Ring wing commentator Milo Yiannopolous has branded reports of his lower-than-anticipated sales as “fake news”.
His self-published memoir, Dangerous, soared into sixth place in the US top 10 chart, after selling 18,268 copies in its first week on sale according to Nielsen BookScan – despite his PR's earlier claims that “100,000 copies were delivered to Amazon and sold out in the first day of release”.
Yiannopolous claimed the lower numbers registered on BookScan were because retailers did “not order enough ahead of time, and have been scrambling to play catch-up ever since”. He claimed that enough wholesale orders and direct orders were coming through that the entire stock was accounted for and it is now out of stock “everywhere”.
Director of Nielsen Book Research, Andre Breedt, told The Bookseller that it was "unlikely" that Yiannopolous' book had sold 1000,000 copies. Breedt said: "Our sales figures include Amazon physical sales so it’s unlikely to be higher [the 100,000 copies mentioned by Yiannopoulos]. I stand by that – our sales figures are correct.
"I think perhaps some of the confusion is because of the difference between sales into the trade and sales to consumers. Research companies measure sales to consumers not sales into the trade."
After the former Breitbart editor’s book deal with Simon & Schuster was shelved in February, he announced plans to self-publish the title through his imprint Dangerous Books.
Yiannopolous posted a statement on Facebook today (13th July): “We did it. #2 Nonfiction on the New York Times Best Sellers list, #4 for Hardcover.
“They said I was dead and our movement was history…You may have heard reports claiming we only sold 18,000 copies of Dangerous and that our 100,000 copies claim is exaggerated. I'm happy to report that this is fake news.
“It's true that the major booksellers only managed to ship out 18,000 copies to retail customers by the list cut-off. But that's because they didn't order enough ahead of time, and have been scrambling to play catch-up ever since."
He added: “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. It's also real news that even with the book being out of stock everywhere for six of the last seven days, we're still the #2 NY Times bestseller and #3 USA Today bestseller.”
Yiannopolous is not the highest charting right wing author in last week’s top 10—Mark R Levin’s Rediscovering Americanism, published by Simon & Schuster US imprint Threshold Editions, dropped to second place after John Grisham’s Camino Island (Doubleday) reclaimed its number one.
Threshold was also the imprint due to publish Dangerous, after reportedly giving Yiannopolous a $250,000 advance. However, the publisher backed out of the deal following weeks of pressure from other outraged Simon & Schuster authors and after a radio interview emerged in which he appeared to condone sexual relations with young boys.
In retaliation last Friday (7th July), Yiannopoulos served the publisher with a $10m lawsuit for backing out of the deal.
The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, alleged the publisher’s decision to terminate the contract was due to public perception.