YouTubers Writing Books

What do Shane Dawson, Grace, Helbig, Justine Ezarik (iJustine), Connor Franta, Shay Butler, Joey Graceffa, and Hannah and Mamrie Hart have in common? Aside from being successful YouTube stars, they all have book deals/books in the works.

Shane Dawson, Justine Ezarik, Connor Franta, Joey Graceffa and Shay Butler have deals with Simon and Schuster who are looking to expand their reach by recruiting internet entertainers to provide content. Simon and Schuster will be releasing books under the imprint of Keywords Press, which aims to release six to ten titles a year in digital and print formats. The content Keywords Press aims to provide seems to offer lots of variety. There will be fiction, non fiction, advice, memoirs and serious and comedic works.

Although reaching out to YouTubers and other internet stars for content is a promising idea for Simon and Schuster and other publishers, one has to wonder how big the payoff will be. Harley Morenstein and the Epic Meal Time crew released a cook book to lukewarm reception, while John Green (who was already an established author) hit it big with The Fault in Our Stars. Will the other YouTubers fail or will they triumph? Will this turn into Draw My Life: Book Edition?

Judging from this article from the New York Times and listening to some of the announcements first hand, the quality and content of these books have yet to be seen. Grace Helbig’s book seems to be life advice filled with personal anecdotes.It’s unclear what Shane Dawson’s or iJustine’s books will be about, but Shane wants to take an interactive approach and get his viewers involved. Getting viewers involved is something that Keystrokes Press wants to get behind as well and plans to make it a staple part of developing its books.

It’s hard to pass judgement on this trend. If reality TV stars and other celebrities can get books deals, why can’t YouTubers? Being a YouTube star has become a legitimate career option for many people. Some YouTubers have expressed interest in writing books for some time now and are good writers so for them this a welcomed triumph. Ultimately, it may just be a fad. Something that will go away just as quickly as it came.

But, it’s easy to see why some authors and readers are upset by this news. Some authors work their asses off and NEVER get offered a book deal while some of the YouTubers mentioned have never expressed an interest in writing a book or reading and get handed a deal without having to put any of the time or effort to get it. The quality and the subject matter of the books probably won’t even matter. Their fan bases are large and dedicated enough to have their works fly off the shelves.

As a writer, I’m torn. It sucks that these books could be dribble and make a best seller’s list, while other amazing works are passed over time after time. But how can I judge something that I haven’t read or seen a preview for? As long as people are reading SOMETHING and buying books, I should be happy. And hey, it probably’s just a fad.

What do you guys think of this new YouTube book frenzy? Let me know in the comments below! 


2 thoughts on “YouTubers Writing Books

  1. Don’t forget Dan and Phil they also released a book. Lol.
    Nice article! 🙂
    I understand how you feel; I like writing and have been attempting to make a book. No good result until now but hey I’m enjoying it so no big deal.
    Meanwhile, publishing books have become a trend among twitter stars in my country. The books are mostly about a person’s personal blog content made into a book or just random humor writings. At first it was awesome, but once everyone’s doing it and publishers seem like they will publish just anything as long it has good chance of sells, I think it’s kinda sad. I wouldn’t complain if the books are good but the thing is not all of them have quality content. Regardless, the fans keep buying them and praising the authors blindly. Honestly I don’t think they really read many books besides those.
    But then I ask myself; first, is using fame a wrong thing to do? I mean people have their own ways in achieving something and cmiiw but I don’t think being a star is a crime. And regardless the quality they make the book themselves so it’s kinda a fair game.
    Second, is writing for trend a bad thing? Idk, it’s a very common thing that people do something as they’re influenced by others doing something similar, and it’s happened since ever. That’s how we got music develop from time to time. That’s how we have fashion style change every year. We can’t stop everyone from following something especially when it is something new; people just love anything fresh don’t they.
    I can’t say much about youtubers’ books as I haven’t seen them yet, but whatever it is I hope it will give good impact on the readers.
    Idk man sorry for the weird comment :p

  2. First off I would like to congratulate all the Youtubers who are in the process of writing a book or has already published one. Second I would like to know why the opportunity to publishing a book is being given to Youtubers. My question can be regarded out of jealousy or curiosity but whatever the case may be, videos and writing are two different things. Yes, I will admit I am a hypocrite because I will be purchasing books from certain Youtubers because I am excited to see how their work will turn out. But what about the people who go to college and earn their degree in writing and still haven’t published their own dream book that they have had planned in their mind since they were little because they aren’t rising stars? I guess what I am trying to say is, I wish people who worked hard in a specific field of study were able to be given the same opportunities for those who are not. Best of luck to all the Youtubers who are publishing/published a book.

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