Friday, 19 December 2014

Girl Online is ghost-written - so what?

Zoe Sugg has been at the centre of controversy ever since it was announced that the YouTube extraordinaire did not write Girl Online on her own, and what a time she has had since the news came out. Penguin told the Sunday Times that "Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online by herself." Naturally, that caused an uproar in the internet community, with many fans turning against the 24 year old, calling her a 'fraud'. 

Well, Zoe Sugg, I am here to tell you that I don't care who wrote the book - whether it was you or some random woman that I don't even know the name of. 

Zoe mentioned several times that she was writing a book in her vlogs, but now we don't know how much of it she actually wrote. There was definitely a ghost writer involved, but how involved they were we don't know. It could have been that Zoe wrote the skeleton of the book and then it was fleshed out. The ghost writer could have written the whole thing from start to finish. Or, Zoe could have written the book and then the ghost writer went back through it and touched things up a bit. Whatever the situation is, you are naive if you think that it is outrageous she didn't write this book herself. She is not a writer. She has no previous education in creative writing (that we know of). Of course she is going to need help because this is not something that she has done before. What person could really go ahead and write a book all by themselves, and have it be successful? No one. Not even established authors write their books completely by themselves - there is a whole team of people behind them, reading and re-reading the book, editing it, making notes on it, changing bits they don't like, thinking of new ideas to slot in. If that is what a professional author needs, then why can't Zoe have that too.

The explanation behind this uproar? Her online fanbase. I think people forget that Zoe is a real person with real feelings. She is not perfect - no one is - and we can't expect her to be. Everyone needs a bit of help, some more than others, and this is a perfect example of this. Zoe has done fantastically well for herself and I am sure she never imagined she would get to where she is today when she first posted a youtube video all those years ago. To have come as far as she has and now have a best selling book under her belt, she should be applauded. The ideas and characters are her own and that, really, is what is important in a book.

To be perfectly honest, I don't think Zoe has handled the situation the best and she definitely needs to give people some answers. How much of it did she actually write? Did she do it for the money? It needs a whole video on it, but I am sure there will come a day when she needs to address the issue, but give her some time people.

Who cares if it is ghost written? I enjoyed it. It is still a decent book with a mushy, soppy plot line - my favourite kind. Well done, Zoe.


  1. I don't have any problem with the book being ghost written at all, you're right about that she has no experience as an author etc. However I just think it's very misleading to her fans, especially considering how young and easily influenced a lot of them will be, to not disclose it from the beginning and I also don't think it's fair on the actual girl who wrote it and just think that she should have been credited as a co-writer. Fab post, really well written!

  2. You're right, it is very misleading! I have just noticed on Goodreads though that the author is named as Zoe Sugg, Siobhan Curham so at least she is getting acknowledged there! Also thank you, I love hearing that :)

  3. Completely agree! I couldn't care about the ghost writer situation but i think it's the way she tricked her followers to think that she wrote it. But then again her friends Tanya, Louise and even Alfie etc told in their vlogs that ''she's been working hard on it'' and stuff like that I remember Louise saying that Zoe had been writing this book for the last 2 years! Zoe wasn't signed up with Gleam 2 years ago! Haha! And I totally agree with you about the way she handled the situation. The fans need answers, She could of given answers then take time off the internet. Think that would of been waaay better!

    -Anna -

  4. I've heard people mentioning how much she has been working on it too so I have been hoping that means that she actually did write a fair bit of it! I know, it just seemed a bit like a cop out didn't it! It was like she was running from the situation so that she didn't have to deal with it.


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