Prince Harry seemed to be everywhere in advance of the rollout of his new memoir, Spare—on 60 Minuteson Netflix, on shelves in Spain when bookstores accidentally sold the much-anticipated book early (oops).
The huge media blitz leads to the natural question about Prince Harry’s book sales: How many copies will Spare sell following today’s release date, and could it set a publishing record?
The publisher, Penguin Random House, is betting big on the new book. It printed 2.5 million hardcover editions just in North America. The memoir holds the top spot, based on preorders, on Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble in the US.
And the frenzy is even greater in the UK, as you’d imagine, where the royal family is a very big deal and many remain up in arms over the retreat of Prince Harry and wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, to the United States to raise their families.
So book sales for Spare will likely be huge. They may even outsell a recent recordholder, Barack Obama.
The Obamas Move A Lot Of Books
The former president’s latest memoir, A Promised Landset a record in the US by selling 890,000 copies in its first day of release in fall 2020. That book, also published by Penguin Random House, also became the publisher’s all-time best mark for a single day, outselling novels by John Grisham. and the Fifty Shades of Gray series.
In its first month out, Promised sold 3.3 million copies—and bowing around the holidays certainly didn’t hurt, since many people bought the book as a gift. By comparison, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush’s post-presidency memoirs sold between 3.5 million and 4 million total. Promised was the bestselling book of 2020.
Spare will need to outsell both Obamas to break a record, though. One of the other most successful memoirs ever, Michelle Obama’s Becomingsold 725,000 on its first day out.
Becoming was one of the most successful books of the past decade, and Penguin Random House has said it’s likely the bestselling memoir ever. It sold 1.4 million in its first week and tallied more than 10 million copies and counting worldwide since its 2018 release, including 7 million in just its first two months out. Like her husband’s, Michelle Obama’s memoir finished as the top-selling book in the year it was released.
Princess Diana’s Book Also Sold Millions
Prince Harry is not the first person in his family to publish a much-anticipated tell-all. His mother, the late Princess Diana, cooperated with writer Andrew Morton on his biography. Diana: Her True Story. Released in 1992, the book sold 5 million copies, or double the initial print for Spare.
Given the great interest in Prince Harry and his family, it’s a decent bet he’ll sell more. A recent Netflix series, Harry & Meghan, featuring intimate interviews with the royal couple, drew huge viewership for the streamer. Sunday evening’s Anderson Cooper interview with Prince Harry on 60 Minutes averaged 6.9 million US households, according to Samba TV, while another 2.8 million tuned in across the sea in Great Britain.
The book’s biggest revelations have been leaked, including a physical altercation between Prince Harry and his older brother, Prince William.