Prince Harry's memoir 'Spare' sells over 1.4 million copies its first day of release

Prince Harry's Book "Spare" is on display at a New York City bookstore on Jan.10, 2023. The memoir has topped 1.5 million in sales on its first day. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI
1 of 5 | Prince Harry's Book "Spare" is on display at a New York City bookstore on Jan.10, 2023. The memoir has topped 1.5 million in sales on its first day. Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 12 (UPI) -- Prince Harry's memoir Spare released on Tuesday amid a flurry of media appearances has already sold over 1.4 million copies.

Per Penguin Random House, the publishers of the record-setting memoirs by Barack and Michelle Obama, the book's sales from the U.S., Canada, and the United Kingdom include hardcover, audiobook, and e-book versions.


Spare sold 400,000 copies in the United Kingdom alone, making it the fastest-selling non-fiction book in the country's history.

"We always knew this book would fly but it is exceeding even our most bullish expectations," Larry Finlay, the managing director of Transworld Penguin Random House, told The Guardian.

"As far as we know, the only books to have sold more in their first day are those starring the other Harry [Potter]."

In the memoir, Harry, 38, details his tumultuous relationship with the British royal family including his father King Charles, and his brother Prince William. He also talks about grieving over his mother, Princess Diana, who was killed in a car crash in Paris in 1997.


In the book, as excerpted by People, he wrote about his feelings after asking to drive through the Pont de l'Alma tunnel that his mother died in, at 65 mph, the same speed the car she was a passenger in was going when it crashed.

"It had been a very bad idea," Harry wrote. "I'd had plenty of bad ideas in my twenty-three years, but this one was uniquely ill-conceived. I'd told myself that I wanted closure, but I didn't really. Deep down, I'd hoped to feel in that tunnel what I'd felt when JLP gave me the police files -- disbelief. Doubt. Instead, that was the night all doubt fell away.

She's dead, I thought. My God, she's really gone for good."

Harry said that it was the first time he realized his mother was truly gone and that instead of diminishing his pain over the loss, it made it much worse.

Harry has been on a major press tour, sharing details about the book and the royal family with interviewers ranging from Good Morning America's Michael Strahan to Stephen Colbert.

Reviews of the book have ranged from sympathetic to scathing, but they are not slowing sales.


"We sold books in every location -- and we sold a lot of them," Shannon DeVito, the director of books at Barnes & Noble told the New York Times. "Some people came in right before work, some people came in on their lunch break, some people came in after," she continued. "But the velocity of sales throughout the day was gigantic."

Reportedly, Spare was sold for $20 million as part of an overall deal that includes his wife Meghan and other book projects the couple may release.

"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," Gina Centrello, president and publisher of the Random House Group, said in a statement.

"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."

Michelle Obama's memoir Becoming remains the gold standard of memoirs selling over 15 million copies. It was published in November 2018 and has become one of the best-selling books of all time. It has outsold her husband's memoir A Promised Land which has sold 8 million copies since its release in 2020.


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