Publisher pins blame on Assange

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A CITY publishing house has blamed an annual loss on Wikileaks founder Julian Assange failing to deliver a book.

Mr Assange is currently living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while he fights extradition to his home country of Sweden, where he faces rape and sexual assault charges.

Canongate Books, which said Mr Assange had signed a contract to write a “part memoir, part manifesto”, made an operating loss of £368,367 compared with a profit of more than £1 million the previous year.

It said it had published some very good books but lost a 
“significant amount of money on one title”. The publisher said that, despite spending over 50 hours taping material with a ghost writer, Mr Assange said he wanted to cancel the 
contract.

Canongate went ahead and published Julian Assange: The Unauthorised Autobiography, but sales were poor.

In a report, the company’s chairman, Sir Christopher Bland, said the loss was “largely attributable to Julian Assange’s failure to deliver the book he had contracted to produce, and we were unable to obtain repayment from him of Canongate’s substantial advance, which had to be written off”.

The advance is understood to be more than £500,000, although Canongate gave no details in its financial statement.