Sphere Books
Parent companyLittle, Brown/Hachette
Founded1966; 58 years ago (1966)[1]
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Headquarters locationLondon
Publication typesPaperbacks, hardbacks
Nonfiction topicsBiography, autobiography
Fiction genresScience fiction, fantasy, occult
Official websitelittlebrown.co.uk/imprint/sphere/page/lbbg-imprint-sphere/

Sphere Books is the name of two British paperback publishers.


The original Sphere Books was launched in 1966 by Thomson Corporation.[1] Sphere was sold to Pearson PLC in 1985 and became part of Penguin.[2] The name was retired in 1990.[citation needed]

In 1976, Sphere paid $225,000 for the British publishing rights from Ballantine Books for the novelisation of a forthcoming science fiction film, Star Wars: From the Adventures of Luke Skywalker by George Lucas (ghostwritten by Alan Dean Foster). The book, like the film Star Wars released the following year, was an enormous success and sold out its initial print run.[3][4] Sphere also published the UK editions of Conan fantasy series by Robert E. Howard.[5] The occult writer Dennis Wheatley edited a series of books published under the umbrella title of The Dennis Wheatley Library of the Occult,[6] which included titles such as Dracula by Bram Stoker, Moonchild by Aleister Crowley, Frankenstein by Mary Shelley and Faust by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.[7] Sphere's involvement in science fiction was furthered with its Sphere Science Fiction Classics series published throughout the 1970s, which included The World of Null-A and The Pawns of Null-A by A. E. van Vogt, Arthur C. Clarke's The Sands of Mars and Larry Niven's Neutron Star.[8]

In 2006, Hachette Book Group acquired a number of imprints from the Time Warner Book Group, including Little, Brown and Company, Hodder & Stoughton Virago Press and Sphere.[9] Today's Sphere is an imprint of Little, Brown. Writers whose works have been published with Sphere have included Patricia Cornwell, Mark Billingham, Jenny Colgan, Mitch Albom, Nicholas Sparks and Nicholas Evans. Sphere best-sellers have included Long Way Round by Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman, Ricky Tomlinson's autobiography Ricky, Sharon Osbourne's autobiography Extreme, A Brother's Journey by Richard B. Pelzer, Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis and Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? by Steve Lowe and Alan McArthur.[10]

Notes and references

  1. ^ a b Williams, Kevin (2009). Read All About It!: A History of the British Newspaper. Routledge. ISBN 978-1134280520. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  2. ^ "Media Profiles: Thomson". Ketupa.net. April 2002. Archived from the original on 17 June 2002. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  3. ^ Burns, Kevin (director) (2004). Empire of Dreams (DVD). USA: Lucasfilm.
  4. ^ Sutherland, John; Sutherland, Northcliffe Professor of Modern English Literature John (2010). "8. Star Wars - a real gee-whizz book". Bestsellers (Routledge Revivals): Popular Fiction of the 1970s. Routledge. ISBN 9781136830631. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  5. ^ "Publication Series: Conan (Sphere)". isfdb.org. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  6. ^ Rothwell, Bob. "The Dennis Wheatley Library of the Occult Introduction". denniswheatley.info. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Publication Series: The Dennis Wheatley Library of the Occult". isfdb.org. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Publication Series: Sphere Science Fiction Classics". isfdb.org. Archived from the original on 19 June 2017. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  9. ^ Guthrie, Richard (2011). Publishing: Principles and Practice. SAGE. ISBN 9781446249994. Retrieved 19 June 2017.
  10. ^ "About Us: Sphere". Little Brown Book Group. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007. Retrieved 16 June 2017.