My book’s first birthday! The 30 reasons I’m celebrating …

written by Bari Tessler June 6, 2017
Art of Money Book Birthday

Holy shmoly, you guys — the one year anniversary of my book hitting the shelves is just around the corner, on June 14th!

I feeling like a proud, oh-so-grateful mama.

You see, this book journey wasn’t just about writing. It’s been about meeting incredible people. Flexing my boundary-setting muscles. Being seen. Redefining success. And getting this life-changing methodology into the hands and hearts of more people than ever before.

Please join me for a month-long celebration, the whole month of June.

Everyday for 30 days, I’ll be sharing one of the 30 reasons I’m celebrating this milestone — with full stories, photos, personal reflections, and of course community interaction. Please play along with me by hopping over to my Facebook or Instagram page for #artofmoneybirthday!

For now, here’s a taste of the celebration … with so much gratitude!


1. This is the book I wanted. Hoped for. Dreamt of. Visioned. My goodness — this is huge. Not every author gets to exert the kind of creative control I did, and I am beyond grateful for this opportunity, everysingleday. I am so, so proud of this book.

2. Seeing my book at a bookstore for the first time. Of course, at the Boulder Bookstore. This was a dream come true. My husband filmed me walking into the Boulder Bookstore on June 14th, 2016, (publishing date), seeing my book on the shelves for the first time, reading from the first chapter and drinking some red wine~ Did you ever see this video?!

3. Risking it all. I called my lawyer and asked if I could back out of the book contract after I received the first round of editing from my manuscript. That’s how willing I was to walk away, when we hit a huge snag with the editor and publisher. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t freaked or scared, I was. But I dug deep and realized: I refused to sacrifice my vision, my voice, my methodology or what I knew would best serve my readers. I roared — and my wonderful publisher went back to the drawing board with me, got me a new editor, and let me create the book I truly wanted. Standing up for myself, even when it meant risking walking away — now this was a fiery rite of passage. (Full Story here..)

4. Book Reading at the Boulder Bookstore. I kicked off my book tour at the Boulder Bookstore on June 30th, 2016. Over the years, so many of my dear friends and inspirations have held book readings at this iconic indie bookstore. I’m thrilled to join their ranks. There were 70 people in the room, close friends, family and brand new folks. Also, my dear son, Noah, introduced me and he did a fabulous job! It was a huge honor to speak at the Boulder Bookstore and I will be forever grateful for the experience. This first book reading, where I read passages from the book and told stories, kicked-off the first of 14 book readings!

5. Getting on Oprah! Back in June, Oprah’s website published an excerpt from the book. How cool is that??

6. First Canadian visit and gracing the front window of Banyen Books! Yes, traveling to Vancouver for my book tour last summer was my first time crossing the border. I truly fell in love with this city, it’s nature and the people! I also loved my book reading at Banyen Books in Vancouver. A huge, blown-up cover of my book greeted me, along with over 70 people there for my book reading and talk. What a warm welcome to receive during my first visit to this city. 

7. Inc.’s top 7. Named one of Inc’s top 7 personal finance books of 2016. This one really delightfully surprised me! A dear financial friend posted on FB to congratulate me. That’s how I found out that the Art of Money was named one of Inc.’s top 7 personal finance books of 2016!!! (Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.)

8. Putting my FACE on the cover?? This was never part of the plan. But after many attempts to get the right cover design, when my publisher insisted it was the most welcoming, intimate approach (and truest to the content) — I had to reconsider. I felt a ton of pressure to get The Perfect Cover, and was incredibly nervous! But I knew I had Danielle Cohen, the most incredible photographer, by my side — and was in great hands.

9. Winning a Benjamin Franklin award! My little book-girl’s very first award, this one’s given out for excellence in independent publishing. And we won a GOLD in the business category! I was so thrilled to fly up to Portland, OR (one of my favorite cities) and accept this award in person — with Forest and Noah by my side.

10. A Travelogue-worthy book tour. From intimate living room gatherings to crowded bookstore events, from Boulder to San Francisco to Vancouver, from old friends to new. 14 cities. Countless hotel rooms and airports and chocolate and so much love.

11. Boston Public Library! The Art of Money was named one of the best personal finance books in 2016-2017. (Ohhhh, I love libraries!!)

12. Your Book Selfies!! So many of you, dear community, shared selfies with my book — and I can’t tell you how delighted I’ve been to see my book in hands and on coffee tables at beaches and with pups and next to babies … all over the world. Thank you!

13. Gracing Tara Mohr’s site. I did oodles of guest blog posts and interviews about the book this year, but this was one of my favorites. Tara is a wonderful woman, mama, writer and entrepreneur, and I was so excited to share this work with her community.

14. Getting a crash course on the finances of writing a book. As a first-time author, I had a lot to learn! I needed to pay my co-writer, Angela Raines, take into account photo shoots and marketing costs, negotiate my advance, and on and on. Thank goodness for Body Check-Ins! (I go into the full story about the financials in this interview with Caroline Donahue.)

15. Award #2: A Nautilus Silver Medal! This one’s a pretty big deal — the award is for social justice, spiritual growth books that “make a difference and inspire”. And, I love that our category was Personal Growth, not Business or Finance.

16. Dream come true. Even as a little girl, I was an avid reader, spending my summers in libraries, bookmobiles, and bookstores. (I seriously have a thing for card catalogues!) So seeing my book on a shelf alongside other books (including ones by my heroes and heroines like Gloria Steinem and Lynne Twist) is absolutely incredible.

17. 587 interviews, podcasts, and guest articles. I talked with the Tarot Lady, with Reuters, and with Farnoosh Torabi. I talked about publishing and money shame and breaking through ceilings and real-life money dates with my husband. Just bask in this lineup from the Virtual Book Tour. (OK, it’s more like 60+ interviews … but still!)

18. Leading a team. My co-writer, my dear Forest, my photographer, my wonderful team at Parallax Press — a lot of people helped with this book. At times, it was overwhelming. I had to learn when to hold strong to my beliefs — and when to surrender to the flow; when to welcome input and when to say, “that’s final.” Strength and flow … this was a potent growing edge for me, as a leader.

19. The fairy tale story of my publisher finding me. Before I’d even finished the book proposal, the perfect-fit publisher asked if I’d work with them. What a way to kick off this adventure! {Full story here.}

20. Deep collaboration with my co-writer. I had already worked with my talented co-writer, Angela Raines, for 5 years by the time the book project came around. I’m so grateful for all the hard work she put into this. Not only did she wordsmith, she spent years applying my methodology to her own life, living it from the inside. I’m so proud of what we created together!

21. Having my cake and publishing it, too. I got to work with a small, independent publisher (Parallax Press) — which meant I got to have the final say on so many things which would’ve been unheard-of at a larger publishing house. But my book was also the very first book from Parallax to be distributed by Penguin Random House. So I truly got the best of both worlds.

22. Those book signing lines! Oh, it was so amazing to see people lined up to have me sign my book for them. Truly, truly something I’m celebrating.

23. Homeschooling Resource. A Canadian friend-of-a-friend is reading my book and plans on making it one of the key resources for her homeschooling family as well as share it with her broader homeschooling community! I always say: so few of us got the financial education we truly needed, in age-appropriate increments, from grade school on up. I’m so happy that my book is helping turn that tide!

24. Liberal Amy and her conservative Dad … coming together. Amy shared #wordssmallestbookclub on Instagram — and I couldn’t be more honored to hear that she (a “Bernie-lovin’ dirt-worshipper”) and her father (conservative, Trump-votin’) came together for heartfelt, vulnerable conversations over my book. Amazing.

25. International book clubs. YOU, my dear community, started incredible book clubs, all on your own. Hand on my heart: this is success, for me. {I created a free guide for you, if you want to start your own.}

26. We’re going international, baby! A Taiwanese publisher, Fine Press, is about to translate The Art of Money into Chinese and publish our first foreign printing. How cool is that?? We’re so grateful to have this first translation, and hope more are around the corner!

27. Lovely, 5-star reviews. 92% of the book’s Amazon reviews are 5-star. They’re thoughtful and glowing — and show how deeply readers have been touched by this work. I LOVE my 4 and 5 star book reviews, and am so grateful for all of you who have written these.

28. The (very few) nasty, negative reviews. YES, I’m celebrating these, too! I knew negative feedback would be a part of this experience — but this has been so much milder and more freeing than I could have imagined. I prepared myself for it, imagining what people might say. Most of the negative reviews make me laugh or simply feel moot. Some were secretly positive (like the sex worker who said she hated all of my stories about chocolate and hikes and my husband — but that the book had some of the smartest wisdom she’d ever heard, about money — this made me laugh out loud!). And a few negative reviews, I took to heart and pondered. Negative feedback is part of being visible — and it’s an art, learning how to put it into perspective.

29. 11,974 books sold. My original, pie-in-the-sky dream was to sell 10K books in our first year. While we didn’t make this with just the hardcover, when you include the Kindle e-books we sold, we surpassed it. Part of this year has been a journey of redefining what “success” means to me, when it comes to my book. After a ton of excitement and a bit of disappointment and some reality-checking, I’ve deemed 11,974 books sold to be an incredible success!

30. Redefining success. I thought selling over 10,000 hardcover copies in the first year was my measure of success. That’s changed. Now, it’s about: is this the classic book I dreamt of? Is it mentioned in the top 3 money books by people I love and respect? Is it getting into the hands and hearts of many, many people? I’m so happy to say yes to these, my new metrics of success.

Thank you, thank you, my dear community. I truly wouldn’t be here, celebrating, without you. For all of your support and cheerleading, your insight and vulnerability and courage — from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.

P.S. Still need to snag your copy? Click right this way.

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