Prince Harry’s memoir, Spare, certainly is a strike, in the bowling sense of the word. Customers proved just how excited they were for the release of Prince Harry’s Spare, with it being the fastest-selling non-fiction book in Indigo’s history. We chatted with Rania Husseini, Indigo senior vice-president, print, to discuss Spare’s recent success and this year’s book trends. —Noa Nichol
Hi Rania! Please tell us a bit about yourself to start.
I’ve been with Indigo since 1989 and have been on the print team for the last five years. I’m a book-lover through and through, with my favourite books to read being any kind of nonfiction.
Customers proved just how excited they were for the release of Prince Harry’s Spare, with it being the fastest-selling non-fiction book in Indigo’s history. What were some of the incredible stats around this?
Yes, the public has shown exceptional interest in Prince Harry’s book. We knew this title would be big, and on the day of release we started to realize just how big, as Spare became the fastest selling non-fiction book in Indigo’s history.
What province/city scooped up the most copies of the book? Why do you think that is?
Ontarians were by far most excited about the release of Prince Harry’s Spare. 57 per cent of retail sales and almost 60 per cent of indigo.ca visits and units sold online were from Ontario customers. Our store in Oshawa, Ontario sold the most copies on release day out of all Indigo locations across Canada with Indigo’s Bay & Bloor store in Toronto as a close runner up. In B.C., Indigo Langley and Chapters Nanaimo led the way in retail sales on release day with Indigo Grandview Corners (Surrey) and Indigo Robson close behind.
How about online, in terms of search? How did Spare fare?
Spare was the #1 search term on Indigo.ca on release day, January 10, 2023. The book sold 40 per cent more copies online that day than Indigo’s previous record holder, Barack Obama’s A Promised Land.
Why the astounding interest in Harry’s insights, do you think?
In the book, Prince Harry lets readers in on intimate moments from his life that have been kept private up to this point. Spare offers readers a candid look at one of the world’s most publicly recognized families.
Have you read Spare? What was the most surprising thing you learned?
Having now read Spare myself, I am delighted to see that there is so much more to the story than was originally reported in the leaked passages. It is beautifully written and the additional context provides a much deeper perspective to Prince Harry’s experience. I’m thrilled that so many Canadians have chosen to read the book for themselves, despite the early commentary. I have no doubt that the more people read it, the more they will recommend it!