Ash Barty continues to serve as an ace in his post-tennis career, becoming one of Australia’s most popular athlete-turned-authors, and he has some household names.
Grand Slam tennis champion Barty, who is this week’s Buy Australian Made campaign ambassador, has sold more than 160,000 copies in his pair of forays into the book market since retiring last year and is on the verge of 200,000.
Her autobiography, My Dream Time, is approaching 100,000 copies, and her children’s book series, Little Ash, has also surpassed 70,000 in official sales, with follow-up orders nearing 100,000.
Both are published by HarperCollins, who are “delighted” with the result, according to Helen Littleton, the company’s head of Australian non-fiction.
Barty’s Life Story is easily the #1 Australian women’s sports autobiography recorded by leading sales analysis company Nielsen BookScan since they began recording sales in December 2002.
As well as eclipsing former prime minister Julia Gillard (more than 68,000), Barty also passed riding legend Bart Cummings (more than 87,000), according to BookScan.
Barty’s autobiography is closing in on Ricky Ponting’s life story (over 97,000), while Ponting’s team-mate Adam Gilchrist (over 131,000) remains ahead with Steve Waugh’s chart-topper Out Of My Comfort Zone selling more than 200,000 market-strong , than the book. it is today.
“I’ve been very fortunate to have had so much love and support for my career when I was playing and I’m glad they enjoyed reading about it and hopefully there are things in there that they didn’t know.” Barty told News Corp about his autobiography.
“There were a few episodes that I held pretty close, and I just hope they enjoyed the story.
“My grandmother said there were many times I wanted to ask you questions and reading the book answered them all for me.”
“The people who were so close to me during my journey still learned something new.
“(Junior coach) Jim Joyce is slowly going through it, and he said he can’t believe how much I remember and what a big impact some small conversations can have.”
The success of The Little Ash series would prompt Barty to release four more books to make it a 10 book series.
“I was a little nervous about how it would be received. Being a reader myself and knowing how many great children’s books are out there, I was nervous, but it was exceptional.”