The presses never seem to rest for Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. The ninth printing of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s book recently arrived at the South Dakota Historical Society Press warehouse, bringing the total number of copies in print to over 165,000. Our good friends to the north at Friesens Corp. sent us photographs of the bestseller on their production lines. It’s like our very own episode of How It’s Made!
It is hard to believe that one year has passed since the Pioneer Girl Project first unloaded pallets upon pallets and boxes upon boxes of books—readying them to be sent out all over the world. And what a year it has been!
Places like The Bookstore at Fitger’s, in Duluth, MN, put Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography front and center in their stores.
“The past twelve months have been a wild ride,” says Nancy Tystad Koupal, director of the Pioneer Girl Project. “We are ecstatic; the success of the book has been beyond our wildest dreams.”
On November 17, 2014, the South Dakota Historical Society Press released Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography. And, as readers of this site know, the first three printings quickly sold out as the title became the “it book” of the 2014 holiday season. As more copies rolled off the presses, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography jumped up to number one on Amazon.com and spent six weeks on the New York Times Best Sellers list, an amazing accomplishment for what various media networks have dubbed “a small press on the prairie.”
To date, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography has sold over 145,000 copies and been featured in the Wall Street Journal and on National Public Radio. It has over 2,635 ratings and 600 reviews on Goodreads and has been held up as the best way to publish a famous author’s first draft—see the Willamette Week’s review of Go Set a Watchmanand numerous conversations on Reddit/r/books. It is the stuff of publishing legends. And it does not end there.
Mitzi’s Books, an independent bookstore in Rapid City, SD, gave a shout out to the Press over Twitter when they received their issue of Publishers Weekly.
The November 2, 2015, issue of Publishers Weekly featured Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography on the cover. And the November 23, 2015, issue will feature a story about the book and Press.
Thank you to everyone who pre-ordered Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography from the South Dakota Historical Society Press. We are glad to say that the books will be arriving on your doorsteps in the next few days.
On Friday, November 14, the long-awaited Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography made it safely to our warehouse. As pallets of boxes were brought off the semitrailer, sod-house-like structures began to form and Press staffers Lisa Nold and Rodger Hartley quickly lost their sense of time and place.
However, they soon gathered themselves in preparation for the big sendoff beginning November 17. That Monday, as if jolly ol’ Saint Nick himself were looking over our shoulders, box upon box was packed with care to be sent off across North America. The project of packing pallets to be shipped to our national and international distributors and bookstores had also begun. Boxes were hauled from one storage area to the next as our muscles protested the change from desk-work to dock-work. Yet, we can report that the work is done and the books are on their way to bookstores around the world.
Thousands of readers will soon discover what advance reviewers have already found:
The pre-orders are stacked and ready to go.
“Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography . . . is clearly the definitive work on Wilder. It thrills with new insights and mature content, educates with historical facts and documentation, and enlightens with cultural perspective and commentary, all while maintaining the spirit of adventure and integrity that is the backbone of the Little House world and Wilder herself.”—Foreword Reviews
With Judy Thompson’s beautiful cover art, maps, photographs, and annotations all enhancing Wilder’s Pioneer Girl, we think the result is astounding. We hope you agree.
Everyone helped load boxes for the De Smet Memorial Society.
Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography can still be ordered from the South Dakota Historical Society press for $39.95, plus shipping and tax.
In 2012, the South Dakota State Historical Society Press announced that it would publish Laura Ingalls Wilder’s previously unpublished autobiography, Pioneer Girl, in the summer of 2013.
Since that time, the Press has worked hard to keep its interested followers up to date with each step in the process. We knew that work on this book would be involved and deep, but we were unaware exactly how involved and how deep we, and principal editor/annotator Pamela Smith Hill, would find ourselves as the project progressed.
Time and again during the researching, writing, and editing of this book, we have found ourselves making new discoveries about Wilder and her early work. We have constantly been surprised at where we ended up when research led us in unexpected directions. Each twist and turn has been exciting, but unfortunately, it has also been time consuming.
So, it is with great regret that the Press is forced to announce a delay in the publication of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Edition. At this time, we are working hard to expedite the process. However, we believe that all of our books deserve the highest possible level of research, writing, and production. With this in mind, we will strive for the earliest possible release date but will not shortchange the standards by which we have made our reputation.
The South Dakota State Historical Society Press thanks all those who have shown interest in Pioneer Girl. We will continue to update our progress on this website, pioneergirlproject.org, and we will be announcing a revised publication date as soon as we can.