Crazy Literary Fact of the Day: The Slowest-Selling Book in History

Jeevan Sivasubramaniam Posted by Jeevan Sivasubramaniam, Managing Director, Editorial, Berrett-Koehler Publishers Inc.



Crazy Literary Fact of the Day: The Slowest-Selling Book in History

What is the slowest selling book in all history?

When we determine what is the slowest-selling book, the criteria should be clear: the book has remained in print for the longest time and yet sold the least number of copies in that time.

The record for the world’s slowest-selling book is held by the Oxford University Press’s translation of the New Testament from Coptic into Latin. Five hundred copies were printed in 1716; the last one was snapped up in 1907. That means it took 191 years—almost two centuries, to sell out of the first and only printing of five hundred copies.