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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Britney Spears’ memoir sells 1.1 million copies in US in first week

By Julia Jacobs

Britney Spears’ much-anticipated memoir, “The Woman in Me,” sold 1.1 million copies in all formats in the United States in its first week on sale, the book’s publisher, Gallery Books, announced last week.

The early sales number puts Spears’ book in the ballpark of some of the bestselling celebrity memoirs in recent years. In the same time frame, Prince Harry’s memoir sold 1.6 million copies in the United States, while that of Mary Trump, former president Donald Trump’s niece, sold 1.4 million when it debuted in 2020.

Spears and her team took an atypical approach toward promoting the book, in which Spears recalls her rise to fame as a teenage pop sensation, followed by her years spent in a strictly controlled conservatorship. Unlike Prince Harry, who participated in a series of high-profile interviews to promote his book’s release — including appearances on “60 Minutes” and “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” — Spears did not do any face-to-face interviews. She instead provided People magazine with sneak-peek excerpts and emailed quotes and promoted the book online to her millions of social media followers.

As has been the case with other recent big sellers, the 1.1 million sales figure for Spears’ memoir included purchases of the audiobook. It was read by actress Michelle Williams, though Spears read a short introduction.

A news release from Gallery Books, an imprint of Simon & Schuster, announcing the sales numbers quoted Spears as saying: “I poured my heart and soul into my memoir, and I am grateful to my fans and readers around the world for their unwavering support.”

(Published figures put the price tag for Spears’ memoir between $12.5 million and $15 million.)

In its 275 pages, “The Woman in Me” includes Spears’ recollections of her childhood growing up in the small Louisiana town of Kentwood, her early years on “The Mickey Mouse Club” and her hard work in the recording studio to produce her first album after landing a record deal at 15 years old. Its most talked-about revelations center on her relationship with Justin Timberlake — during which, she writes, she got an abortion after he said they were too young to be parents. The book frequently returns to the challenges of living under intense public scrutiny, particularly when it came to her body, her sexuality, her relationships and her parenting of her two sons.

The book is Spears’ first full account of her 13 years under a conservatorship, which her father, James P. Spears, was granted in 2008 amid a custody battle and Britney Spears’ series of public struggles. A judge terminated the legal arrangement in 2021. In the memoir, Spears describes an adulthood in which security personnel dispensed her medications and put parental controls on her iPhone.

Kristen McLean, an industry analyst for Circana BookScan, which tracks book sales numbers, said Wednesday that Spears’ memoir seemed as though it had a good chance of surpassing 1 million in print sales in the United States this year. Only one adult nonfiction title — Prince Harry’s “Spare” — has reached that height.

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