My Biggest 2017 Success Story

(Or: How I Changed My Spouse’s Mind)

It’s hard to point out a single biggest success in 2017 for me. First, success is a very individual thing. What is a success for one person is just normal for another one. Second, 2017 was really awesome for me. A lot of good things happened.

I Started a New Business

And it’s actually profitable. I advertise books on Amazon. I started doing this with the first book of another author in June (“Dare to Matter” by Pete Smith). Thanks to my ads, his book that had been selling a few copies a month started selling hundreds of copies a month.

I was stoked. I thought I could do this with every book. Before advertising “Dare to Matter,” I advertised 10 of my own books and my results varied but, in general, his results were similar to what I experienced. Well, it appeared that it all depends on Amazon’s whims. Books of other authors didn’t do so well.

One amazing fact about this business is that it was profitable right from the start. Ask any seasoned entrepreneur how likely that is. My costs were minimal, other than my time involved in the venture. However, this time was also minimal due to experience I gathered advertising my own books. And the whole idea of this business is that it generates profits for authors, and they share those profits with me.

I also didn’t spend a dime on marketing. Four years in self-publishing communities made me known enough to get clients from my network.

At the end of 2017, I had 11 clients and I advertised over 40 books.

I Live off My Writing

Well, not exactly, but close to it. My book sales exploded in 2017. I sold over 12,000 copies of my books on Amazon alone.

But the most rewarding thing is that almost every day I got a message, comment or encouraging review from my readers. I diligently collect them in app.

Some testimonials I stored in

The most discouraging thing for a writer is the lack of audience signaled by the lack of feedback. This wasn’t the issue for me in 2017.

My answers on Quora were viewed almost 700,000 times in 2017. I finally got traction on Medium, and I was accepted as a writer in a dozen publications.

As long as my words resonate with my readers, I can confidently put my stakes on it. I’m not “quite there” yet when it comes to financial independence and being compensated for doing something I love, but I’m inching closer to it every single day.

And my biggest success story for 2017 is…

My Wife Reluctantly Supports Me

I remember when in July 2013, right before publishing my 2nd book, my wife sent me an email saying that my books are rubbish and I should find a better job instead of pursuing this crazy writing hobby of mine. She added also a few invectives and almost an ultimatum (“or else…”).

She didn’t change her attitude even when we realized her huge dream and bought our first house because I had enough royalties from my first bestseller to contribute to our mortgage.

Our first home

For years, nothing could convince her to support me. After we bought the house, she stopped actively opposing me, but it was far from getting her support. I juggled family responsibilities, day job and my new writing career for a few years and was dangerously close to burnout.

If you ever struggled with changing your spouse’s mind on some subject, you know how impossibly hard it is. After a few times, I didn’t even try to discuss it anymore. My words had no impact on my wife.

But my deeds had. In September 2016, I started advertising my books and my sales increased several times. In December 2016, they exploded. From the beginning of 2017, I had enough money from royalties to match my wife’s salary every single month. And I’ve been giving her this additional salary every month.

That changed her mind. Nowadays, my wife takes all responsibilities involved in running our household and kids, so I can focus on my businesses. She also does some minor tasks for my book advertising business.

Oh, by the way, after getting additional salary every month for 5 months in a row, she quit her day job. Now, I pay her “salary” from my ‘stupid writing hobby.’ :D

PS. Breaking news: My wife gave me her approval and I’ll oficially work half-time in my day job since February 2018.

Originally published at