Julian Assange's Autobiography Has Sold Just 644 Copies

The publisher is already making excuses for its modest sales

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So maybe that Wikileaks boycott is working? After three days of sale, the unauthorized autobiography of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange titled Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography (Canongate) failed to make charts, reports British publishing site The Book Seller, selling only 644* copies since its release in the U.K. Downplaying the numbers, Canongate publishing director Nick Davies said the book would perform more like a "marathon and not a sprint" noting that he's nabbed seven international rights deals in recent days. "We never made any big predictions about the sales of the Assange book – particularly on the first three days of sale," he said. As The Book Seller Reports:

It was only the 50th bestselling hardback non-fiction book of the week, and only the 537th bestselling book overall, sitting directly behind Julia Donaldson's Freddie and the Fairy (Macmillan) and Sharon Kendrick's Satisfaction (Mills & Boon), a £6.99 collection of three short stories featuring "three of her sexiest, most intense Greek heroes and glamorous heroines".

Important to note, we're talking about a hardcover book here, not a Lady Gaga single and it doesn't even have a U.S. publisher yet. Also, Assange has outwardly attacked the book, which he says was published without his permission. "This book was meant to be about my life’s struggle for justice through access to knowledge. It has turned into something else," he wrote last week. Still, the fact the publisher is already making excuses for it probably isn't a good sign. Davies added, "There was no build up for the trade, the media or with the reading public. But we’re proud of the way we handled what has been a difficult and unusual launch, and we are extremely proud of the book."

Correction: This post earlier said 664 copies.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.