Publisher Temple ’88 has No. 1 New York Times Best Seller

Johnny Temple '88 (Photo by The Los Angeles Times)

Johnny Temple ’88, owner and publisher of Akashic Books, has published Adam Mansbach’s Go the F—k to Sleep, a children’s book parody for parents which debuted at No. 1 on the New York Times best seller list for advice books on June 19. The book has nursery rhyme style text with illustrations by Ricardo Cortes.

According to an article in Hollywood Reporter, after Temple acquired the title, he first sent a PDF of the book to independent bookstores in February, and the PDF “went viral, passed from knowing parent to knowing parent, and propelling the book to No. 1 on Amazon’s bestseller list seven months before publication.”

The book’s first printing is more than 275,000 hardcover copies to meet public demand. A launch event at the New York Public Library featured a recorded reading by renowned German film director Werner Herzog, and actor Samuel L. Jackson narrates the audiobook version, which has grown popular on the Internet. The publication has sparked interest around the world with 15 foreign deals already completed.

Book published by Johnny Temple ’88.

Akashic plans a kid-friendly version of the story and has partnered with digital publisher Open Road to produce both standard and enhanced e-book versions. Temple hopes to keep the promotion of the book “parent-centric.” He told the Hollywood Reporter: “The explosion of interest has been totally organic, and it’s been an authentic response to the book by parents so a lot of our marketing is based around parents and trying to encourage the parental interest while not being to intrusive.”

David Low

David Low '76 writes about arts and culture for the Wesleyan magazine and Wesleyan Connection. He is associate director of publications in the Office of University Communications. He is also a published fiction writer. E-mail: