years and was now fishing off the coast of Florida. He’s the most relaxed guy I ever met. We got the deal with Hollis and split the advance that the WSJ gave us. I can’t say what it is because I want to respect Doug’s privacy. He would write the intros to each chapter. I would write the ideas, etc, and he would sew it all up. The book just came out. “The Wall Street Journal Guide to Investing for the Apocalypse.”

(click here to buy!)

The basic idea: the media tries to scare you every week with a new horror story: pandemics, global warming, nuclear terrorism, riots in Egypt. The book is about every way the world could end, and how to make as much money as possible off of these impending apocalypses. The book’s been out a few days. We’ll see how it does. Monday I’m going on Yahoo Tech Ticker, Stocktwits TV, WSJ Newshub, and CNBC. On Tech ticker’s message board afterwards there will be approximately 150 comments calling me an “ugly fucking moron” and “why does tech ticker let this Jew jack-off on still?” But I’m used to it and I always have fun talking with Aaron Task and Henry Blodget, who do Tech Ticker.

I’ve made no money ever from books (if you factor in time spent on them) and now I’ve written five. I made money trading. And from Stockpickr.com, from angel investing, from my first business in the 90s, and from the occasional deal. But net-net I’ve lost money and time from books.

In May, 2009, I had just started dating someone. It was our fourth date and she was going to meet me at the Penn Station book store and then we would take a train to her house and she was going to cook dinner. While she was waiting for me she randomly saw my book, “The Forever Portfolio” for sale. She opened it. It was the same unsold book where three months earlier I had written “I LOVE YOU” on the inside. She looked around and thought maybe I had planted it there somehow and was secretly watching her. But I was late to meet her that day. She looked at the inscription again. “I love you”.  A little over a year later we got married.  And that’s why I write books.


[For an update on this: see: Why I Then Self-Published and How I Did It]

Related Posts: (and follow me on twitter)

How it Feels to be Rich

10 Things I learned Trading for Victor Niederhoffer

How I torture women

Enjoyed This Post? Get Free Updates

  • Davereiner

    James – go over to niederhoffers – I bet he has glen’s book on his bookshelf. Just replace it with your new book as collateral :)

  • Davereiner

    getting into yoga has been the single best thing i’ve ever done for myself….some day I will have to introduce you to my yoga master. he built a meditation dome the size of a hockey rink! lol no kidding!

  • http://www.thecynicalinvestor.net Cynical Investor

    “people want positive stuff”
    So if I wrote a book in the style of http://www.thecynicalinvestor.net, I would not have a chance at all (not to mention that I do not have any talent in writing).

    James, I liked the book ‘The Forever Portfolio’.
    I remember you mentioned GMCR and back then I thought it was too expensive. Now it has gone up some 100%. I bought it and sold it but did not make too much money, the whole story is on the site for whomever cares to know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/vbierschwale Virgil Bierschwale

    Now this is an article I can appreciate.
    I started my Keep America At Work site back in 2006 after finding myself flat broke in 2002 when I could no longer make better than average income.

    Like you, I believe the media tends to try to run with sensationalism, rather than fact.

    I have been wanting to write a book titled “Ever Increasing Wages, No Wages, or Ever Decreasing wages” based on the “Revolution” page at http://www.KeepAmericaAtWork.com

    Problem is, I don’t know how to get started, but I could figure that part out somehow.
    My biggest problem is trying to stay one step ahead of having the utilities off.

    I like the way you write, so feel free to use the content as a basis for a new book if you want too.

    Pay special attention to the “Why KAAW?” page and the “Revolution” page.

    You won’t hear it in the Tokyo Rose Globalization Propaganda Group, but it is real, and I know because I have lived it and chosen to write about it using the Keep America At Work site.


    Virgil Bierschwale

  • Anonymous

    G-E-N-I-U-S. If Charles Bukowski played the stock market instead of the horses. If Dylan Thomas focused on business instead of scotch. If Sherwood Anderson left that little town for the big city. They would be writing THESE posts. Man. Puh-lease keep putting your soul out there on the chopping block for us. I feel guilty for reaping the rewards for all of these risks.

    “I was going to go broke and then probably kill myself.” Yep. Poetry.

  • Concrete Dovetail

    I once read read my friends tarot cards. I’m not a psychic, but he said my analysis was better than the psychic he went to. Although I guess when you know someone it’s easier to interpret the cards…

  • Adam

    F*ck me, you’re a good writer!
    I found this site by chance, after following a google search related to Vic Niederhoffer & hedge funds. Read the above post, and then found myself reading every single blog post, literally non-stop, in descending chronological order. Not sure I’ve ever done that before, so anyway, hope this comment encourages you to keep posting.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Adam, it does. My main stress is eventually i run out of stories to tell. Everything is factual and I have only so many facts in me.

      • JMK

        Have no fear James. I do not feel that you will run out of stories to tell because your best purest authentic posts are straight from the heart and as long as you are spending some quality time with whatever or whoever is your “higher power” the stories will come! Listen to what that divine spirit is telling you to share with us. It could be a cool factual story like “what you learned from Jim Cramer” or what you learned from a clerk at a store. My favorite post was the… and I am using my title “How a money manager wasted money on an activity repeatedly but won the love of his life (as well as a super hot wife) Lol! Thanks for your writing! I don’t have any of your books but I intend to track down the Hedge Fund one as i like to trade. I enjoy your blog , it relaxes me as I recover from a recent heart transplant. Hey, maybe you have inspired me to do my own blog!

      • Adam

        James, I hear you but I reckon you’ll be fine, after all facts are finite; ideas are illimitable.
        (Maybe one day I should write you with 10 ideas for articles you should write :)
        All the best!

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Adam, it does. My main stress is eventually i run out of stories to tell. Everything is factual and I have only so many facts in me.

  • http://twitter.com/#!/tarhinitrade Tarhini_Trade

    Mr. Altucher,

    I have been swinging by your blog every now any then for about 6 months now and it never fails…every time I read a post I end up sending it to my close friends. I could use thoughtful, elegant words to rant away my thoughts on this, but instead I’ll leave you with a “you’re fucking awesome”

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Tarhini, that made my day! Thanks.

    • http://www.facebook.com/james.altucher James Altucher

      Tarhini, that made my day! Thanks.

  • JMK

    This is my favorite post so far! The way you outline the story, I see several clear “take a ways” :
    a) Every thing happens for a reason

    b) Follow your heart

    c)Pursue with passion

    and now I need to figure out why I selected what I thought was going to be a relatively mundane post…I ask myself “why did i select to read about what seemed to be a failure post only to be so happily surprised to bask in the happy ending! Thanks James for the “feel good” endorphin rush to my brains pleasure centers. I am thinking I may be a closet romantic! Lol!

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      JMK, I’m glad you read this one then! I think you’ll find that most of my “failure posts” are not what they seem to be at first glance.

  • Georgina

    you are too funny

  • Johnny Vollatillity

    I wrote a couple of books myself: “Psychology for Idiots” was only marketed to morons and imbeciles. Who knew? And “Reading for Dummies” was only published as an audio book. I told my agent to read “Publishing for Dummies” before I wrote my next one.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Ha, Johnny thats funny.

  • Steve Clanmire

    Sounds like Kelly has the “groins” for you Jimmy!

  • http://twitter.com/CapCube CapCube

    Great Post James; I enjoy your writing.

    Also liked your “how I screwed Arafat out of $2 Million….” post

  • Paul in Kansas City

    James; I BOUGHT FULL RETAIL PRICE “Trade like a Hedge Fund”, “Trade like Warren Buffet”, “THe Forever Portfolio” and I just ordered the new one. I also subscribed to your realmoney.com newsletter. You’re a great writer. If you recall we met at thestreet.com conference in October 2008 and your writing has helped me as a professional retail investment manager and myself personally. Thank you for your efforts!

  • http://twitter.com/khoodose KT Khoo

    Hi James. You’ve obviously wrestled with your emotions a lot in your life and career. And it looks like you feel fairly positive about letting the emotions run wild every now and then. Probably your passion has served you well in your writing, late night TV show hosting, chess learning and knocking on the doors of famous investors to get an “in”.

    How would you say you’ve dealt with the emotions on the trading and investing front, though? I know you write about studying the field in depth, reading up on history, and spotting trends etc. But there’s much advice out there that says to be dispassionate in the markets. Do you agree / have you been able to get better over time and compartmentalize and do that?

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_DEE4LYXXASKAPJPAVG7VRAXNZM Whistle

    Altucher you are 1 lucky git…

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Well, sometimes very unlucky also. Trust me on that.

  • Gary Walter

    Well James I am going to say I found your book – The Forever Portfolio – in our local library and loved it. My favorite chapter was probably on writing down ideas but then the chapter where you mentioned John Papajohn was also terrific. He might not be known everywhere but he is in my hometown of Des Moines Iowa. You may be a trader at heart but this is a terrific buy and hold book.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Gary, I just had breakfast with John. He’s amazing. 7:30am breakfast, 9am meeting til about 11, then he had meetings all day (i dropped out by 11. too tired!) and then I know he caught an early morning plane today to get to his next set of meetings in another city, which, of course, included a dinner meeting. I don’t know how he gets the energy.

      Btw, i write about him also in this post here:

      • Gary Walter

        Thank you for the link James! My family still lives in Des Moines and my dad was a mechanical engineer working for a company that built the John and Mary Pappajohn Center (for the Des Moines Area Community College). Very interesting man!

        • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

          I gave a talk at John’s VC conference a few months ago. My first trip to Des Moines. I thought it was really beautiful there. The sculpture garden is amazing. And its so quiet and peaceful walking around there.

  • Gary Walter

    And found this blog BECAUSE of your book. IBiI

  • http://www.meanstock.com Oren Gutman

    James, I just wanted to say that this blog has quite possibly some of the most inspiring stuff I’ve ever read in my life. From your views on college to living life, I can’t agree more. As a 20 year old who is entering the final stages of getting his book on investing out on the market, color me in complete awe of your life story!

    Do you think it would be better to self-publish or seek out your e-publishing offer?

  • http://twitter.com/fundmanagernews Fund Manager News

    James, You’re only measuring the monetary value of book publishing.

    Most likely writing those books gave you credibility, opened some doors and I’m sure you were able to profit indirectly from writing the book.

  • Anonymous

    Best ending of a story ever :-) :-) :-)

  • Marketmaker

    James: I love you!

    But you don’t remember since we met at the Nov Trader’s show in LV and you had all of those pretty women circling around you..your mind was elsewhere, but I can cope.

  • Matt.M

    maybe you should just write a regular book, people who read your blogs would probably appreciate it. i first read one of your blogs yesterday, and now i have read almost all of them on this website. lol..
    good sht man

  • Maxplotzli


    Your stories are fascinating.

    You could write a book or a movie script that tells your life’s story, and I’m sure you’d have a loyal cult following (the mainstream populace might not know what to think about a “real” story about a real life — unless you added some “action scenes” with gunplay, car chases, explosions. You could get Nicolas Cage to play you in the movie — he could really get into the “money troubles” part of the role). ;)

    One thing I’d like to say though (and seriously), if you had killed yourself, the world would be a less meaningful and Zen place today.

    I find it very troubling and ironic that the people who are the most perceptive, thoughtful, and sensitive (and of the character that the world needs more of and not less of, IMO) are more likely to “do themselves in” than the types that are the exact opposite (and which seem to be in super-abundance and uninclined to change their ways or reduce their numbers).

    Seriously, if you ever think that you have nothing to offer to the world, you’re stone wrong.

    Glad you’re still around and kicking (and blogging)!


  • http://www.taxes-phd.com Eileen Jacobs

    Wow, I would have bet money that your books sold well, more so online than in bricks & mortar stores. I guess that a big part of the finance industry is to attract new customers for products other than the book itself. You couldn’t be any more dead on in regards to how the media blows everything out of proportion. I’m sorry about the Yahoo! comments, its really amazing what people will say when they hide behind anonymity.

  • http://www.facebook.com/manuel.j.cardoso Manuel João

    That was actually a good love story!


  • Lesley S. King

     Hi James, thank you for this great ramble, and for your beautiful treatise on self-publishing with Createspace. You are an inspiration to us all!

  • Anna

    Loved the ending, didn’t see it coming.

  • http://twitter.com/torcon Tor Constantino, MBA

     Outstanding post and perspective regarding the dirty secrets of the publishing racket – now that’s a book that’ll sell!!!

  • Adam

    Great “Boom” ending, James.  It came out of left field, never saw it coming.  Coincidence or not, a beautiful twist that overshadow’s the entire article in positivity.  Well done.  

  • AaronS

    I had no idea who you were.  I bought your book, “The Forever Portfolio,” from a Dollar Tree (every items costs no more than a dollar).  Ha!  Alas, I did not get into it, but I LOVE your blog.  I’d PAY to read about you writing a book (if it’s no more than a dollar!).  

    In any case, I like to think that EVERYTHING ripples out into the ether…and makes someone do this, think that, and eventually it all benefits someone.

    Thank you for an entertaining–and touching–article today.  I linked in from Freakonomics…and I’m glad I did.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WWBWGRPNTYV4TRSLEWZMOUGSXY caroline gerardo

    Genius, pure storytelling at it’s finest. I love your work.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WWBWGRPNTYV4TRSLEWZMOUGSXY caroline gerardo

    Genius, pure storytelling at it’s finest. I love your work.

  • Dave

    Fucking Epic!

  • Dave

    Fucking Epic!

  • Anonymous

    Great story. I’m buying all your books

  • Anonymous

    write about things that people should avoid in the market = future blog post material

    i can see the list already forming on the handy restaurant order form…….

  • Guest

    James, I hate your writing style as it grates on me, but I love the fact that each post has a “moral of the story.”

    You completely blindsided me with the ending to this one. Love it.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Funny how a lot of people qualify their comments with “I hate you but…” But that’s ok, I guess.

  • http://ggirton.myopenid.com/ NotKatsu

    I take back all the bad thoughts I had about how James made up that perfect ending.  It could easily be in a movie.  I’m not saying that James should write a screenplay, you understand.  not saying that …

  • http://www.alexmathews.com Alex Mathews

    James, I find this post to be both inspiring and yet incredibly discouraging. As a writer with the dream or aspiration of publishing, it is very sad to hear that a publisher does very little to support authors. This, coupled with the fact that getting a deal with them is very difficult, self-publishing looks very good. The trouble, however, is that I am more than aware of how hard it is to market things on the web, and while I love the idea that Amazon and Createspace is empowering authors, I have a strange feeling that while I could publish next week, I know that very few people would actually buy my work. I appreciate that you have been successful doing so, but you have a platform that is much larger than I would assume most average first-time authors would ever have. That is in some way very discouraging. In fact, it was so discouraging that I bought your book, ‘Trade Like a Hedge Fund.’ I will say that I could have bought it used on Amazon for half the price, but as an author I felt you should get your royalty.

  • Asdfasdf@yahoo

    I bought your Buffett book and read it cover to cover. So there you go. 

  • Anonymous

    Finally, some credible numbers out there for struggling authors to refer to and relate.  Self-published authors, here are two free tools for marketing your books a) http://99cent-books.com and b) http://bookclubreading.com – promotes your book to book clubs for free.  Thanks again for writing your story.  It’s great to see real world data for those who are aspiring to being picked up by major publishers.  Personally, it doesn’t sound worth it to me with all of the free resources abound.

  • http://www.deniseduffieldthomas.com/ Denise Duffield-Thomas

    That is the coolest story ever – I really didn’t expect that twist but that’s pretty amazing.

  • Qaz123

    Really felt bad for you when you said you were spending $40k/month.  Really put the whole bank account and tears thing in perspective.

  • Jdcommercial

    So why not release a new edition on Amazon?

  • Amhandjnits


  • https://plus.google.com/b/115355061601450775837/115355061601450775837/posts The Franchise King

    Thanks. Nice job. I picked your post up from tiny little Techcrunch.

    I’m 2 months in on my 1st book. 

    Become a Franchise Owner! The Start-Up Guide to Lowering Risk, Making Money,and Owning What You Do


    Interesting journey.


    The Franchise King® 

  • http://www.vincentsylvan.com/ Victoria Sylvan

    I LOVE this blog.  It reminded me why I love my husband’s books so much!  You are both romantic souls for sure.  

  • http://twitter.com/MastWebDesign MAST Web Design

    James, what the hell were you thinking? You lost money on the first book, so you wrote another 4?! Seriously, does your brain live in your ass? Because it sounds like you farted out that idea. That said, I appreciate the wisdom you have imparted by sharing your bad decisions. Give me a yell and we’ll chat. @mastwebdesign:twitter 

  • http://www.seorus.com.au/ SEO Melbourne

    Great Story Dear.

  • George O’Har

    This is terrific. I think I came to this site from Zero Hedge. I’ve gone through some earlier postings of yours, all fine. Keep it up. You have a gimlet eye.

    Lord knows the world could use a laugh.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kiruba Kiruba Shankar

    James, you are an excellent storyteller. I loved how you took us on a journey and showed us the stuff behind the screen. I’m an author myself and after being completely frustrated by the traditional book publishing process, I started getting my books published on my own. Now, I truly started to enjoy the process and it gave me immense satisfaction. 

    I have to tell you that I completely adored the last para. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/phillipmintonmd Phillip Minton

    Enjoyed the sincerity and wit of this story! I knew I was not alone in the traditional book publishing ordeal. 

  • vividh

    Wow! What a post! I wanted to appreciate it lot more but I couldn’t. I am not that great of a writer as you. So this all I can say – “Wow”.
    Please, always keep writing!!

  • theolg

    Is it true? Such an amazing coincidence!! Really enjoy reading your blog.

    • Internship USA

      Yeah, I’m slightly sceptical too. Is it true?

  • Albert Hartman

    Holy cow, I got smoked by those 2 last sentences! I’m lying on the floor right now.

  • http://www.5toolgroup.com/ Jay Oza

    Is this true or “MarkeTeoing”? These days you can’t tell.

  • Socratic1

    James…this is not fair…I am tearing up. This was beautiful.

  • Lou Gustav

    This is the most amazing post I have seen so far, honest and down to earth with a touch of sarcasm, love it!!! I will be a regular reader of your post.

  • Marty Rose

    This is a great story to tell people after you tell them you met on JDate.

  • amanda43

    I want to update you all if anyone is sick or have any problem to solve i will advice you to contact Dr Ekaka Email: ekakaspelltemple@yahoo.com Because last year i will having HIV/AIDS and all my friend run away from me and i lost my job i was hope less but when i meet Dr Ekaka he told me that i have not having any problem because his gods find my problem very easy to handle i thought it was a joke until now after he cast a healing spell on me and i can not feel anything in my body i went for test last December nothing was found in me again i am so happy now that i am back to my normal self thanks to Dr Ekaka.

  • Omar Avila

    what happened to the book reminds me the movie Serendipity

  • https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100005565047683&ref=tn_tnmn Michael TheWriter

    Thank you so much for this fabulous article – albeit I’m 4 years late to read it (just recommended to me).

    I too sold 3 titles through US publishers and hated the process.
    I have just self published my first novel (my avatar is the book’s cover – see it on Amazon)… What a relief… I’m not into the big sales yet, but I’m loving the process and speed I get things done.
    The publishing industry can pick it up or don’t have to… I don’t care… It’s damned good and the books that follow this one are going to be just as good… and I’ll make it with or without them.
    Thank you for the vindication of my choice.