Zoella & the ghostwriter – well duhh…

Girl Online

So it has emerged that revered blogger and YouTube star, Zoella (real name Zoe Sugg) didn’t exactly write her debut novel, Girl Online.

Well duhhh…

Not to sound awful, but it was highly unlikely that the 24-year-old would have ever put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard) and write a novel.

Why? Well because she’s not a writer. Too often people assume that anyone can write – and in fairness, you’d think it would be true. But it’s not – as a trained writer, I know this.

Throughout most of my career, everyone has always thought that they can do my job.

Whether it was a design team who would spend creative meetings trying to come up with a catchy tagline even though us writers were sat right there, or people in completely different industries who think I have the easiest job in the world because I ‘write words’ – let me tell ya, it ain’t that easy.

Zoella was always going to have a ghostwriter because if anything, it was more about the brand of ‘Zoella’ that the book publishers cared about – they knew she wasn’t a writer. Reading her blog is proof of that – that isn’t a mean comment by the way, I actually like Zoella quite a lot.

Do I agree that she’s released a book? Not really.

Especially given that it has broken records over the likes of J.K Rowling – this is where I think this whole thing has lost integrity. The Harry Potter author is a literary great, Zoella is not.

Bloggers in general irk me for this kind of thing, although I suppose it should be the companies who make them the face of things that are really the problem.

Myself and my fellow Journalism graduates worked tirelessly to try and break into the industry – we could write, we’d been trained to hone those skills and we had the necessary qualifications regarding the law etc. to prove it.

Did we get magazine columns? No. But several bloggers have, and it isn’t right. If a fashion blogger has an amazing eye – give them their own fashion collaboration, don’t give them a column.

Same with the bloggers who are now creeping onto the red carpet to interview people – did you earn that broadcasting position?

This sounds like a bit of a rant, and it has turned into one (sorry).

There are very talented bloggers out there who are experts in their field – Sam and Nic from Pixiwoo are incredible (and credible) make-up artists. Bringing out a range of brushes was a perfect idea. Much like Tanya Burr and her cosmetic line, and the same for Zoella with her bath and body range.

But writing books? No. Ditto being plonked in the Band Aid 30 line-up. And presenting on Radio One.

It makes a mockery of the people who have worked hard to achieve their ambitions, trained and interned, and worked jobs that are bottom of the ladder all to try and simply do what they’re skilled at.

The publishers have struck gold putting Zoella’s name on a book, but now she faces a backlash that isn’t deserved – it should have been common sense to everyone that a ghostwriter will have been used.

Where this whole thing will go next, I don’t know.

My advice would be to stick to what you know – that way nobody can turn on you for something that was always going to be obvious.

– love Stef x

5 thoughts on “Zoella & the ghostwriter – well duhh…

  1. Nice honest post!
    I am subscribed to Zoella and mostly like her videos and will watch them.
    When I heard of her book release I was dubious and I have not bought it. She released the firast chapter on her facebook and I read a paragraph and stopped because I felt funny about it.
    Since then it has been revealed that a ghostwriter was used which I have no problem with. I feel terribly sorry for her fans, though! I think she should have been open and honest and gone into depth in a video on her role in the writing process. People would have still supported her (Jason and Sam are still being supported after rape for goodness sake and this is merley a book!) and bought the book. Instead, it has been revealed after a whopping number of book sales and many of her fans are left feeling decieved.
    She doesn’t deserve as much hate as she is getting because many people of her popularity use ghostwriters but the difference is many of them were open about it where as this has been somewhat hidden until recently…
    I was wondering, what are your thoughts on carrie Hope Fletcher (ItsWayPastMyBedtime on youtube) and Tanya Burr’s upcoming books? Tanya has tweeted several times saying she is working on the book, will you buy it? Do you think a ghost writer is being used?
    Then Carrie has shown videos of her drawing for the publications in her novel and the novel is to be made up of old All I know Now blog posts from her blog as well as new unseen posts.
    Do you think the support will be different for the likes of Carrie than there is for Zoe?
    I’d love to hear your opinions on my asked questions. Lovely post!

    • Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment. I feel slightly torn about it all – I think people who aren’t writers, such as Zoella and celebs who release books (i.e. Katie Price’s series), shouldn’t jump in on the literary industry – they should stick to what they do best.

      It’s ridiculous to think that J.K Rowling was rejected by several book publishers, but will give a YouTuber a book deal on the basis that she’s popular yet with little talent (in this particular sense).

      It’s hard to swallow knowing that people are having bestsellers written for them, but I do agree that it should have been more publicly acknowledged that Zoella wasn’t writing this book, so that those fans who hadn’t realised it would be aware of what they were spending their money on.

      I do feel that she shouldn’t face a harsh backlash though as there are worse things in the world. Having said that, I think the book industry would be a better place if it stopped trying to capitalise on popularity and left writing to the professionals.

      I think a collection of blog posts is the perfect way for a blogger to release a book – very reminiscent of Carrie Bradshaw and her book of newspaper columns. As for Tanya Burr, if the book were to be a collection of her make-up tutorials with written instructions – perfect. If it’s a story, well I would say the same ghostwriter who wrote Zoella’s book could called upon.

      Thank you again for reading and commenting 🙂 x

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