Prince Harry’s Memoir ‘Spare’ Sets U.K. Record For Fastest-Selling Nonfiction Book, Publisher Says
Prince Harry’s memoir Spare—which was leaked last week—became the U.K.’s fastest-selling nonfiction book ever on the day of its official release Tuesday, the book’s publisher said, as Harry continues his controversial press blitz to promote the tell-all that reveals intimate details about his life and the royal family.
Spare sold 400,000 copies across physical, e-book and audio formats, according to Transworld Penguin Random House, a British division of Penguin Random House.
The only books to have sold more on their first day are those concerning “the other Harry,” Transworld managing director Larry Finlay said in a statement, referring to the best-selling fiction books in the Harry Potter series.
Waterstones, the largest bookstore chain in the U.K., said that leading up to publication Spare had garnered among the most pre-orders the company had seen for a title in a decade, and on Tuesday, stores were reporting “unprecedented numbers” of customers picking up online orders, the chain’s nonfiction category manager John Cotterill told The Bookseller.
Spare has been the best-selling book on Amazon since last week.
Spanish-language versions of Spare were mistakenly put on shelves on Thursday in Spain, leading some of the memoir’s most shocking inclusions to leak days before the book’s official publication date. Among the most controversial statements Harry made in the book include allegations his brother Prince William physically knocked him down during a 2019 argument, details about Harry’s icy relationship with his father King Charles III and his wife Camilla, Queen Consort, claims that Harry killed 25 people during his time in the British Army and descriptions of how Harry lost his virginity and used drugs as a teenager.
Spare is the latest media project taken on by Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, since the pair stepped down as senior working members of the royal family in early 2020 and left the U.K. In December, the pair released their Netflix series Harry & Meghan, which brought in views from 28 million households during the first week of streaming, the platform’s largest documentary premiere ever. To promote Spare, Harry has done interviews with both British and American media outlets, causing controversy among critics who have accused him of selling out his family. Harry defended himself in an interview with Good Morning America last week, saying his family leaked stories about Harry and Meghan first. Harry told Anderson Cooper on 60 Minutes that he decided to go public after private attempts to solve issues with his backfired and led to “briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife.”
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