16 May 2015

Should Youtubers Write Books?


(Disclaimer: what I am about to write is my own personal opinion, I'm not saying I'm right - if you disagree with what I am saying then please feel free to let me know in the comments. Also, I am going to be making extreme generalisations in this post, what I say certainly does not apply to all YouTubers - this is just an observation on a general trend that I am beginning to see. I am also not hating on YouTubers as people, I am simply sharing my opinion on the idea of them writing books)

I'm a big believer in honest work for honest results, so I'm sure you can understand why I have an issue with YouTubers signing book deals and publishing books for the simple reason that they can. I also find it a little ironic that so many YouTubers claim to 'have always wanted to publish a book' but fail to mention this until after the book deal has been signed.

 My main problem is not the fact that YouTubers are being given book deals, but the fact that YouTubers are writing their names on the covers of books and passing them off as their own. YouTuber's books are flying off the shelves for the simple reason that YouTubers 'wrote' them. To prove a point, when it was released 'Girl Online' broke records and became the fastest selling book of all time, smashing J.K. Rowling's previous record, and the fact that 'Zoe Sugg' was written on the front certainly had a lot to do with it. With allegations emerging of 'Girl Online' being ghost written and the 'Pointless Book' being a blatant copy of the immensely popular 'Wreck This Journal' it is hard to get on board with the idea that so many YouTubers are being offered book deals.

I can totally understand that if you are offered a book deal it is highly unlikely that you are going to turn it down and while some of these YouTubers-turned-authors clearly can write, and enjoy doing so, as they were bloggers years before they were YouTubers, it is a simple fact that all mediums do not mix. Success as a vlogger/blogger is very different to success in the world of fiction and this leads me to believe that publishers are simply playing a numbers game.

What makes this whole situation worse is that the more success YouTubers are having offline (with book deals, beauty ranges and even rumoured fashion ranges), the less they seem to care about their online content. Their videos are becoming less and less creative and engaging with comedy skits and genuine content fast being replaced by haul videos and Q&As. What saddens me most is that the phrase 'love you guys, thanks for watching' is beginning to sound a lot more like 'buy my book, buy my merch and buy my beauty products and then I'll love you'.