Self-published out-of-print novel leads the way to a million sales

An author who self-published her first novel after it went out of print has sold a million books in two years.

Helen Bryan, who is now with Amazon Publishing, is the author of historical novels War Brides (2012) and The Sisterhood (2013) and has become the second AP author to sell a million in combined print, audio and Kindle editions worldwide.

In July last, Amazon Publishing author Oliver Pötzsch reached the million mark with the Hangman’s Daughter series.

Bryan was born in Virginia in the US but lives in London where she is a barrister and a member of the Inner Temple. Her writing career started after publication of her first book, a layman’s guide to the English planning system, Planning Applications and Appeals.

She has also had a biography published of Martha Washington, the first First Lady of the US, which was awarded a Citation of Merit by the Colonial Dames of America.

Bryan couldn’t originally find a US publisher for War Brides but it was published by Penguin in the UK in 2007 although it failed to take off and went out of print before she self-published the book.

The novel was spotted by Amazon Publishing editor Terry Goodman who took it for AmazonEncore, AP’s first imprint, in 2012.

Goodman, now Editorial Lead at Amazon’s Lake Union imprint, says: “I knew that Helen’s voice should be heard by as wide an audience as possible. Her engrossing stories and unique characters were bound to resonate with a broad spectrum of readers.”

War Brides is the story of five young women in an English village during and 50 years after World War II. It is inspired by the true wartime stories of Bryan’s family and of the brave women who joined the Special Operations Executive.

Her new novel, The Sisterhood, is a saga combining a love story and thriller spanning 400 years and was published by Lake Union in April last year.

Bryan says: “Learning that your books have sold a million copies is the stuff of authors’ dreams. Knowing how many wonderfully written books are out there, I’m thrilled and a little awed that so many readers have chosen mine.”

Amazon Publishing’s first No 1 bestseller