The prolific beauty and fashion vlogger Zoella, also known as Zoe Sugg, has become the fastest-selling debut author since records began.
Her first novel, Girl Online, sold 78,000 copies within its first week, overtaking sales records for J.K. Rowling and Dan Brown’s first literary attempts, as well as EL James’ much hyped Fifty Shades of Grey.
Reacting to the soaring sales of her first in a two-book deal with Penguin, Zoella tweeted her 2.6 million followers, saying:
Cute, eh? But clever, too!
Zoella has forged a massively successful, self-made career by taking to YouTube to share tips and advice with teenage girls online – accruing an army of 6.6 million YouTube subscribers with her sunny-side up persona that’s a mix of big sister and girl next door.
Zoella is adorable, cool, dependable and, by the very nature of online, always there!
Her novel fittingly plots the story of a 15-year-old anonymous blogger, whose relationship with a US pop star goes viral (Zoe famously dates fellow YouTube sensation Alfie Deyes) and has had mixed reviews. A Telegraph review calls it “a sweet story with its heart in the right place” while an Amazon reviewer said: “It wasn’t a compelling read and a lot of the humour and drama orientated sections fell flat.”
Reviews aside, the first book published by the pint-sized star can teach us all a valid lesson – that print still has a viable, and profitable, role to play when teamed with a strong brand identity and online presence that truly captures and cultivates your audience.