Anonymous Book to Amazon: Hacktivist Authors Cozy Up to the Fire

Gregg Housh and Barrett Brown’s book about Anonymous, the online activism collective known for digital protests and acts of civil disobedience, has been sold to Amazon Publishing editorial director Julia Cheiffetz.

According to the notice on Publishers Marketplace, Anonymous: Tales From Inside The Accidental Cyberwar was “pitched as Barbarians at the Gate for the digital era” and tells “the story of the ordinary people who became hacker-activists and successfully brought down government agencies and multinational corporations around the world.” Anonymous recently secured local notoriety by releasing the personal data of pepper spraying New York City Police officer Anthony Bologna.

Given the subject matter of their book it’s interesting that Mr. Housh and Mr. Brown went with Amazon Publishing, which in the past has demanded that in exchange for author-friendly royalty rates and large advances all digital books be sold exclusively through the Kindle, or through the Amazon store for the iPad or other devices.

Dan Conaway, the Writers House agent who represents Mr. Housh and Mr. Brown, confirmed that “digitally, Amazon’s policy is that they’re available for Kindle only but they’ll be producing physical books as well that will be going to as many retail outlets as possible.” [Update: After this blog post was published, Amazon spokesperson Sarah Gelman wrote to inform us that Mr. Conaway was incorrect and, “we intend to make this book available for sale for other e-readers.” She did not specify which ones.] He added that Ms. Cheiffetz’s digital literacy was another selling point: “Julia Cheiffetz has a deep understanding of the digital space both in terms of publishing and in terms of the philosophical ethos that is the underpinning of this book.”

Not that you were going to buy the book. What is Anonymous good for if not ensuring a quality pirated copy of its own biography?

Anonymous Book to Amazon: Hacktivist Authors Cozy Up to the Fire