The tell-all memoir by the Duke of Sussex will have to sell "a lot of copies" to justify its reported $20 million (£14.5 million) advance, a literary agent has claimed.
Last week, it was announced to the public that Prince Harry is set to release the book, which will provide an "accurate and wholly truthful" first-hand account of his life, sharing his "adventures, losses, and life lessons".
Although the exact contents of the book remain unclear, a source has claimed that a "tsunami of fear" exists within Royal circles about what the Duke will choose to include in the memoir, reports The Mirror.
The publisher, Penguin Random House, has said any proceeds made from the book will go to charity – although this has not yet been confirmed.
Speaking on the Royal Beat on True Royalty TV, leading literary agent and royal biographer Andrew Lownie spoke about the reported advance.
He said: "You've got to sell a lot of books.
"A lot of publishers will take these books for reasons of prestige. That it is good, free publicity and they know they’re going to take a hit on it so there is no way they’re going to earn $20million on it."
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He added that the release date – billed for late 2022 – may be sooner than expected.
Andrew said: "I suspect the book may come out sooner than they say. They often will pretend a book comes out in a year’s time and everyone will work to that. If there’s a spoiler coming up, then you slip it out a bit sooner."
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Harry has been working on the memoir with the American ghostwriter JR Moehringer for nearly a year, but the Firm are still said to be caught off-guard by the announcement last week.
Vanity Fair royal editor Katie Nicholl, who also appeared on the programme, believes the prospect of the upcoming book will make the royals "nervous" but that it should "come good for them".
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She explained: "The Palace didn’t know [about the book deal]. The family didn’t know. This has come as a real shock… a bit like the pregnancy announcement. I think they get a very brief [notice], like a half-hour before and then the news is made public. They are on the back foot all the time.
"This book will make [the Royal Family] very nervous as will many events of the future. But it will come good for them because the Royal Family will always be the Royal Family. So I suppose there is a level of comfort in that when you see how history has played out until now."
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As well as the Duke's tell-all book, the Finding Freedom biography of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle is due to be re-released next month, complete with a new epilogue.
It will cover the couple's "heartbreak" following the death of Prince Philip and recount "Meghan's emotional healing journey from losing a child to the birth of their daughter".
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Publisher HarperCollins said the new paperback edition will share: "Behind the scenes of Harry and Meghan's groundbreaking interview with Oprah, details behind the couple's move to California (and) the various philanthropic and business endeavours the Sussexes have been involved with since their move and what's to come with Archewell Productions."
It will also feature: "The continuous challenges the couple face regarding privacy and the British press (and) the heartbreak the couple felt over Prince Philip's death."
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