Sunday, 7 December 2014

Why Zoella's ghostwriter debacle is so wrong

I was really hesitant to write this post, just because I didn't want to offend anyone or spread negativity however I tend to write on my blog when I feel really strongly about something - whether it be good or bad so, here goes nothing...

This morning, journalist Katie Glass wrote a really fantastic piece on the fact that Zoella's book is actually ghostwritten and twitter kiiiind of blew up! I don't dislike Zoella, I actually really admire her and believe she's a great role model for young girls, which is why I was so disappointed - although not surprised, unfortunately - that she hasn't written the book she claims to.

Zoella (Zoe Sugg) is the Queen of Youtube, with over 6 million subscribers and an ever increasing 'fandom'. Whether you 'get' it or not, Youtube stars have turned into the people that young girls are screaming and crying over, scrambling to get a view of and even buying tickets to meet. Which is why, it is so SO wrong that Zoella has not stated that she did not write her best selling book, Girl Online.

Penguin told Katie Glass, writing for the Sunday Times, 'To be factually accurate, you would need to say Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online on her own'. Whether that is surprising to you or not,  Zoe should've stated this already - she has set aspirations for girls to write their own novels(and so they should) but with expectations of her success. The mentality of 'if she can, I can'. Only she hasn't...

Some say, 'it's not like it's the first book to ever have been ghost written' and 'most celebrities have ghost writers too, what's the big deal?' The big deal is, Zoe and her management have never even hinted at the fact that it may not have been written by her, in fact, the absolute opposite! In many of her vlogs she talks about working on her book, on her blog she states, 'I'm sure a lot of you have heard by now that I'm writing a book!' and even in her acknowledgements of the book, there is no mention of a writer. It'a completely misleading and really is just wrong.

It's wrong because there are young girls out there who preordered and bought a book that they thought was written by their idol, their absolute inspiration. Girls out there who hang on to her every word, and believe everything she says, tweets and films. Zoe has a responsibility to her fans, and hell, she owes it to them to just be honest. The ironic thing is that they probably wouldn't care if she'd just mentioned it and no way would it ever have had the back lash it appears to have gotten now.

The sad world that we live in is that money, fame and branding comes before real, genuine talent. Think about all those writers - fantastic talented writers - who's work may never even be considered by a publisher, never mind actually be published. Amazing, young female writers who work so hard and yet may never get noticed. Writing a novel is bloody hard and by lying about who it was written by, it kind of...trivialises the tears and late nights and the work that goes into stories that may perhaps never reach the dizzy heights of success that Girl Online has.

Zoella is a great role model for young people and no one can deny it. She's sweet and sensible, hard working and thoughtful, however this nonsensical idolisation that she can do no wrong has to stop. Because as she frequently points out, she's just a normal girl and you know what? They make mistakes.

This time, Zoella really has.


  1. Totally agree with you! If she'd come out and said it from the start she probably would have got the same amount of sales (cause it has her name on it) but less of the backlash. Naughty Zoella! I must admit though I am in the middle of this book now and I don't think its that bad!

  2. I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.
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