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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange signs autobiography deal

Julian Assange says his life is 'under threat'
Julian Assange says his life is 'under threat'

By Rob Sharp and Michael Savage

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange yesterday signed a deal to publish his autobiography in Britain with the Edinburgh-based publisher Canongate Books.

Jamie Byng, Canongate's founder, will publish the book next year. Knopf, a division of Random House, has the US publication rights.



The house expects Assange to finish his manuscript by March – if he resists extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual assault allegations.



Canongate refused to officially comment, but Byng said on Twitter: "Word travels fast. The cat is out of the bag and via a Spaniard." Byng was referring to Claudio Lopez, head of Random House's Spanish-language division Monadori, who mentioned the deal on Monday, also on Twitter.



The deal was reportedly brokered by Caroline Michel of literary agents Peters, Fraser, and Dunlop (PFD). "It's a big risk," said The Bookseller's editor-in-chief Neill Denny. "This represents a high-profile gamble by Canongate because it assumes that Assange is cleared of all charges, but yes, it will be a fascinating book.



"It will tell the tale of the brains behind some of the biggest journalistic stories of the decade."



Denny said Canongate would hope such a book would sell between 50,000 and 80,000 copies in hardback. "There will be a market in selling this mysterious figure to the public," he added. "Those behind brokering such a deal must be certain he will not be convicted."



The memoir will follow the revelations of Assange's former Wikileaks deputy Daniel Domscheit-Berg, whose book Inside WikiLeaks: My Time at the World's Most Dangerous Website will be published by German publisher Econ Verlag on 27 January.



Texas-based Global Language Monitor said yesterday that WikiLeaks has met the criteria of reach, depth and breadth to be considered a proper word.



GLM research shows the word first appearing in global media in 2006. It has now been cited more than 300 million times. The group's standards include a minimum of 25,000 citations in English-speaking media.



* Apple is reported to have removed an application that lets iPhone and iPad owners browse the WikiLeaks archive from its App Store.

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