While Assange had willingly spent more than 50 hours being interviewed for the book and had cooperated with the publisher, Canongate, he later changed his mind. He very publicly called out ghostwriter Andrew O’Hagan, calling the whole fiasco with the publisher “old-fashioned opportunism and duplicity—screwing people over to make a buck.”
Even though Assange pulled support of the book, Canongate went ahead with its publication, after much back and forth between the two parties in the media, titling it Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography. But all the controversy wasn’t enough to drum up interest among readers; according to Nielsen BookScan, the book was the 50th bestselling hardcover non-fiction book of the week and the 537th bestselling overall book of the week.
While the publisher is saying that the performance of the book is “a marathon and not a sprint,” we have to wonder whether people who are really that interested in the details of the master hacker’s life would pay up for the book. After all, they’ve got the whole Internet at their fingertips.