Picador has pre-empted memoir Help Me by freelance journalist Marianne Power. The "moving" and "Bridget Jones-level entertaining" non-fiction book follows Power's "wild experiment" to road test one self-help book a month for a year to see what impact it would have on her life.
Picador's Kris Doyle secured UK and Commonwealth rights from Rachel Mills at Furniss Lawton. Rights have since sold in a further eight territories in a series of "major" deals and pre-empts, and Rich Green at ICM has "multiple" offers for screen rights.
The book is will resonate "with anyone who’s ever dreamed of finding happiness", according to Picador. Power's agent, Mills, called her "a rare talent with a unique voice; hilarious, warm, poignant and searingly honest".
"I think that a lot of us are a bit lost and trying to figure out a way through," commented Power. "At the start of the challenge my life was mostly debt, hangovers and Netflix-marathons. I hoped that by the end I’d be a green-juice-swilling, 5am-rising gazillionaire, bouncing round town to meet the cashmere-jumper-wearing man of my dreams. But am I? You’ll have to read the book to find out..."
Doyle said: "I adored Help Me from chapter one. Marianne’s story is Bridget Jones-level entertaining, but it also asks whether our modern obsession with self-improvement can ever give us what we’re really looking for. I cheered Marianne on in success and winced as she stumbled to some agonising lows, and I was desperate for everything to work out for her at the end. I was completely captivated by her voice; she’s a terrifically talented writer. The entire office felt the same: everyone loved and related to this book, whether they were self-help fans or not."
Picador will publish Help Me in hardback, e-book and audio in September 2018.