There’s no biggest sign that YouTube has achieved legitimacy in the media world than the speed with which its new media personalities have taken over the old media world of book publishing. Whether they’re writing books themselves or just lending their name to projects, it’s clear that the publishing world has taken notice of YouTubers. With that notice has come an avalanche of book deals for YouTube’s biggest names. Several of those big names with upcoming books will be gracing the stage this spring at BookCon. Shane Dawson, iJustine, Connor Franta, and Joey Graceffa will all be in attendance discussing their upcoming literary projects.
All four YouTube stars are in the process of releasing books through Keyword Press. Keywords is the Simon & Schuster division that has been leading the publishing industry charge into YouTube territory over the last two years. It’s worth noting that Keywords, along with Penguin, had a hand in releasing Girl Online, the debut fiction effort by Zoe “Zoella” Sugg. The book debuted as a chart topper but soon became mired in scandal when it was revealed that it was the world of ghostwriter based on Zoe’s ideas rather than a solo writing project.
Regardless of who is actually putting pen to paper, it’s clear that the upcoming wave of YouTuber books are being hotly anticipated by fans. Considering what YouTube exposure has done for professional authors like John Green, as well as the chart topping success of books by creators like Grace Helbig and Hannah Hart and branded efforts by creators like Alfie Deyes and Zoella, it’s no surprise that the publishing world is in the midst of a YouTube gold rush. Hopefully the literary world is ready for the thousands of screaming fans that follow when YouTube’s biggest stars attend a convention.