The debut novel by YouTube blogger Zoe Sugg, also known as Zoella, is expected to become a number one best-seller in the UK after reaching number three on the Amazon Best Sellers chart thanks to the scale of pre-orders alone.
Girl Online, which was released in the UK this week, follows the story of Penny, a teenager who looks a lot like Zoella, and who blogs about her deepest feelings on friendship, family, make-up, boys and her secret anxieties. Zoella makes videos on the same topics, notably including the panic attacks she has suffered from since the age of 14.
Making make-up tutorials and shopping advice videos from her bedroom in Brighton, Zoella became a teen idol and an online sensation, scored a two-book deal with Penguin, and got a BBC guest-host position.
As Buzzfeed notes, Zoella’s two YouTube channels have a combined 8.5 million subscribers, more than One Direction and Coldplay put together and 2 million more than Beyoncé. She also has 2.58 million followers on Twitter, where she goes by her nickname ZoZeeBo, over 1.9 million fans on Facebook, and 3.2 million subscribers on Instagram. Her blog reportedly receives 6.8 million views a month.
A video in which she and her boyfriend, fellow YouTuber Alfie Deyes, quiz each other on how well they know one another has been watched more than 6 million times. The loser gets a plate of whipped cream in the face. It gets messy. Another video, shot in their bed, announces that the two have moved in together – it’s had 2.5 million views in a few weeks, has been retweeted 26,000 times and favorited over 71,000 times so far. Her announcement that she was bringing home a Pug puppie, Nala, was favorited 29,000 times and re-Tweeted 7,100 times. And, oh yeah, she’s 24.