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What a Year! The Green Ember’s Exciting Milestones

This is a post I’m grabbing from over at TheGreenEmber.com, written by Andrew Mackay, my esteemed publisher and friend. He looks back on some of the highlights from an amazing year. All I can add is how incredibly grateful I am to Andrew, to you all, and to God our Father for giving us this wonderful, exciting, exhausting, fun, hard, and happy year. Thank you! –Sam

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One year ago today, The Green Ember was successfully funded on Kickstarter. It was a great day. We made this video that night. We’ve done an incredible amount of work in the year since, and God has been very kind to us. Some milestones:

We launched the eBook and print book to retail in December of 2014. It has consistently been a category leader and excellent seller on Amazon ever since.

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We have given away almost 60,000 eBooks, engaging new readers with Heather and Picket and the world they live in.

We’ve been approached by a number of distributors to see how they can carry The Green Ember.hidden gems sale

We launched The Green Ember audiobook to Audible, where it’s grown consistently and is RIGHT NOW being featured as a hidden gem.

We’ve sold over 11,000 copies of The Green Ember in all formats. I’m not an exclamation mark kind of guy, but !!!

We’ve been out of stock at least 6 times when our reprint speed hasn’t kept up with the demand for books. We’re consistently surprised, and we’re in our 5th printing as we speak. Again, a little too late.

We’ve had so many wonderful reviews on Amazon, in magazines, and on countless blogs.

We’ve been fortunate to visit with thousands of readers across 7 states, and many, many more both nationally and internationally, through the magic of the internet.

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We launched a prequel novella, The Black Star of Kingston, which has also sold thousands of copies.

We launched t-shirts and a very limited run of handmade Heather and Picket figures.

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Best of all, Sam has laid the groundwork for book 2. He is making tremendous progress. I can’t wait for you to read more about Heather and Picket. (Coming… Spring 2016.)

There’s a pile of work that goes into all of this. There are big teams that need to be thanked: the folks at Story Warren who keep things going (James and Julie and Kristen and Carrie and Zach, and everyone else!), the people who have generously shared The Green Ember with their audiences (most especially Sarah Mackenzie at Read-Aloud Revival, Crystal Paine at Money Saving Mom, Sally Clarkson, our friends at the Rabbit Room, the CIRCE Institute, Allison at TruthBeautyGoodness.net, and everyone else that I’ve forgotten to list). There’s the team of people involved in creating the book: the proofreaders and editors who helped us create a better book than we would’ve on our own, Will, who made a great map, Paul, who made sure our cover was beautifully composed, Zach… Zach, whose art has helped people connect to these characters in a really wonderful way. That’s without mentioning the teams at our printing and shipping providers who have helped us to keep things moving along.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to work with Sam. There are many authors in the world, but few love readers the way Sam does. He really does want to serve your family with beautiful, great stories. It’s a tremendous thing to be a part of.

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One year ago today, the first books weren’t even on the printing press. A year later, and mail and email comes in consistently from people like you who have spent their time and money to enjoy this little book. Our success isn’t really ours — it’s based on people like you telling their friends about a book they enjoyed. So, most of all, thank you. It’s an honor to bring you books worth reading.

– Andrew Mackay
Publisher, Brightener Books and Story Warren Books


  1. Just wanted to say~ we started with the free kindle copies of TGE and BSK, but quickly purchased the hard back copies and three shirts have been ordered. Just wanted you to know that those freebies can really pay off! It’s rare for us to buy books anymore as $ is tight, but these were worth it to us.

  2. We fell in love with the world of Heather and Picket with a free e-book copy of TGE. I’ve bought the other two books in e-book form. My children love them. I love them. This Christmas I will most likely be buying shirts and actually hard copies of the books. We live in a RV. I don’t buy actually books. We almost exclusively read e-books or books from the library. I keep a very selective small library of actual physical books on the RV. These books have made the cut. Thank you for publishing such high quality literature for families to enjoy together.


  3. Our family loves all of your books — thank you so much! I know the Picket and Heather figures were limited but is there any chance there are some more??

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