We’re all well aware of how much we, here at MP!, love YouTubers. We love watching ’em, reading their tweets and double tapping their instas. Of course, we’re also all for investing our money in their recommendations and the merchandise and copious books they bring out.
But there is a huge question mark over YouTubers diving into the publishing world and, whilst we are legit more excited for Louise Pentland’s debut novel than Christmas (which is truly no easy feat), the skeptics out there may have a point… Join in with the debate in the comments below.
There is a lot of controversy that has surrounded YouTubers bringing out books. Whether they’re based on their own life journeys or complete works of fiction, people have had something to say about YouTubers making the leap from a free online platform to more traditional industries.
One aspect in particular is the genuinity of their work and how much of a part the YouTuber themselves have actually played in bringing together the finished product of their book. This seems to be simply because they’re not individuals that sought out to be writers, and that the only reason they’re bothering is due to their unexpected fame and significant following. However, some would also argue they didn’t start their YouTube channels in order to be the huge social media stars they turned out to be either. So, really, what’s your point?
A lot of this unease stems from the news that Zoella’s debut novel ‘Girl Online‘ was in fact written by a ghostwriter. Many were shocked to hear that Zoe Sugg had not been the only person behind main character Penny and her blossoming love story with famous musician Noah. Nope, in fact Zoe’s novel was ghostwritten by Siobhan Curham.
But, the thing is, just because someone hadn’t necessarily expected to become a best-selling author, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be entitled to take up the chance if it’s offered to them? Being an author, to many, seems like a pipe dream; it’s not necessarily the kind of job you would set out to do right from the start like you might a doctor or a teacher.
An opportunity landed in Zoe’s lap that, sure, may be a bit abnormal from your everyday opportunities like getting a lift over the catching a bus, or being offered a tasty bun at work, but it’s one we know we personally wouldn’t second guess saying yes to given the half the chance.
And it’s not as if Zoe had never expressed an interest in creating stories. There have been vlogs in the past where Zoe has unearthed her own homemade books in the attic of her childhood home, as well as hauls and favourites where she’s expressed her absolute love for a particular book she’s just finished reading. Not to mention her exclusive book club with WHSmiths.
On top of all that, writing a book is hard. It takes a lot of motivation and planning, so it’s not exactly surprising that Zoe had some assistance. And, as she said in her recent ‘Cosmopolitan’ interview, and many a time before, “I worked really hard on the book and it was all me – the characters, the story.”
So perhaps it makes sense if you’re a little weary about YouTuber books, especially if you’re someone who is disheartened at the thought that publishing houses only care about those who have huge followings that can be capitalised upon.
But we think you have to look at it like this: People’s love for YouTubers is encouraging them to go out and buy books. These may be individuals who don’t typically read, or at least don’t read a lot. Books by their fave people like Zoe, like Joe Sugg, like Marcus Butler… They’re making people excited about books. And if there’s one thing we love in this world it’s seeing people enjoy reading, because it’s a wonderful thing.
What’s more Zoe, and Louise with her new, yet to be titled novel, are using the form of writing books to discuss real, important issues. Zoe discusses anxiety through Penny, to a degree normalising it and helping her young audience see they’re not alone in feeling panicky. Louise has stated she wants her leading lady, Robin Wilde, to tackle the life of a single mum, which is something many will find comforting to read about.
And if you don’t necessarily identify as a single mum or struggle with anxiety, the wonderful thing is that these books give you a realistic perspective of what it’s like. It’s informative and helpful in assisting with friends or family who might be going through similar struggles.
So not only do books function as an escape from the mundane day-to-day life, they also manage to educate and allow us to empathise with the people we know and meet in our lives.
And if you genuinely don’t like the books YouTubers bring out? Well, it’s a shame, but that’s fine. There are plenty of other incredible books out there that offer all sorts of viewpoints. Just check out all things going on on our book channel and you’ll see.
We’d love to know where you stand on the YouTuber book front? Are you looking forward to reading Louise Pentland’s debut novel? What about Zoe Sugg’s ‘Girl Online: Going Solo‘? Comment below with your thoughts!