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Sarah Rivens, the young Algerian writer who sells more books than Prince Harry

Sarah Rivens, the young Algerian writer who sells more books than Prince Harry

Sarah Rivens is Algerian, she lives in Algeria but it is in France that she is a great success in bookstores. This is the magic of the Internet and social networks.

Everything is unusual and enigmatic about this 24-year-old girl who first made herself known on Internet platforms under a pseudonym that suits her rather well: the blurred girl.

She signs her books under the name of Sarah Rivens. But this is still not her real name. Nobody knows this one.

In France, she is at the top of the sales charts in bookstores. In a portrait dedicated to her, the magazine L’Express tells that the young woman entered literature through the writing platform Wattpad.

She started by putting online episodes of “dark romance”, a genre mixing love, eroticism and violence and very popular with the young generation.

For a first try, it’s a master stroke. His first volume has made 9 million views, the second 8.1 million.

On the scale of the platform, these are huge numbers that could not go unnoticed. The Hachette publishing house in France has a subsidiary called Hlab, which specializes in finding young writers outside the traditional channels. The case of Sarah Rivens could not escape them.

France: an Algerian woman at the top of the bookstore sales charts

The ambition was first limited to reproduce online editions, as the publishing house does in most cases for young authors.

Especially since, in the case of Sarah Rivens’ works, readers have no reason to buy them in print since they are freely available on the net.

But given her phenomenal success on the Wattpad platform, Hlab Editions decided to take the risk. The first opus of the “Captive” trilogy was released last August.

The success in bookstores was immediate: 180,000 copies sold. Zélie Bertrand, the manager of Hlab who discovered the Algerian writer, tells L’Express about the incredible success of the book at its release.

The publishing house decided to print 10,000 copies in addition to the digital version, with the sole objective of giving a physical existence to the work.

Within an hour of its release, the book was sold out. A reprint of 30,000 copies was not enough either. The second volume was also sold out, with 88,000 copies already sold.

The works of Sarah Rivens are also a great financial success, with sales of 3.5 million euros in France, not counting those in many other countries, in Germany, Italy, Poland …

And in Algeria then? The Express does not say anything about the success of Sarah Rivens’ digital works with the Algerian public, but it points out that her printed books must be imported from France. However, the distributor who plans to do so is awaiting approval.

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