Aster, an imprint within Octopus Publishing Group, has acquired hybrid self-help book The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober by writer and editor Catherine Gray.
Stephanie Jackson, publishing director at Octopus, acquired rights for the UK and Commonwealth (excluding Canada) from Rachel Mills at Furniss Lawton. It will be published in December 2017 at £8.99.
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is a book, part self-help, part memoir, designed to topple preconceptions about drinking in a "funny, warm, accessible and moving" way. According to Octopus, it will show readers - whatever kind of drinker they are - they don’t need booze to be happy and "why a sober life can be more intoxicating than you ever imagined". It will also shine a light on society’s championing of booze and shunning of sobriety.
Gray said, having decided to ditch alcohol four years ago, that she discovered she was happier sober than she had been drinking, finding herself with more time, energy and money. She saved £23,000 over four years, and, according to Aster, she deepened friendships and revived family relationships, while also gaining "better skin, a tighter body, tanned legs for the first time ever, the ability to sleep for eight uninterrupted hours, a bone-deep sense of wellbeing, a totally turned-around positive outlook and an infinitely more successful career".
Among the book's features are "inspirational" takeaway tips as well as "convincing" research as to why sobriety is better, and diary excerpts from Gray's "life drinking vs. life sober".
Gray said the book was "mostly for the sober-curious, as well as the trying-to-be-sober and the already-sober". She continued: "It's for people who want to quit drinking for six months to save for a house deposit and clear up their skin, as well as those who want to quit for good. The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober is one book that ticks a dozen boxes."
Jackson predicted the "huge trend" for sobriety was growing. In the publishing world, this has resulted in new titles, including Coronet's recently announced acquisition of The Sober Diaries, a "brave, honest and at times hilarious" account of how one mother gave up drinking.
"Sobriety is a huge trend that’s growing fast, with a record 64% of Brits wanting to drink less," Jackson comented. "What Catherine communicates so brilliantly is that sobriety doesn’t have to be a drag – and you don’t need booze to be happy. Her story will inspire you, her reportage will surprise you and her wise, witty and warm counsel will give you all the encouragement you need to cut down – or even quit – for good."
The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober will be published on 28th December by Aster in paperback.