Stephenie Meyer outsold by self-published author (on iTunes)

The success of Kerry Wilkinson's debut novel, Locked In, shows that going the DIY publishing route has potential.

The experience of the British crime author Kerry Wilkinson proves that, sometimes, you just have to do things yourself.

The 30-year-old journalist's debut novel Locked In, which he wrote in his spare time and self-published online, has beaten best-selling authors Stephenie Meyer and John Grisham on iTunes' electronic book sales chart.

However, Wilkinson may have a long way to go before receiving the sort of royalty cheque enjoyed by those blockbuster writers, since he is selling Locked In for only £1 (Dh6). He also has a few more copies to sell to better the US's John Locke, who earlier this summer became the first self-published author to sell a million books through Amazon's Kindle service.

Speaking to the Lancashire Evening Post, Wilkinson, a sub-editor with the Daily Express newspaper, said he had written Locked In to fulfil his dream of publishing a book by the age of 30.

"I told people I know [that] I had put it out and to have a look at it," he said.

"Then I got a tweet from a friend saying, 'Have you seen you're in the iTunes chart?' I had a look and my book was above all these bestselling authors like Stephenie Meyer and Bill Bryson and Stephen Fry. I don't really know how it's happened - it must be word of mouth. It's very strange."

Mainstream publishers have taken note of the promising writer, with Amazon's publishing house set to release a paperback version of the novel later in the year.

Locked In was written as the first of a series featuring Detective Sergeant Jessica Daniel, who is called in when a dead body is found in a locked apartment.

Wilkinson said he was already planning the next two instalments.

Published: August 28, 2011 04:00 AM