Prince Harry’s memoir ‘Spare’ sells 3.2 million copies in first week

It may set records for nonfiction, but no book in memory approaches the pace of the final Harry Potter novel

Copies of the new book by Prince Harry called 'Spare' are displayed at Sherman's book store in Freeport, Maine, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.
Copies of the new book by Prince Harry called 'Spare' are displayed at Sherman's book store in Freeport, Maine, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023.Robert F. Bukaty (AP)

Prince Harry’s Spare sold more than 3.2 million copies worldwide after just one week of publication and will likely rank among the bestselling memoirs of all time.

Penguin Random House announced Thursday that Prince Harry’s headline-making memoir sold 1.6 million copies in the US alone. It’s a number comparable to first week sales for blockbusters such as former President Barack Obama’s A Promised Land and former first lady Michelle Obama’s Becoming, which has sold more than 17 million copies since coming out in 2018.

The British publisher announced last week that Spare sold 400,000 copies in the United Kingdom in all formats – hardback, e-book and audio – on its first day.

The total sales announced for Spare are for print, audio and digital editions in the major English-language markets: the US, UK, Canada and Australia. The book has come out in 15 other languages, and editions in 10 additional languages are expected.

Spare may set records for nonfiction, but no book in memory approaches the pace of the final Harry Potter novel, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, which in 2007 sold more than 10 million copies in its first 24 hours.

Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, worked on his book with American novelist J.R. Moehringer, who also helped write Andre Agassi’s acclaimed Open and is the author of The Tender Bar, a memoir adapted by George Clooney into a movie starring Ben Affleck.

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