This is swell! We’re very excited to announce that we’ve just sold our 10,000th unit of The Happy Hollisters reissues! That may sound like a lot of books, but did you know that the original hard covers sold over 11,000,000 copies? In the Happy Hollisters’ “Buried Treasures” Archive, we found these very keen, very detailed sales reports. The first one shows how many copies of each volume were sold in bookstores between 1953 and 1972 — nearly 2,000,000 books in the U.S. alone! The second report shows that an additional 9,000,000 books were sold through The Happy Hollister Book Club operated by Doubleday & Company. Club sales continued for another two years after this report was prepared, adding another 500,000+ to the total.
It’s interesting to note that, for the most part, the earlier books sold more than the later books, as would be expected. But there were occasional up-ticks for certain volumes. We’re not sure exactly what caused the fluctuations, but it may be the timing – perhaps certain volumes hit the bookstore shelves just before the holidays. Or perhaps certain cover illustrations by Helen S. Hamilton appealed to more readers for some reason. For example, books with horses on the cover tended to do better than the preceding volume!
Our reissue project has a long way to go to catch up to the original sales numbers, but we’re delighted with the support and encouragement we’ve had so far. When we reissued the first volume in 2010, we weren’t sure how it would be received. Crickets, were we surprised by the outpouring of excitement that it generated! We’re very happy to report that kids today are still enjoying the books and are anxiously awaiting more volumes. Thanks to enthusiastic support from fans old and new, we have been able to reissue volumes 1-12 and 21 in paperback and eBook, and we plan to continue reissuing the remaining 20 volumes as quickly as we can.