I’ve been a big fan of audiobooks for many years. I used to drive a van delivering bearings, sprockets, motors and more to coal mines and manufacturers around southern West Virginia. There was no tape-deck and certainly no CD player in the van, so I bought a crummy tape-player at Magic Mart and got audiobooks on tape from the library to play while I drove the hills and hollows of Appalachia.
I still drive a lot and now I have the Audible App, the Overdrive App, and I listen to books through the bluetooth in my car. I still love them and I agree with Orson Scott Card when he says that in many ways audiobooks are the most definitive versions of our books. I was delighted when my first novel, The Green Ember, was turned into an excellent audiobook thanks to the fantastic talents of Joel Clarkson. I was further amazed and grateful when the book was a finalist for Audible’s Kids Book of the Year last year. But today I’m really blown away.
The audiobook for The Green Ember has frequently been up to 8th place in the Kids bestsellers list, right behind all seven Harry Potter books (only recently added to Audible, so super fresh and always chart-topping in sales). But today, thanks to a big boost from being featured as the Daily Deal at $1.95, The Green Ember is the best-selling Kids Audiobook on Audible. Yes, it passed all seven Harry Potter books. But wait, there’s more…
The Green Ember is right now the BEST-SELLING AUDIOBOOK OF ANY KIND on Audible, or Amazon. In any category.
My kids, also audiophiles like me, have been going bananas. I love it. Honestly, there’s so much hard work involved and a seemingly endless list of urgent things to be done, that it’s hard to take time to enjoy any little victories along the way. It’s a regular struggle to find joy in this work, even though I honestly love it so much. It takes major sacrifices from every member of our family, not to mention others (like Joel, illustrator Zach Franzen, and publisher Andrew Mackay). So I didn’t prudishly squash the joy welling up in our home today. Even with nightmares in the news, sadness in our community, and troubles seemingly everywhere we look, I welcomed the joy. I even felt a nice big bunch of it myself, which is a direct answer to prayer for me.
I am grateful to God, not just for this moment of success, but for giving us this gift of joy. And I’m grateful to you, among the many friends and allies who have given us a chance and welcomed these stories into your home.
In the coming days and weeks, The Green Ember will drop down again in the ranking to something more fitting. That’s okay. I’m just so grateful that so many people are finding the story, loving it, and sharing it with other families and children.
More than anything, I love to hear from families and kids who love the stories. And my kids, for whom the stories were, and always will be, written, still love them. And they love sharing in the story of the story.
“We’re ahead of Harry Potter!” my daughter said to her friends in a text message teeming with excessive exclamation points and exultant emojis.
How often to you get to say that?
“So, Daddy,” my son asked me a few minutes ago. “Does this mean that The Green Ember is the best-selling audiobook in the world right now?” I had to think for a second, then I told him that it most likely was.