He’s made a pledge that could bring him a fortune, but crippling pressure builds on Prince Harry behind the scenes.
JD Salinger took ten years to write Catcher in the rye. The first installment of Harry Potter lasted six years.
Putting pen to paper, or more precisely today, getting your hands on MacBook Air, is no small feat, even for those who have earned their publisher stripes. Too bad then the novice scribe, Prince Harry, who is currently working hard on his first book, a memoir, which will be released next year.
In July, news broke that the royal was going to release a book, making him the oldest member of the British royal family to become a writer since the Duke of Windsor, the other famous bolter, published A king’s story in 1951. (Although former King Edward VIII at least had the tact to wait 15 years to publish his revealer.)
Harry, reports quickly speculated, would make around $ 27 million, not bad at all for a totally untested writer who earned a B in Art and a D in Geography on his final exams. (His ghostwriter, Pulitzer Prize-winning JR Moehringer, was reportedly awarded $ 1.3 million for his efforts.)
The timeliness of the book seemed on par with the highly lucrative course, joining the seemingly ever-growing list of eight- and nine-figure deals he and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex have signed since bolting the royal stable.
Lost in all the hubbub was the fact that the stakes here are gigantic and whether or not the way his book works will serve as a pivotal moment and litmus test for how well the Sussexes have converted the American public to their cause.
Now, new details have emerged as to how Harry The Writer is doing as he walks away, with the feeling growing that the pressure is on the rookie scribe.
On the one hand, the royal won’t be the only big name to release a palace revealer in 2022 with the announcement that Tina Brown, the author of Diana’s definitive biography and the former Vanity Show publisher, will publish The Palace Papers: Inside the Windsor House – The Truth and the Torment in April.
It will be far – FAR – from another on the list of Sussex Adjacent Biographies to Seize as Brown is impeccably linked to the book’s publisher promising he will tell the ‘real story’ of the Windsor House from Diana. , Princess of The Death of Wales and that she “will irrevocably change the way readers perceive and understand the Royal Family”.
Already, it has been reported that Buckingham Palace is “preparing” for the book to hit the shelves, even so far away. The hatches must be closed. The corgis sedated. The priceless Meissen porcelain out of reach.
Brown’s release date, months before Harry’s, could derail his book’s success.
Take the still unanswered question of which member of the royal family made racist comments about the skin color of the Sussexes’ unborn son. This is exactly the caliber of nuclear-grade DIRT that Brown has made a name for herself serving, raising the very real possibility that she may name the Windsor in question.
If that happens, it could be a big blow to Harry and his publisher Penguin Random House.
This weekend, The sun reported that, according to royal insiders, Harry is “under extreme pressure to identify” the anonymous royal in his autobiography. Leaving aside the devastation it could cause to his intra-family relationships and his chances of ever returning to the balcony of Buckingham Palace one day, from a purely business standpoint, Brown beating him with the telltale punch would be devastating.
People are not going to stand in line to buy a book whose biggest secret was revealed months ago.
The publication of Brown’s book will be accompanied by a wave of global publicity. The danger here for Harry and his team is that by the time his book is due out “end of 2022”, some fatigue will have set in. Getting the public to part with their hard-earned cash may well be a much more difficult task if it comes after months of juicy royal disclosures sucking the oxygen out of the press and social media.
Then there’s the very sharp double-edged sword situation happening here. Do not really air out dirty laundry, and the book may collapse. After all, no one is spending $ 30 to read Harry’s Daily Activated Cashew Diet and The Power of Compassion or that once Princess Anne was too competitive playing Monopoly at Sandringham. Lukewarm glimpses of life in Windsor are hardly the makings of the sales gold.
Also consider here that checks for $ 27 million are usually only given out in exchange for the promise of revelations about the dirty laundry, not 100,000 words about its conversion to green juice and the power of meditation.
However, if he satisfied the most lascivious desires of his editors (and let’s be honest, all of us too) and really messed up the inner workings of The Firm, he would risk irrevocably damaging his already tenuous relationship with his family.
Royal biographer Penny Junor, addressing The sun, said: “He’s researching his mother’s life, so he’s going to talk about his parents’ marriage, the breakup, the adventures. It could be incredibly damaging to her father and Camilla.
So how does Harry appease his lords and trading masters while not cutting off the last remaining sons with his father, brother and grandmother?
We also learned this week that if anyone is worried that the Duke will not apply and leave all the hard literary yards to their nigger, think again. The sun also reported that “Harry has contacted old friends of Princess Diana” and that “Palace sources are” surprised “at his involvement.” (Well, that’s a bit of a cheap shot, isn’t it?)
Ask yourself: Why would the 37-year-old reach out to his mother’s friends?
The answer could lie in something he and his brother Prince William revealed in 2017. When the brothers were interviewed for the documentary Diana, Our mother: her life and her heritage, one of the filmmakers later revealed that “they prefaced their interviews by saying,” We don’t really have many memories of our mother. “”
Here’s another question worth considering: who will buy Harry’s magnum opus?
A July poll found that 67% of Britons were not interested in the book, while in the US, 51% said they “were not at all interested”. Only 9% of Americans surveyed were “very interested” in the job, while 16% were “somewhat interested”.
The success of this book is so much at stake, more potentially than the Sussexes’ Netflix and Spotify deals.
See, other than the one-off 33-minute podcast they released in December of last year, the couple have yet to release anything they’ve created or made. The book could end up serving as an early warning system for the kind of public reception their other efforts might receive.
Also consider what it would mean if Harry telling his story, sharing all his pain and hurt, was greeted with what amounts to a collective global shrug at the cash registers. If this sincere outpouring does not translate into serious sales figures, it would bode badly for the bankability of the Sussex brand in the future.
If this literary outing fails to ignite bestseller lists, then the chances of juicier deals slipping down the couple’s path seem far less likely.
That is to say that an extraordinary sum now rests on the performance of this book, nothing less than the future of his relationship with the royal family and whether he and his wife Meghan can continue to transform their status of discontented. into a swollen bank account.
That’s a tremendous amount of stress and tension for a beginning writer.
After Salinger published The Catcher In The Rye, and facing the worldwide fame that accompanied its publication, he would often have argued, “Why can’t my life be mine?”
It’s a feeling that Harry could be deeply linked to these days. Well, that is, if he has the time, with all the typing he needs to crack.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a number of major Australian media titles.