Milo Yiannopoulos' Book Sales: Oops!

Milo Yiannopoulos' Book Sales: Oops!

Milo Yiannopoulos's book isn't selling quite as well as he's claimed:

Rightwing controversialist Milo Yiannopoulos has branded reported low sales of his new book “fake news” after official figures revealed the writer has failed to rock the book charts on either side of the Atlantic, despite his claims to the contrary.

According to Nielsen Bookscan, which monitors book sales through almost all outlets, including Amazon, the former Breitbart technology editor has sold only 18,268 copies of his book in the US and 152 in the UK since its launch on 4 July.

The figure is far below the 100,000 copies, including pre-orders, that his PR team claimed had sold through Amazon alone on the day of the book’s launch. Though ebook sales are excluded from the charts, Andre Breedt, managing director of Nielsen Book Research, said: “As our sales include Amazon sales it is unlikely to be higher.”

BookScan is the industry's gold standard for measuring sales. I believe BookScan's numbers, even though Yiannopoulos disputes them:

“It’s true that the major booksellers only managed to ship out 18,000 copies to retail customers by the list cutoff. But that’s because they didn’t order enough ahead of time, and have been scrambling to play catchup ever since.

“The real news is that we’ve received wholesale orders and direct orders of such magnitude that our entire stock of 105,000 books is already accounted for.”

"Direct orders"? You mean bulk buys from right-wing groups offering copies of the book as subscription premiums? That's probably the case -- on the newly released New York Times bestseller list, which should appear online in a few days, a dagger appears in the entry for Dangerous, which means that bulk orders are being reported.

(This is also true for right-wing bestsellers on the list from Eric Bolling, Newt Gingrich, and Mark Levin.)

Earlier this week, the subscription-only PublishersLunch made short work of several arguments in Yiannopoulos's $10 million lawsuit against Simon & Schuster, which dumped Yiannopoulos a couple of months ago:

He claims in the suit that the cancellation of his book contract "caused irreparable harm to Yiannopoulos and the commercial value of his public persona, including millions of dollars in royalties and fees, as well as permanent harm to the development and exploitation of his stature as an important, sought-after media figure and free-speech celebrity." But that is immediately negated by Yiannopoulos's raising of $12 million to start his own media company after the cancellation, and his bragging within the suit of "robust sales" for the self-published version of the book.


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What a dilemma -- should he continue to claim that the book is a blockbuster, and thus negate an argument in his suit? Or should he humiliate himself by acknowledging the poor sales?

The suit reasons that no matter how well Milo does self-publishing, he would have done better "through Simon & Schuster's diligent promotion and sales" and will now suffer from "lower public awareness." In a May press event, however, Milo boasted, "I am going to take not just all of their [S&S's] best authors but all of the best authors of all the conservative imprints in this country and launch my own imprint called Dangerous Books." It's not clear why the "best authors" would elect to be published by someone who admits he can't do as well even for himself as an established publisher.

Oooh, snap.

Going much further, the suit also seeks the "disgorgement by Simon & Schuster of any profits it has made or will make, and any other benefit it has received or will receive, that are the result of its opportunistic and self-serving breach of its agreement with Yiannopoulos." They reason, absurdly, that "preserving important Simon & Schuster business relationships with authors, book distributors and sellers, publishers, and the like" is an ill-gotten benefit of refusing to publish Milo, and essentially argues that he is entitled to all of their profits for not ruining the company. That claim effectively admits that publishing Milo would have harmed S&S financially....

Yes, he's stipulating that dumping him was a wise business decision for S&S, then claiming that he deserves the extra money S&S makes as a result.

Hey, he got to #4 on the Times list, so he still has a cult following. But in real life he's not the legend he is in his own mind.

UPDATE: Karoli adds:

It probably doesn't matter whether he sold any books or not. He's underwritten by the Mercers who have little interest in making money and more interest in spreading propaganda.

So what might the Mercers hope to accomplish by serving as Yiannopoulos’s patrons? According to a source close to the situation — who confirmed an earlier report that the Mercers funded Yiannopoulos’s “Dangerous Faggot” college tour — the family sees the British shock-meister as a way to capture the attention of a generation who grew up on the internet and represents the future of the kind of anti-establishment Republican politics that swept Donald Trump to power:

The Mercers want to do whatever they can to bring this new style of conservatism to a younger generation. Milo did that for Breitbart with their money and they see no reason to change that.”

Originally published at No More Mister Nice Blog

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