Last year, when the South Dakota Historical Society Press gave away blads and tote bags promoting its fall release, Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography of Laura Ingalls Wilder by Pamela Smith Hill, there were takers, sure, but nothing out of the ordinary. Show Daily did not receive any reports of throngs of booksellers fighting over the swag.
In hindsight, perhaps booksellers should have mobbed SDHSP’s booth last year. Pioneer Girl has sold 125,000 copies in five print runs since its publication. The little press on the South Dakota prairie can’t even keep up with demand, which continues unabated.
Sometimes, though, life is fair, and even booksellers get a second chance. This year, SDHSP is raffling off a limited-release copy of Pioneer Girl: The Annotated Autobiography, valued at $175. This special release is a first edition, first printing of the book and contains a limited-edition print of watercolor artist Judy Thompson’s cover image, Silver Lake Reflections. These limited-release copies are a fund-raiser for the press’s Pioneer Project, so if you don’t win the raffle, you can still get your hands on a copy by calling the press.
This year, SDHSP is also promoting two children’s books written by another favorite children’s author whose works were also immortalized on the silver screen, L. Frank Baum, of Wizard of Oz fame, who lived for a period of time in Aberdeen, S.Dak. SDHSP (1464) is giving away finished hardcover copies of The Discontented Gopher, illustrated by Carolyn Digby Conahan, a staff artist for Cricket magazine, and The Enchanted Buffalo, illustrated by Oglala Lakota artist Donald F. Montileaux. In The Discontented Gopher, Zikky the Gopher must choose between wealth and happiness, and in The Enchanted Buffalo, a tribe of buffalo engage in a battle between good and evil. The two books were published as part of the SDHSP’s Prairie Tale Series. Fifty copies of each book will be given away each day during BEA.
This article appeared in the May 27, 2015 edition of PW BEA Show Daily.