Historical Society Press Cannot Keep Up with Demand for 'Pioneer Girl'

Carrie Dedrick | Monday, May 4, 2015

Historical Society Press Cannot Keep Up with Demand for 'Pioneer Girl'

Laura Ingalls Wilder’s autobiography was published for the first time in November, and became a New York Times bestseller this spring. The book, entitled “Pioneer Girl: The Annotates Autobiography,” was rejected by editors when Wilder wrote it in 1930. Now the demand for “Pioneer Girl” is so great that the small South Dakota Historical Society Press can hardly keep up. 

WORLD Magazine reports the first printing of the book made 15,000 copies which sold out before Christmas. The next 15,000 copies sold out “before it even came off the press,” said Nancy Tystad Koupal, the press’ director and editor-in-chief. 

The next printing is schedule for this month, making a total of 125,000 copies of the autobiography in print. 

The press never imagined that “Pioneer Girl” would gain so much popularity. 

“When we first envisioned this project back in 2009, we projected that we would print 5,000 copies, which is a good-sized run for us,” Koupal said.

“It’s just not the kind of book we anticipated would be a best-seller. It’s encyclopedic.” 

“Little House on the Prairie” fans have gravitated to “Pioneer Girl” because it provides the backstory of Wilder’s historical fiction works. The book is 472 pages and includes pictures, maps and annotations. ]

Publication date: May 4, 2015