If you haven’t heard of YouTube fashion vlogger Zoe Sugg, better known as Zoella, now’s the time to pay attention. Sugg just published her first novel Girl Online, and has sold more copies in the first week than any other debut novel in the UK, ever. Yep: that means she’s surpassed sales of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter, and guess what? She’s only 24-years-old.
Sugg became a viral sensation after sharing her views on fashion, beauty and hard issues such as body image, anxiety disorders and self esteem. After starting her YouTube channel in 2009 she has accrued over 6.5 million followers, and gets well over 1.5 million hits on the majority of her video posts.
She secured a two-book deal with Penguin Random House after it’s CEO, Tom Weldon had a chat with his granddaughter about the YouTube star.
She said, ‘Oh my God, you should buy Zoe’s first novel, she is amazing, the book will be a huge best-seller,” Weldon told The Telegraph at Sugg’s book launch last month.
Weldon’s 13-year-old granddaughter was right, as the book has gone on to sell over 78,000 copies in its first week, not only eclipsing Harry Potter, but other huge hits like Fifty Shades of Grey and Twilight, and is now the fastest selling book of 2014.
The novel is being dubbed the Young Adult version of Notting Hill, and follows high schooler Penny, who blogs under the pseudonym Girl Online. After her family uproots from the UK to NYC, she meets a cute musician named Noah, but things get messy when their relationship goes viral.
On her novel’s success, Sugg says “It’s such an amazing feeling. I’m so grateful to everyone who has bought a copy of Girl Online. I love that so many of my viewers are enjoying the book! This year has been so exciting and this for sure is the icing on the cake.”
For all those writers out there who are wondering how she achieved enormous success at such a young age, it may not be as hard as we all think.
“I never had any structure, I never thought this is where I want it to go,” she told the Financial Times earlier this year. “It was literally like my little space on the Internet, where I just used to write about the things I loved, or things that I thought other people would love as well.”
We can all look forward to Girl Online’s sequel this summer, which is sure to smash even more records.