Tyler Oakley, Marcus Butler, Alfie Deyes, Miranda Sings, PewDiePie, Joey Graceffa, Dan and Phil; some of these should be familiar. The lure of YouTube with its zero boundaries and minimal start-up costs has equipped a certain generation of youngsters to create fan bases across the world all from the comfort of their own homes.
This week Zoe Sugg (YouTube name, Zoella) revealed eight books as part of a new project with WHSmiths called ‘Zoella’s Book Club’. In just 24 hours the sales of her recommended reads has surged with The Potion Diaries by Amy Alward rising a massive 11,000% (The Bookseller) This isn’t the first time a YouTuber has taken a successful step into influencing the literary world. All of the names mentioned at the start have contributed a title to our book stores.
It’s easy to see the benefits of an individual like Tyler Oakley and his confessional book Binge, which alongside his work with various groups supporting LGBT issues is a credible creation. And then of course there is PewDiePie’s This Book Loves You or the most 'pointless' of them all, Alfie Deyes’ Pointless Book.
These attempts at entering the publishing industry have done little more than earn a quick and easy cheque. Easy work, easy money, why would they possibly turn it down? The one thing that assures their continual successes are the legions of fans ready to snap up anything with their favourite YouTubers name on it - such an influence can seriously reconfigure chart positions. Alward’s book jumped from position 35,595 on the Amazon chart to 316.
By making reading once more 'fashionable' to their generation of avid viewers, the book industry will have much to thank Youtubers for.