Milo Yiannopoulos’s Book ‘Dangerous’ Has Sold Half as Many Copies as He Claims

Milo Yiannopoulos Book
Milo Yiannopoulos holds up a copy of a legal complaint as he speaks outside the offices of Simon & Schuster publishing company, in New York City, July 7. The D.C. transit authority rejected an ad for Yiannopoulos’s book. Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Milo Yiannopoulos’s new book may be Dangerous, but his sales are less than thrilling.

A mere 10,677 copies were sold across the U.S. last week, according to figures from the Nielsen BookScan, quoted in The Bookseller.

This represents a 42 percent drop from the 18,268 units sold the previous week, when the book first became available in bookshops and from online retailers, landing in sixth place for U.S. sales charts, as reported in Publishers Weekly.

In his native U.K., Yiannopoulos’s book sales performed even worse. Only 152 copies were sold in the first week. The following week, sales picked up, recording a 148 percent increase to 376 units.

The right-wing commentator initially labeled reports of disappointing book sales as “fake news.” 

“By now, 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,” he wrote in a statement published in The Guardian last week.

Explaining that the 100,000 figure referred to wholesale orders rather than retail sales, Yiannopoulos insisted demand for the book was outstripping supply for it.

“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,” he said, adding, “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.”

Monitoring agencies like Nielsen do not include books sent to wholesalers in their figures, as wholesalers may return unsold copies back to the publishers. The monitoring figures however account for book sales on online retailers like Amazon, where, at the time of writing, Dangerous ranked second in the bestselling books list, which is updated every hour.

Yiannopoulos’s memoir, which claims to be “tearing down safe spaces everywhere,” has been the object of controversy since its inception. In late December, publisher Simon & Schuster faced criticism for signing Yiannopoulos to a $250,000 book deal, eventually canceling the agreement two months later following Yiannopoulos’s comments about consent laws and child abuse, which he has since retracted.

Yiannopoulos then self-published the book and sued Simon & Schuster for $10 million. The suit filed in New York State Supreme Court on July 7 alleges the publisher terminated the contract “wrongfully” and in “bad faith” under pressure from “authors, bookselling accounts, business and special-interest groups, celebrities, and various other self-appointed censors who disagreed with views expressed by Yiannopoulos.”

Most recently, the conservative provocateur claims that a Connecticut public radio station is refusing to air an interview with him for his right-wing views on Islam, race and American liberalism.