Pan Macmillan has signed up a new young adult trilogy from self-publishing sensation Kerry Wilkinson.
The publisher will release the first of The Silver Blackthorn series in autumn 2013, with the second and third books to follow shortly after.
Wilkinson, a 31-year-old sports journalist based in Lancashire, began self-publishing his books on Amazon last year.
Locked In, a crime novel following DS Jessica Daniel, sold 100,000 copies in six months, and the entire six-book series was bought by Pan Macmillan earlier this year. The fourth in the series, Think of the Children, will be released as a paperback in February 2013.
The Silver Blackthorn series is a fantasy project set in the north of England, and follows sixteen-year-old Silver as she undergoes a test called the Reckoning, before being sent to the captial of Windsor as an offering for mad King Victor.
WIlkinson said: "Fantasy is a genre I have grown up reading and I'm thrilled to be given the opportunity by Pan Macmillan to create my own world. The fact they have bought nine books from someone who has not had anything published traditionally before, and who hadn't written a word of fiction 18 months ago, is incredibly humbling."
Pan Macmillan editorial director Trisha Jackson said: "We are delighted to be publishing both of these series from Kerry. Apart from being a talented and brilliant storyteller who is particularly good on character, he is enthusiastic, energetic, extremely hardworking and full of ideas. His knowledge of his market is extremely impressive. Quite simply he’s an inspiration to work with."