Assange Memoir Sells Just 644 Copies

Sales of unauthorized biography slow despite controversy
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2011 2:24 AM CDT
Members of the public walk past copies of "Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography" in a bookstore in Edinburgh, Scotland.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – A war of words between Julian Assange and publisher Canongate generated plenty of free publicity for Julian Assange: The Unauthorized Autobiography but that hasn't translated into sales. The book—which the WikiLeaks founder worked on with a ghostwriter before withdrawing from the project earlier this year—sold only 644 copies in the three days after its release in Britain, the Guardian reports.

Canongate's publishing director says he expects sales of Assange's life story to pick up. "We're proud of the way we handled what has been a difficult and unusual launch, and we are extremely proud of the book," he says. "Fortunately, the conversation now seems to be moving away from the 'publishing story' and focusing on the quality of the book itself." Canongate says it plans to pay Assange royalties—as soon as the memoir sells enough to cover the $500,000 advance he received.

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