Mel Sherratt has moved to Avon from Bookouture in a six-figure deal for two books.
Publishing director of the HarperCollins imprint, Helen Huthwaite, acquired world English language rights from agent Madeleine Milburn of the Madeleine Milburn Literary, TV & Film Agency following a “heated auction". Avon will publish the first in Sherratt’s new crime series, The Dead Secrets, in 2018 set in the author’s native Stoke-on-Trent, as the first in a new series, featuring DS Grace Allendale.
Sherratt began as a self-published author of the DS Allie Shenton series and has released 10 novels since 2012. She first published Taunting the Dead in 2013 via the Kindle Direct Publishing programme, with the book reaching number three on the Kindle chart, and staying in the top 10 for four weeks and in the top 100 for three months. It was acquired later that year by Amazon Publishing's mystery and thriller imprint Thomas & Mercer.
Huthwaite said: “To welcome Mel to the Avon list is something of a dream for us. I speak on behalf of the whole team when I say how much we have long-admired Mel’s phenomenal capacity for publishing some of the very best crime writing around, earning her legions of loyal fans in the process – ourselves included.”
She added: “As soon as we met Mel, we knew it was the perfect fit and we are quite simply overjoyed to see her join the list.”
Sherratt said she was “incredibly excited” to join the Avon team. She said: “I’ve long admired their energy, innovation and ambition. They publish some of the best fiction around and I am so pleased to join such an impressive list of authors. I can’t wait to start working on my new series with them."
She added: "A huge thank you to my agent Madeleine Milburn for securing this fantastic opportunity.”
Milburn described Avon as "the brand-builder extraordinaire" and credited it with being able to move "full speed ahead with 50/50 print and e-book vision for Mel Sherratt and her many fans”.