Hayek might call this the magic of the market. It certainly demonstrates the wonder of modern technology and the force of entrepreneurial drive.
The U. of Chicago Press began Wednesday, June 9 with about 13,000 copies of F. A. Hayek’s The Road to Serfdom on hand. Within less than 24 hours — after a Glenn Beck show in which Beck said “[The Road to Serfdom] is the best thing you can read” — the Press was completely sold out of book, and the Amazon web page for the title read “Usually Ships in 1 to 3 Months”. An order for new copies from an offset printer might take weeks, but the Press was having none of that. It turned instead to a digital print-on-demand company, Ingram Content. Less than a day and a half later, on Friday, June 11, Ingram was shipping new copies of the title, the U. of Chicago Press was replenishing its stocks, and Amazon was delivering on orders. By the end of Tuesday, June 15, Ingram had shipped 20,000 digital print-on-demand copies of The Road to Serfdom.