Spare breaks all non-fiction records
In November 2020, former president of the United States, Barack Obama, released his memoir A Promised Land. According to Associated Press reports, the book sold a breath-taking 890,000 copies in the US and Canada on its very first day. First week sales were 1.7 million copies, setting a record.
In January 2023, the United Kingdom’s Duke of Sussex — better known as Prince Harry — smashed all non-fiction sales records as his ‘explosive’ memoir Spare sold an incredible 1.43 million copies in the UK, the US and Canada within 24 hours of release.
The enormous public interest in Spare is unsurprising. Britain’s royal family has long been an object of fascination for millions of people. Intrigues, conspiracies and deeply unsavoury scandals have plagued the family responsible for colonising almost a quarter of the planet over a period of 300 years.
Recently, Harry has been the centre of attention for a number of reasons, not least being his marriage to an American, mixed-race, former actress who has been relentlessly vilified by the British media ever since the couple’s engagement in November 2017.
Reviews of Spare call it everything from “salacious” to “tone deaf”, from “unflinching” to “highly entertaining”, and from the “weirdest book ever written by a royal” to “elevated by a gifted ghostwriter”.
But whether or not it is literary trash, Spare is certainly plenty of cash for everyone involved. Harry was rumoured to have been paid an advance of $20 million and, as sales keep rising, the book is pulling money in hand over fist for its publishers.
Published in Dawn, Books & Authors, January 22nd, 2023