Harry warned of risk of ‘mean swipe’ to long term success of Spare

Prince Harry ‘won’t burn bridges’ says commentator

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The success of Prince Harry’s book will depend on the Duke of Sussex’s attitude and dedication to promoting his memoir, according to a publishing expert. Discussing the deal struck by the royal and his publisher Penguin Random House, literary agent Peter Cox at Litopia told Express.co.uk: “Yes, Penguin Random House are certainly taking a gamble with this project. But that’s the nature of publishing these days, it’s a casino.

“And Penguin Random House win more often than they lose. Mostly, it depends on Harry’s attitude to the project.”

He added: “If he really believes in it and the message it contains – and he’s prepared to get out there and put his heart into selling it, then it could be spectacularly successful! It’s really all down to Harry, now.”

Speaking about the possible publicity campaign to advertise the book, Mr Cox said he found “fascinating” the possibility the Duke of Sussex could head on a proper book tour “which would mean engaging with critical media – local radio, maybe, or even Joe Rogan.”

He added: “If Harry really wants us to see the real person, then he needs to step out from the royal’s tightly-controlled media bubble into the real world. Take a risk!” 

However, he noted Harry’s level of involvement in his book’s publicity campaign would have likely been part of a contractual negotiation, with the publisher possibly trying to get the royal to commit to certain events and the Duke resisting all or part of their demands.

Further discussing how long the memoir could be at the top of the selling charts as well as its £28 cover price, the expert added: “If it’s seen as a truly historic book then the cover price will be justified and it will have a long shelf life, so will earn the publisher’s advance back over many profitable years.

“But if it’s seen as a mean swipe at family members – who can’t really fight back – then I suspect it will quickly disappear from the bookshelves.”

Mr Cox discussed whether Prince Harry’s memoir, titled Spare, can retain a bestseller status for a long time but has no doubt it will immediately “shoot straight to the top of the bestseller charts” upon its release.

Similarly, another expert in the publishing industry, Jane Tabachnick, believes it likely the memoir will be an “immediate bestseller”.

Ms Tabachnick, publisher at Simply Good Press and publishing consultant at Jane Tabachnick & Co, told Express.co.uk: “I did think the book would be an immediate bestseller, and seeing as it is now available on pre-sale, it is already a bestselling book.”

As noted by Ms Tabachnick, the fact that within hours of the launch of the preorders last week the book hit the top of the selling charts for all books on online seller Amazon in Canada, the UK and the US suggests the memoir could sell hundreds of thousands of copies following its official release on January 10 next year.

The publishing consultant added the sales will likely be pushed also by the “keen interest” existing in the Royal Family.

She said: “I believe readers have a keen interest in the British Royal Family, especially from the personal perspective of someone so closely in line to the throne at one point.

“There is also the nosy interest into the family drama that has been playing out in the public.”

This first-hand account and inside look into the Firm and the Duke’s life, especially if it’s not a glossy rendition, will be “irresistible” to many, she added.

The book was first announced in July last year, when a statement shared by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s organisation Archewell said the Duke was authoring an “intimate” memoir. 

Speaking about the project, he said: “I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity to share what I’ve learned over the course of my life so far and excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful.” 

Last week, Penguin Random House shared further details about the book – including its title, release date, front cover and price, and described it as “landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief”.

Prince Harry said he will give all his proceeds from the book to charity and has already donated $1.5million to Sentebale, the organisation he co-founded in 2006 to help vulnerable children in Lesotho.

He has further pledged £300,000 for WellChild, one of his patronages, which allows children with life-limiting illnesses to be treated at home rather than in hospital whenever possible.

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