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