After a recommendation from TV talk show host Glenn Beck on Tuesday, The University of Chicago Press found itself in an unprecedented position: number one in Amazon and Barnes &Noble’s sales rankings with F. A. Hayek’s anti-big government book The Road to Serfdom. The 66 year-old book, bested Stieg Larsson and Stephenie Meyer—at least for a day.
First published by the University of Chicago Press on September 18, 1944, The Road to Serfdom was an instant and perennial best seller, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in the United States over its lifetime, and translated into more than twenty languages. Kiely told PW that the press was examining all of its options in filling the spike in demand for the book, including another press run, and print-on-demand options.
Press director Garrett Kiely told PW the book has been a consistent seller since the election of Barack Obama in November, 2008, selling about 27,000 copies annually. Although he declined to quote exact numbers, Kiely said that with Beck’s endorsement, the book has sold about half its annual number in a 24-hour span.