Ever year major publishers release books by debut authors and perennial bestsellers. What is interesting is how every year the entire industry follows certain trends, whether its genre based or the 2013 trend of celebrity memoirs. The biggest trend in 2014 and 2015 has to be YouTube and Gaming content creators securing multi-book deals.
The publishing industry has become deeply enamored with YouTube stars, because they have a dedicated following and are considered bankable. Each video will generate over ten million views and their social media channels have millions of followers.
“It doesn’t take much time or money to watch something on YouTube, but it takes both time and money to read something in book form,” said Lorraine Shanley, president of consulting firm Market Partners International Inc. “That said, if you can get a substantial portion of one million followers, you’d be happy.”
PewDiePie is Felix Kjellberg, a video gamer with a legion of fans he calls “bros.” He has over 37 million YouTube followers and just signed a multi-book deal with Razorbill and Penguin US.
The first book, entitled “This Book Loves You” is a collection of aphorisms, bits of wisdom-slash-jokes, paired with photos and other visuals. It’s coming out October 20th, simultaneously in the U.K., Germany, Norway, Sweden and France and, in North America.
“What these YouTube stars share is an ability to connect with fans, usually teens but also older readers, who often can prove elusive to traditional publishers. The robust YA market has shown that young readers can be extraordinarily devoted, once they connect to an author. Or, publishing hopes, to a YouTube star.” said Carolyn Kellogg of the LA Times.
Cindy Dach, a co-owner of Arizona’s Changing Hands Bookstore, said book signings with YouTube authors have been particularly crowded, with young people lining up to get their pictures taken.
“I’m happy to sell six to 12 copies of a best-selling novel in a month,” she said. “But when a YouTube star comes in, we sell hundreds in a few hours.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and Verge.