It has been an incredible year for us and I just wanted to write and say thanks. This year you helped us share The Green Ember Series with tens of thousands of new readers!
I believe in these stories and I’m honored they have found a place in so many homes. I get the most amazing messages, letters, drawings, and cards from readers all over. It’s so encouraging to me and I wish I could share them all with you. I’m genuinely not entirely sure what it is, but there is something about these stories that is resonating with children and families. My guess, based on the feedback I’ve gotten, is that many folks are hungry for New Stories with an Old Soul. (I know my family is.) Maybe it’s the thousands of people I’ve blackmailed. Who knows? But for me, there is nothing like hearing from these kids. What an incredible privilege. I am blown away by their enthusiasm!
Like everyone, I squirm a little sharing “success” stuff. The lurking terror of the “humble brag” lurks terrifyingly like a lurker who terrifies. But I’m genuinely convinced that you are part of the story behind the stories and that your investments (of many kinds) have been crucial. You’re in on the work, so I want you to know at least some of what that has meant.
This year The Green Ember Series books were best-sellers on Amazon many times in multiple categories. The category bestseller thing on Amazon can be misleading, of course, but the books have sold incredibly well. I’m also very grateful that the books continue to be positively reviewed, with nearly 900 reviews, over 90% of which are 5 stars. Those reviews help so much. Thank you to all of you who have (or will) take the minute to help us out in that way.
Look Out, J. K. Rowling
Amazon ranks authors based on sales of their books. I’m usually in there in certain categories, but I was surprised to find that two different times this year I reached the Top 100 Overall. My highest rank was at #51. I still kind of can’t believe that. (Don’t worry, Miss Rowling. I think you’re safe, because if you sneezed on a grocery list and put it on Amazon, it would sell a billion copies in five seconds.)
Our audiobooks have also made a big splash and, thanks to a good sale Audible ran, The Green Ember became the best-selling audiobook in the world in July for a short time. All the audiobooks continue to sell well, and receive mostly good reviews from listeners. Although, the bad reviews are secretly some of my favorites. (But don’t go doing me a “favor” by posting a bad one!)
LA LA Land
I was delighted to be invited to fly out to L.A. to meet with studio executives and filmmakers about the potential for a movie version of The Green Ember. There’s nothing major to announce on that front yet, but there is real interest and I hope to be flying out west again soon for more meetings. It’s a long process, I’m learning, but I’m excited by the very real potential for translating these stories onto the screen.
Make Homeschool Conferences Great Again?
I was invited to be a featured speaker at the Great Homeschool Conventions in Texas, South Carolina, Ohio, and California. This is a major improvement over my many years struggling through the Mediocre Homeschool Conventions. I look forward to being at all four GREAT ones in 2017 and seeing many of you again, or meeting you for the first time! These are special events for homeschooling fams who want to be encouraged and equipped in their calling. I’m excited about my talks, but more so about getting to talk to you!
We had a successful Kickstarter and release of Ember Falls: The Green Ember Book II.
We launched new products including Heather’s Necklace and Picket’s Sword.
We released Joel Clarkson’s newest record, a musical soundscape for The Green Ember, Melodies for the Mended Wood vol 1. It’s excellent! Here are five of the tracks for free (the whole album is only $5 for the moment).
Yes, there are more books on the way! God willing, I will share more Whitson Mariner stories and, of course, more of Heather and Picket’s quest for the Mended Wood.
We are NOT going to announce WHEN the next books are going to be released until we know FOR SURE. We learned that lesson the hard way with Ember Falls. We don’t want to generate expectation for a release date we can’t reach. It will definitely take longer than any of us wish.
We are still a very, very small operation. I still work a day job and have many other responsibilities. I have a family, including one wife and four young kids who need me. They are my priority. My work as an author, while enormously important to me, is still something I can only do when I can find/make time for it. I hope that one day I can do it full-time, and your unbelievable support is making that a real possibility, but the reality is I’m not there yet.
I know the wait is tough. I appreciate how much you (and/or your kids) care about what happens to Heather and Picket! I care too. I hope, when it’s all over, that you’ll be satisfied by the big story.
I am a profoundly imperfect man. I’m aware that I’ve received more than I’ve given, that I’m the recipient of amazing grace in a million ways. Thank you so much for being an ally and an investor in this storytelling adventure. Who knows where it might lead?
If you think about it, please pray for me and my family. We feel blessed by your love and support in this calling. Thank you!
The LORD bless you and keep you,