December 13, 2019

Those of you who purchased my book Overdeliver in audio form have had nice things to say about it…and I will assume that if you have horrible things to say, you are keeping those comments to yourself.

Everyone in our online family clearly has parents with good parenting skills, teaching you that if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.


Regardless of whether you liked the audio version or not, I appreciate all of the positive comments.

I did get one negative comment from a subscriber who suggested that I should have hired someone else to read it but that wasn’t happening no matter how awful a job I did.

While I was unsure what it would sound like–I had never done anything like this before—there was no way that anyone else was going to read my opus for me. As far as I was concerned I had no choice.

More on that below.

It’s been one year since recording my book (thinking I wouldn’t “stop talking” for quite a while); and it’s been 8 months since I flirted with death and came real close to never talking again.

Given those two events, this is a perfect time to share the story again (with some new insights one year later)…and if you read it or missed it the first time, I believe it’s one of my best pieces (since anything we write that proves we are alive rather than dead is always our best work).  🙂

It’s also part of The Lost Chapters of Overdeliver which is one of 11 bonuses if you buy the book here…and I encourage you to do that if you haven’t already.

Please don’t be too jarred by the subject line of this post– it is the witty title of a wonderful book by Jerry Weintraub.

If you never heard of Jerry, he was a pretty big deal in Hollywood over many decades.

Among other things, he was the first person to persuade Elvis Presley to go “on the road” touring; he was responsible for some of Frank Sinatra’s biggest events; he discovered John Denver; and he co-produced the monumental film Nashville with Robert Altman.

He was an amazing man with a colorful and meaningful story to tell–and I highly recommend his book.

And frankly, he is only person who could tell his story.

Unfortunately, he did “stop talking” not too long ago– but not before leaving a tremendous legacy and so many lessons, mostly because he chose to talk so much while he was alive.

If I piqued your interest to read more about him, please do not buy the book in any form other than on audio.

Go here for either the Audible version or the CD version.

As I listened to his book, I realized that there is no way I could have gotten his real story without listening to him read it himself.

You see, Jerry was a poor kid from New York City from humble beginnings, who ended up being on the inside with some of the biggest names in show business.

An unlikely journey for sure.

Why would we want to hear from anyone else but him tell such a story?

Hearing him tell the story in his own words—and voice—adds a richness and authenticity that you will never get by simply reading the book.

I thought about Jerry a lot while recording Overdeliver.

Here I am in the middle of 14 hours of recording, which was sometimes painful (especially when I read a passage that I wanted to re-write)…yet it was exhilarating too:

(Note:  I was able to correct some typos while reading it aloud –but I couldn’t help but think when I wanted to change more of the text, “Done is better than perfect”–which is a great way to look at any long term project.)

Even though I am no Jerry Weintraub—not even close—I recall when I was negotiating the contract for my book I thought about When I Stop Talking, You’ll Know I’m Dead…and I had it written into my contract that no one other than me could read the audio version.

And there was no argument when I told my editor and publisher my preference for doing the audio version myself—they know how much more powerful it is when an author reads their own work.

While going through this long and arduous process, I also recalled all of the books I have listened to over the years not read by the author—especially autobiographies and non-fiction.

Of course if the author is not alive at the time of publication, you can’t force him or her to read the audio version.

At least I think that’s the case…

But so much gets lost in the translation when books are read by a third party or a “professional reader.”

Hearing from the author directly with all their passion behind their story also shows us why they were writing the book in the first place. Their emphasis and inflections tell us a lot.

Although I have to say Jeremy Irons reading The Alchemist is probably almost as good as Paulo Coelho reading it. However, I think it’s different for fiction, even if the fiction is such a monumental work as is the case with The Alchemist. 

Or maybe I just like Jeremy Irons’ voice so much.

At the other end of the spectrum is the author being the only person who could ever read their work—like Jerry Weintraub.

I’ve also been told by Reid Tracy, CEO at Hay House, my publisher (Reid is the most knowledgeable man on the planet on selling books in today’s complicated and diverse marketplace) that audio books are the fastest growing segment; and today it is a requirement from most (if not all) publishers that an audio version gets produced at the time of publication.

Just another reason not to leave your voice to others even if it’s a “professional.”

More people than ever will listen to it so why shouldn’t they be listening to you? 

And this is one case is where being an amateur is a plus.

I can recall many video sales letters being read by a guru with a monotone voice rather than a skilled orator…and it was far more effective without the polish.

Remember that it’s always your voice and no one else’s.

And until you stop talking, you are unique and a category of one.



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About the author 

Brian Kurtz

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