Entertainment & Arts

Julian Assange memoir misses out on book chart

Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography
Image caption Canongate Books said the majority of the book's reviews were positive

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's memoirs failed to top the bestsellers' book chart after shifting just 644 copies in its first three days on sale.

Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography was the 50th best-selling hardback non-fiction book of the week, according to Nielsen BookScan.

Mr Assange has said it is a draft and was published without his approval.

But publishers Canongate Books claim he initially agreed to it and had signed a contract with them.

They insisted the book "explains both the man and his work, underlining his commitment to the truth" and he had already accepted an advance for the book, which has not been paid back.

Referring to the sale of the book, they said: "We never made any big predictions about the sales of the Assange book - particularly on the first three days of sale."

"There was no build up for the book 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," they added.

Canongate also said the majority of reviews had been largely positive and 10 international deals have been secured for the book.

Jeffrey Archer topped this week's Official UK Top 50 with his novel Only Time Will Tell.

The first book in a five-part Bristol-based saga sold 25,118 copies in its first full week in UK bookshops.

Mr Assange said earlier this month: "The events surrounding its unauthorised publication by Canongate are not about freedom of information."

"They are about old-fashioned opportunism and duplicity - screwing people over to make a buck."

He said Canongate had acted in breach of contract and personal assurances that the draft would not be released without his permission had been given.

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