Sphere wins erotica series

Sphere has won rights in a "choose your own adventure" erotica series following a fast-moving auction, with the books written by three South African authors under the pseudonym Helena S Paige.

Junior commissioning editor Manpreet Grewal bought UK and Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada and South Africa, in three titles at auction from Oli Munson at A M Heath, with the agent reporting that "pre-empts were coming in and auctions were underway just hours after the proposal".

The first title, A Girl Walks Into a Bar . . ., will be published in the UK in e-book in summer 2013 with physical publication in November. Translation rights have been sold in 10 countries after auction or pre-empt with the German auction entering its fifth round. Morrow won the US auction, and Jonathan Ball will publish in South Africa.

Grewal said: "The A Girl Walks In... series is inspired. To allow a woman to be in charge of her own erotic destiny, to relinquish control to her completely, is uniquely empowering and made these books stand out for all the right reasons. The concept is completely addictive, the storytelling gripping.

"The entire team is behind this and it's going to be an utter pleasure to publish this series on the Sphere list."