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bitchy | Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ is the UK’s fastest-selling nonfiction book of all time


All of the photo agencies we use have “glamour shots” of Prince Harry’s Spare – photographers really went into bookstores and posed hardcopies in various ways and it’s amazing. Anyway, as everyone predicted, Spare is an enormous publishing coup. It will likely go down as one of the biggest nonfiction books of all time. What’s even funnier is that even after Fleet Street has done the most to lie, harass and threaten Harry, British people are buying the book in droves.

Prince Harry’s Spare has sold almost half a million copies in the UK in its first week on sale, making it the fastest-selling nonfiction book since records began. According to Nielsen, Spare sold a total of 467,183 print copies through UK retailers in its first week of release, making it No 1 on the book charts. This does not include ebook sales or audiobook copies.

Penguin Random House (PRH) UK said the book had sold 750,000 copies in the UK across all formats – hardbacks, ebooks and audiobooks – in its first week. Of these, 400,000 copies were on its first day on sale in the UK.

Larry Finlay, managing director of Transworld, the PRH division which published the book in the UK, said Guinness World Records had confirmed that Spare was the fastest-selling nonfiction book ever on its first day of publication. Finlay said as well as being the fastest selling, “we now know that it is also the biggest selling memoir ever in its first week of publication”.

Waterstones said the pre-orders for Spare, which are counted in the first official week of sales, were “the largest on record for a nonfiction title” for the retailer, with nonfiction category manager John Cotterill saying they were “delighted with the first week’s performance”.

“Waterstones’ sales of Spare have been exceptional,” Cotterill said. “Seven days after publication, Spare is one of Waterstones’ fastest-selling books in a decade.”

The book also remains No 1 on the Amazon bestsellers chart, and is the site’s bestselling nonfiction title. The US had originally printed two million copies, and the publisher is now reprinting.

[From The Guardian]

Again, that’s just British sales. I assumed – and I still assume – that the biggest markets for Spare will be outside of the UK. Harry might be a British prince, but he’s become a global icon, and this kind of “tell-all memoir-writing” hasn’t happened in decades for someone in Harry’s position. Now, do I also love the fact that British people want to read the book for themselves instead of just believing the Daily Mail’s version of everything? Yes.

Also: Spare is Ireland’s best-selling non-fiction book since records began. 20,584 copies of Spare have been sold in Ireland in its first week.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images, Backgrid.


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