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US publisher Sourcebooks has acquired worldwide English language rights to Chasing Red by Canadian author Isabelle Ronin. The novel was the most-read story on Wattpad, the online story site, last year, notching up more than 126 million reads.

Chasing Red tells the story of a university student who is doing well academically until she is kicked out of her apartment. This sets in train a dark series of events. She is offered a place to stay by a star basketball player but “their close quarters create a problem when he pursues her…she is far from ready to open up about her painful past”.

Sourcebooks will publish in two volumes this year, the first in September, the second in November. Ashleigh Gardner, head of partnerships for Wattpad Studios, said: “The numbers for Chasing Red are extraordinary. Rights have also been acquired by Hachette Livre, HarperCollins Germany, Penguin Random House Groupo Editorial and Mondadori.”

Dominique Raccah, Sourcebooks’ CEO, commented: “This story has touched millions of readers and is attracting new reads every week.”

All publishers watch Wattpad now, using it almost as an online slush pile and noting those authors who have impressive readership figures.