Prince Harry’s memoir Spare sells over 1.4 million copies on first day

‘Spare’ became the fastest-selling non-fiction book after its official release on 10 January

Maanya Sachdeva
Thursday 12 January 2023 09:43 GMT
Spare: Revelations from Prince Harry's book

The English-language edition of Prince Harry’s unflinching memoirSpare sold more than 1.4 million copies on its release day, the book’s publisher has announced.

The book was released by Penguin Random House on Tuesday (10 January), five days after it was leaked in Spain.

The publishing company said that the book’s English language edition sold over 1,430,000 units –including print and digital formats – in the United States, Canada and the UK on the first day it hit bookshelves.

The autobiography was ghostwritten by Pulitzer Prize winner JR Moehringer, and contains several startling revelations about the prince’s relationship with the royal family.

In her four-star review of Spare for The Independent, critic Lucy Pavia said Harry’s choice of collaborator was an early indication that the book would be no curling celebrity memoir – describing it as “breathtakingly frank”.

The book includes claims that Prince William attacked Harry during a confrontation at Nottingham Cottage over the Duke of Sussex’s wife Meghan Markle. He also alleges the Prince of Wales teased him about his panic attacks, and that the King put his own interests above Harry’s and was jealous of Meghan.

Harry also writes about losing his virginity to an unnamed older woman behind a “very busy pub”, taking cocaine to “feel different”, and his loathing of the British press.

Random House Group president and publisher Gina Centrello said Spare is a book “that demands to be read”.

She explained via the Press Association: “Spare is the story of someone we may have thought we already knew, but now we can truly come to understand Prince Harry through his own words.

“Looking at these extraordinary first day sales, readers clearly agree, Spare is a book that demands to be read, and it is a book we are proud to publish.”

Spare was published in a total of 16 languages worldwide and was released simultaneously in different formats in North America by Random House US and Random House Canada, and in the United Kingdom by Transworld.

“As far as we know, the only books to have sold more in their first day are those starring the other Harry (Potter),” Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld said, after it was reported that Spare had become the fastest-selling non-fiction book ever.

Prince Harry
Prince Harry (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Penguin Random House said the first US print run of Spare was two million copies, but that the book has gone back to press over its demand.

The book is being sold for £14, not the recommended retail price of £28, in places such as Waterstones and WH Smith as well as online at Amazon.

Additional reporting by Press Association.

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