By Michael Kozlowski
Ever year major publishers release books by debut authors and perennial bestsellers. What is interesting is how every year the entire industry follows certain trends, whether its genre based or the 2013 trend of celebrity memoirs. The biggest trend in 2014 and 2015 has to be YouTube and Gaming content creators securing multi-book deals.
The publishing industry has become deeply enamored with YouTube stars, because they have a dedicated following and are considered bankable. Each video will generate over ten million views and their social media channels have millions of followers.
ÔÇ£It doesnÔÇÖt take much time or money to watch something on YouTube, but it takes both time and money to read something in book form,ÔÇØ said Lorraine Shanley, president of consulting firm Market Partners International Inc. ÔÇ£That said, if you can get a substantial portion of one million followers, youÔÇÖd be happy.ÔÇØ
PewDiePie is Felix Kjellberg, a video gamer with a legion of fans he calls ÔÇ£bros.ÔÇØ ┬áHe has over 37 million YouTube followers and just signed a multi-book deal with┬áRazorbill and Penguin US.
The first book, entitled ÔÇ£This Book Loves YouÔÇØ is a collection of aphorisms, bits of wisdom-slash-jokes, paired with photos and other visuals. ItÔÇÖs coming out October 20th, simultaneously in the U.K., Germany, Norway, Sweden and France and, in North America.
Ben Schrank, president and publisher of Razorbill, said in a statement. ÔÇ£With┬áwith more subscribers than Taylor Swift and One Direction combined, Felix is without question one of the most influential stars of this generation.ÔÇØ
Zoe Sugg may not be a household name, unless you have teenage daughters. She┬ástarted her YouTube channel in 2009, primarily aimed at beauty tips and fashion advice. She has a┬áplayful andcandid approach that is absolutely infectious┬áwith her teen audience. Zoe┬áhas more than six┬ámillion YouTube followers, and two┬ámillion Twitter followers. Recently she took┬áhome the Best British Vlogger Award at the 2013 at the ┬áBBC Radio 1ÔÇÖs Teen Awards, but also won the Nickelodeon KidÔÇÖs Choice Award in 2014.┬áThe 24 year old published her first book at the tale end of 2014, which started the whole YouTube trend. Girl Online┬áis a YA romance novel and sold a staggering┬á78,000 copies in her first week. Her new title, Girl Online on Tour debuts on October 20th.
The publishing industry was mostly caught off-guard by the whole YouTube thing. There was one company though that had the foresight to create an imprint, ┬áSimon & Schuster. Keywords Press┬áwas established last year and their sole purpose to is sign book deals and deal directly with the author.┬áThey are responsible for producing the bulk of the┬ánational and international bestsellers by┬ápeople like Zoe Sugg, Shane Dawson, Connor Franta, Joey Graceffa, and Justine Ezarik.
ÔÇ£What these YouTube stars share is an ability to connect with fans, usually teens but also older readers, who often can prove elusive to traditional publishers. The robust YA market has shown that young readers can be extraordinarily devoted, once they connect to an author. Or, publishing hopes, to a YouTube star.ÔÇØ said┬áCarolyn Kellogg┬áof the LA Times.
Cindy Dach, a co-owner of ArizonaÔÇÖs Changing Hands Bookstore, said book signings with YouTube authors have been particularly crowded, with young people lining up to get their pictures taken.
ÔÇ£IÔÇÖm happy to sell six to 12 copies of a best-selling novel in a month,ÔÇØ she said. ÔÇ£But when a YouTube star comes in, we sell hundreds in a few hours.ÔÇØ