The Fab Four have inspired countless books in their time, but two that sound like notable additions to their bibliography were signed in the past week. At Ecco, Dan Halpern brought in noted British music biographer and fiction writer Philip Norman (Shout!) to write what both parties think will be the definitive bio to date of John Lennon. It will be called simply John Lennon: The Biography, and Norman promises much original and previously unpublished material, including unpublished letters and poems and details about Lennon's early upbringing, all with the complete cooperation of his widow, Yoko Ono. This was signed for North American rights with Peter Matson at Sterling Lord Literistic, acting for London agent Michael Sissons, who has already sold the project to HarperEntertainment there. The book is tentatively scheduled for fall 2006.

At Penguin's Gotham Books, Brendan Cahill signed world English rights to a book by Geoff Emerick, the precocious engineer who supervised the recording of many of the Beatles' greatest albums, offering behind-the-scenes tales of them at work in the studio. It will be coauthored with music journalist Howard Massey, and Cahill made a "significant" bid to preempt the project from agent Jennifer Cayea at the Nick Ellison agency. After the Beatles broke up, Emerick continued to work with Paul McCartney, as well as with such other stars as Elvis Costello, Art Garfunkel and America.