Markets are markets, eh?

A week after “alt-right” figurehead and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos landed a lucrative $250,000 (£203,000) book deal with publisher Simon & Schuster in the US, the UK division of the publisher has walked away from the opportunity, confirming it will not publish his controversial book.

A Simon & Schuster UK spokesperson confirmed to the Guardian that it would not be publishing Yiannopoulos’s memoir, titled Dangerous, which is due out in the US in March.

Senior editors at many of the UK’s biggest publishing houses told the Guardian they were unlikely to offer for the book should it come on to the market. “It will be a toxic book to try and sell here,” one publishing insider said.

A publishing director at a nonfiction imprint, who also asked not to be named, said: “A lot of semi-toxic books do go to large publishers, but I wouldn’t touch this if it was offered to me and don’t think anyone else will.”

You can see where The Guardian is going with this, can’t you? Toxic! We Brits won’t touch it! Hurrah!

And then we get to the nub of the matter:

Major publishers insisted their reluctance to take on Yiannopoulos had less to do with his opinions than that, outside media and rightwing circles, he was relatively unknown in the UK. “He doesn’t have a platform in Britain,” said one. “We have a history of publishing toxic books here that have done well, but this won’t be one of them, he’s just not that well known.”

The book sales are to come from the fame, the Twitter account (perhaps the fame from not having one of those any more) etc. That is, this is a celebrity book not a political one. Milo’s Greek Jewish cookbook would have done as well.

At which point, so, how well did Owen Jones’ latest do in the US? Sure, we know it did well here, national column, turns up at all the right demos, large Twitter following. And in the US?

14 comments on “Markets are markets, eh?

  1. So the Guardian thinks that bullying publishers into silence – as if we did not know – is a good thing?

    Worth remembering.

  2. Incidentally, who says the American dream is dead? If a flamboyant British lad can go to the US and make millions simply by being fabulous and not a little bit offensive, well, it is proof that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere!

  3. S&S UK will publish whatever their Head Office tell them to otherwise members of the boss class will be arriving in the Stink on a massive firing mission.

    This is just the lying shite at the Gladrag trying their best at fake news. Piss poor.

  4. Suppressing works by gay authors? Using the word ‘toxic’ in relation to gay people? Not very progressive is it?

  5. Was the Satanic Verses ‘toxic’?

    The bearded nutters’ PR department probably helped sell bucketloads, before anyone had time to read it and discover just how good it wasn’t.

  6. Suppressing works by gay authors? Using the word ‘toxic’ in relation to gay people? Not very progressive is it?

    Wrong sort of gay. Just like Palin was the wrong sort of woman and Condi Rice the wrong sort of black.

  7. Anyway, if the book is a success in the US and the UK publishers won’t touch it, he could just self-publish in the UK, assuming S&S don’t own the rights.

  8. BiW,

    I enjoyed Satanic Verses, it was a great read until the rather underwhelming ending, but many books suffer from an author’s inability to wrap things up. It is not Rushdie’s best, for me Shame is. But then, all these things are a matter of personal taste.

  9. “We have a history of publishing toxic books here that have done well, but this won’t be one of them, he’s just not that well known.”

    This makes it clear that they will publish a ‘toxic’ author if they can make a heap of money out of it, but they won’t publish a ‘toxic’ author if there’s no guaranteed pot of gold involved. Not exactly moral, is it?

  10. DocBud – “I enjoyed Satanic Verses”

    You know, I think you are not only the first person I know who has enjoyed one of Rushdie’s books – I mean actually enjoyed it, not just pretended to – but also the first person I know who has managed to finish one. No one has ever told me SV has a weak ending before.

    Tel – “This makes it clear that they will publish a ‘toxic’ author if they can make a heap of money out of it, but they won’t publish a ‘toxic’ author if there’s no guaranteed pot of gold involved. Not exactly moral, is it?”

    Publishing has a long history of publishing toxic books, I mention Papilllon the other day. Henri Charrière was clearly lower than scum and even the book makes it pretty clear he was guilty and no sane society should have let him out.

    But then again Macmillan has republished the Gay Kray twin’s memoir, presumably because of the film.

    Still Norman Mailer wrote In the Belly of the Beast and got Jack Abbott released. Who then killed again a month and a half later. No one held it against him. Or his publisher. Unlike the Left, Milo does not have a body count or any blood on his hands.

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