Assange’s unauthorized biography released in UK this week, where it was the 557th best seller.
Recently we reported that in a fitful stroke of irony Julian Assange’s autobiography was being leaked, or at least released without his blessing.
After having signed a contracts with US Publisher Knopf and Canongate and taken an advance of over half a million dollars, Assange ultimately decided against moving forward with the autobiography and officially pulled out of his contracts on June 7. However, since he couldn’t come up with the half-million dollars to return the advance to Canongate, the UK Publisher decided it was within their purview to go ahead and release the book against his Assange’s wishes to recoup their costs.
As The Atlantic notes, the book is only for sale as a hardcover and only in the relatively small market of the UK, so less-than-mindblowing sales were to be expected. But it only sold 664 copies total, coming in 50th among hardcover sales and 557th for books in the UK overall.
This may be a worse bomb than Sarah Palin’s documentary “The Undefeated,” which clocked an abysmal $65,000 opening weekend and headed straight to cable and video-on- demand only a week after premiering.
Then again, Assange’s book is unauthorized. Perhaps readers are skeptical to buy a book that lacks its subject’s endorsement. Perhaps a better analog than Palin’s “The Undefeated” is Joe McGinniss’ new book about her “The Rogue,” over which Palin has threatened to sue him for slander.
If that’s the case, I’m almost impressed with the deference to Assange. After all, as the central figure in ushering in a new era of accountability that gave rise to a hacktivist movement, Assange is clearly one of the most influential individuals of the last decade.
Whatever the reason, it’s incredible that the closest thing to a tell-all from a character as influential as Assange is just sitting there on the shelves, charting on the sales list just behind Sharon Kendrick’s “Satisfaction.” As the Atlantic notes, Kendrick’s book is “a £6.99 collection of three short stories featuring ‘three of her sexiest, most intense Greek heroes and glamorous heroines.’”
Well—just wait till the iPad edition comes around.