Andrew AlbaneseSo far in 2017, the biggest book of the year is one that hasn’t yet been published.

The political memoir “Dangerous” crashed into a wall on Monday when Simon & Schuster announced it was pulling away from its deal with the Breitbart firebrand Milo Yiannopolous.

If you’re a fan, you may think free speech took it on the chin this week. If you’re on the side calling for his head, you probably celebrated. But Andrew Albanese, Publishers Weekly senior writer, has an idea that the decision had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with publishing.

“I know that many people have wanted to make this an issue about free speech. But this was never about free speech. S&S was in business with Milo,” he explains. “The past week showed that doing business with him was no longer tenable because Milo was under fire not only from people on the left, but also on the right.

“In my editorial career, my boss and mentor was legendary Oxford editor named Sheldon Meyer. His mantra was ‘we publish authors, not books.’ That credo comes to mind here,” Albanese tells CCC’s Chris Kenneally. “You just never knew what kind of clownery you were going to get out of Milo – and it’s impossible for a publisher to get behind an author like that.”

Every Friday, CCC’s “Beyond the Book” speaks with the editors and reporters of “Publishers Weekly” for an early look at the news that publishers, editors, authors, agents and librarians will be talking about when they return to work on Monday.

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