Michael Joseph has poached bestselling historical fiction author Conn Iggulden from HarperCollins, his publisher since the beginning of his career.
Iggulden is to write a new series of historical novels to be set in England during the Wars of the Roses, after publishing director Alex Clarke bought UK and Commonwealth rights in three novels from Victoria Hobbs at A M Heath.
Clarke said: "We are simply over the moon that Conn Iggulden will be joining the Michael Joseph fold. I have been a huge fan of Conn's ever since the publication of the first Emperor novel—he is without doubt one of the greats of historical fiction."
Clarke added: "His writing is the perfect combination of rich historical atmosphere with utterly compelling storytelling, and the prospect of his take on the Wars of the Roses is spectacularly exciting."
Iggulden's best-known novels include those of the Conqueror series, such as Wolf of the Plains, Lords of the Bow and Bones of the Hills, and the Emperor series, set during Roman times. He also co-authored, with his brother Hal, The Dangerous Book for Boys, which was named 2006's British Book of the Year, and is a compendium of facts and games for males of all ages. His latest title Conqueror sold 46,000 copies in hardback last year through Nielsen BookScan.
The fifth book in the Emperor series will be his final book in this series to be published by HarperCollins, and Iggulden is due to deliver it later this year. In 10 years with HarperCollins the publisher says he has sold five million copies.
HarperCollins chief executive Victoria Barnsley said: "We've really enjoyed publishing Conn for nearly a decade and are immensely proud to have sold over five million of his books and achieved eight number ones. He's working on his last book for us now and we're very much looking forward to publishing it in due course."