After falling out with Simon & Schuster, the right-wing provocateur is striking out on his own

By Christian Holub
June 06, 2017 at 11:43 AM EDT
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Milo Yiannopoulos Holds Press Conference To Discuss Controversy Over Statements
Credit: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Milo Yiannopoulos is back on Amazon. Months after the alt-right provocateur lost his book deal with Simon & Schuster due to controversial comments about pedophilia, Yiannopoulos is going ahead with plans to self-publish that book, Dangerous. After reappearing on Amazon Tuesday, Dangerous shot to the top of the website’s “humor” category. Pre-orders made it one of the day’s bestselling books. Its new description even incorporates the past controversy and plays up its bad boy bona fides: “The liberal media machine did everything they could to keep this book out of your hands. Now, finally, Dangerous, the most controversial book of the decade, is tearing down safe spaces everywhere.”

Back in February, when Yiannopoulos’ deal first fell apart amid intense backlash, Polis Books publisher Jason Pinter told EW that “I’d be shocked if the book doesn’t come out in one way or another in the next six months.” Yiannopoulos was in a unique position because the book had sold enough pre-orders (and Yiannopoulos has developed a big enough personal audience) that Dangerous had bestseller potential. At the same time, controversy meant other publishers would probably be reluctant to publish it and bookstores to carry it. Simon & Schuster certainly faced high-profile blowback for the deal; author Roxane Gay canceled her own book deal and later referred to the publisher’s actions as “malicious.”

That left self-publishing as a route for Yiannopoulos. One publishing industry veteran told EW in February, “I think in the climate today which allows for self-publishing to be done very easily, and with the hoopla around this book that might frighten a traditional publisher, I think if he wants it out, he’ll have to do it himself. He’s a marketing machine, albeit a negative publicity machine. But the question is: Will booksellers carry it?”

That question remains. Though Dangerous appears to be doing well on Amazon, Publishers Weekly noted, “It is unclear if Yiannopoulus has found a distributor to get the print edition of the book into brick and mortar retailers.”