Constable will publish the authorised biography of Lee Child, The Reacher Guy, by Heather Martin next year.
Andreas Campomar, non-fiction publisher for Little, Brown imprint Constable, acquired UK and Commonwealth rights excluding Canada from Sarah Such at Sarah Such Literary Agency.
Martin, who has held teaching and research positions at Cambridge, Hull, King’s College London, and City University New York, called it "a tremendous privilege" to be Child's biographer.
According to Little, Brown, it is estimated that a Lee Child Jack Reacher novel sells every nine seconds somewhere in the world.
In The Reacher Guy, Martin said she would trace "how the boy from Birmingham became the strongest brand in publishing". She will also map Child's writing on to his previous life as Jim Grant, drawing on the Reacher novels, "unprecedented" interview access and historic documents held by the British Archive of Contemporary Writing at the University of East Anglia.
With publishers promising "an insightful, layered biography of an exceptional writer", Child commented: "I met Heather Martin some years ago, and we started talking about why people love telling and hearing stories. To get more depth and detail we started talking about why I do. Eventually I said, 'If you want to really get to the bottom of it, you’re going to have to write my biography.' So she did. It was a fun and illuminating process. I had forgotten a lot, and it was fascinating to be reminded. Now it all makes sense."