Belfast Telegraph

Video blogger launches debut novel

A video blogger celebrated reaching number three on the Amazon Bestseller chart at the launch of her debut novel, thanks to the scale of pre-orders.

Zoe Sugg, otherwise known as Zoella, became an online sensation after creating video blogs with beauty advice and gaining more than six million YouTube subscribers.

A collection of her friends, family and the industry's main booksellers showed up at Penguin Random House's offices in London's Charing Cross for the launch of Sugg's book, Girl Online.

Though many may not recognise her name, the popularity of the book was such that every vendor broke the embargo on its sale, according to a spokesperson for the publisher.

Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver was there to show his support. He said: "I've come for two reasons. I've been working with the (book publishing) team for 17 years and I've been doing YouTube for a year and a bit. I'm very supportive of Zoe."

He added: "Traditional TV has been about stealing each other's audience. If me or Gordon (Ramsay) had a show it was stealing the audience from the other but YouTube isn't like that. It's about sharing and working together."

Oliver has 1,145,224 YouTube subscribers while the 24-year old currently has 6,570,237 and more than 2.5 million Twitter followers. She began her videos, which includes titles such as Drugstore Beauty Spree, in 2007.

Oliver praised Sugg, her boyfriend Alfie Deyes who is also a YouTube success, and their fellow blogger friends. " They're really dynamic. We have to admire them, they're doing five things in one - and my kids love them.

"I don't like to admit this but I'm the old fart here, it feels like now a new generation is starting here. I've been doing this for 17 years. I used to think I was doing a great job if I had 1,500 people turning up. Alfie's been getting 18,000."

Bloggers Tanya Burr, Giovanna Fletcher, Victoria Magrath and Jim Chapman w ere all at the book launch . Booksellers WHSmith and Waterstones also attended.

Tom Weldon, chief executive of Penguin Random House, said the book would be sold around the world.

Adele Minchin, publicity director at Penguin Random House, said: "We're expecting number one this week".

Discussing the book, Oliver said: "It's going to be great. Zoe's an amazing girl - her fans know that - and the people that don't know just yet need to get their heads around it."

He said he was " very happy" for his kids to watch the YouTube star's videos, which, he said, was a "big thing at the moment" at a time when parents were nervous about material online.

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