Girl Online by Zoe Sugg has a ghost writer?

Photo courtesy of Glamour Magazine

In case you aren’t into beauty gurus on YouTube, let me shed some light on who Zoe Sugg is. Zoe Sugg or Zoella is a British beauty and fashion vlogger. She’s tiny and adorable and I absolutely love her. She recently came out with a book called Girl Online. Let me tell you, it’s been doing well, which isn’t surprising since she has nearly 7 million subscribers at the moment. The book is 13th in the New York Times Young Adult Best Sellers list. It came out on November 25.

Now, I watch Zoe religiously. I watch her main channel videos and her daily vlogs. Something I found quite odd was how quickly the book was written. It was like done in 6 months. A ton of other YouTubers are coming out with books but they’re taking a while to get done. Zoe seems like she’s quite busy, as are a majority of YouTubers. It’s understandable. They’re their own boss and CEO and marketing specialist and all that fun stuff. It takes a lot to build a brand and keep it going along with shooting and editing videos. So that’s why I found the brief writing period so odd. Books take forever, and with all the stress and business in her life, I thought it would take a very long time for her to finish.

It recently (I’m a little late to game here because of finals :P) came out that Zoe had a ghost writer for her book. She says the characters and plot line were hers but that of course she was going to need some help writing a book. Check her tweet below.

While I understand why some might use ghost writers to help bring their stories to life, I personally feel that if your name is on it, you should have written it. I don’t know how much of the book is actually written by Zoe and how much is written by the ghost writer. I don’t know. As a writer, I like to get credit for what I do. I wouldn’t want someone tacking their name onto my work and calling it theirs. Why not be open about it from the beginning? Coauthors aren’t a bad thing. I understand wanting to put a big name on it but a small credit would suffice, wouldn’t it? (sigh) I guess I just don’t understand the publishing world.

I still love Zoe, and I’ll still watch her videos, and I will definitely be getting the book because a) I read a bit of it on Amazon and liked it and b) I don’t often see YA characters with anxiety or panic disorders and that’s something I very much relate to. But I do find it a bit disheartening that she didn’t write it herself. I know the story is hers and the characters are hers but still. I feel like I’m reading any novel that Penguin published, not a book written by someone I admire and look up to.