Bloggers And Books
I’m sure everyone reading this knows of certain bloggers or YouTube personalities who have been given the opportunity to bring out books. And I’m also sure everyone has seen the controversy it has brought.
My opinion on it is mainly that this is great for them. I doubt that anyone can say that, put in their position, they wouldn’t do the same thing. It’s promoting reading and giving the ‘viewers’ or ‘fans’ of these people what they want.
At first when these book deals started coming out, I have to say I didn’t pay much attention to it or really care that much about it. After becoming such a recurring thing however, I have formed some opinions on it. I can definitely see why some people aren’t 10/10 happy about the whole thing. I can understand the frustration, for example, felt by people who have struggled to publish novels which they have poured their souls into for years; people who have had to go through the long process of rejection after rejection before being given a deal, and even then often having to compromise their writing and abide to a publisher’s requests to even have a chance of getting their work published. It does seem unfair that these people are seemingly just handed the opportunity of writing a book on a plate. However I think that at some point these people who have large followings on the internet have to be regarded in the same way as celebrities are. And no one gets annoyed when a celebrity gets a book deal offered to them, because it’s an expected thing now, and seen as a totally different area of the publishing industry.
The thing that made me start thinking about the whole YouTube-book-deal-thing was the issue of ghostwriting. Although I’m mainly all for these people being given book deals, and even though I’ve never even bought one of these books, it did annoy me a bit. Maybe rightfully so or not, I haven’t quite decided if my annoyance is justified. I feel like someone who has a big following, especially when it’s made mostly of young teenage girls, has some sort of moral obligation to be truthful. I’ll be honest, I’m quite a naïve person, and even though many people have said “of course there was a ghost writer”, “of course *insert name* didn’t write the book themselves” it honestly didn’t cross my mind, so it can’t be assumed that the people who bought the book knew this. I think ghostwriters are fine, and of course it is fine to hold back information about who has been involved, but I don’t think that makes it right.
If an audience of teenage girls, who probably don’t have much money if we’re honest, choose to buy a book from someone they’ve watched and trusted for years, it surely should be made clear that part of the book was ghostwritten? If not only for the knowledge of the people who are buying the book and expecting it to be written by the person who has said they have written it, but in order to prevent mistrust around all people who bring out books. By not simply saying from the beginning “I wrote a lot of this book, but honestly I’m not a writer and some people helped me with parts of it” I feel as though other books that YouTubers and bloggers write are being scrutinised more than they need to be, and more than they would have been if this hadn’t happened. In my opinion it’s put a big grey cloud over every person who brings out a book, which is a real shame because I believe most of the people who bring out these books do write them themselves, and put a lot of time and energy into it.