This is Zoe Sugg. I'd never heard of her until yesterday, but it seems that I'm in the minority here, because millions upon millions of people have.
She is a super-famous 24-year-old British Youtuber (like Poppy!) under the name Zoella, with over 6.5 million subscribers who recently released her debut young adult fiction novel, Girl Online.
It has had a truly epic first week of sales.
According to the Daily Mail, we're talking 78,000 copies have made their way into avid reader hands. In one week.
J.K Rowling and Dan Brown didn't achieve that sort of success that early, and the sales figures have E.L James's debut week beat five times over.
It's a great story. The book sounds cute and I'm stoked for her success, I'm stoked for ANYONE to achieve such success, but I was surprised that the several news articles I read about her didn't appear to be quite so enthusiastic.
No. She is accused of having utilised a ghost writer. It's quite the scandal and mainstream media seems cheesed off about it.
But I don't understand what the big deal is. Sure, it would be wonderful if she had written the book herself and hadn't just been approached because of her ready-made audience, the plot sounds like it's based on her life, after all, but how many other famous people have hired ghost writers to completely write, or at least help with writing, their novels? Do you really think Snooki wrote her best seller herself? How about the Kardashians? The second I saw their novel Dollhouse on the shelves I knew they couldn't have written it, not because I don't believe they could possibly be good at it, but because writing is time consuming and doesn't make great TV. Between parenthood, travel, photo shoots, appearances, running a clothing store chain, clothing lines, fragrances, endorsements, and starring in their countless, never ending reality shows, where would they have found the time?
Nicole Richie, Hilary Duff, Lauren Conrad and even the youngest of the Kardashian klan, Kendall and Kylie, have young adult fiction novels out - the same genre as Sugg's - with the help of a ghost writer, but I don't remember there being quite as much moral outrage toward them as I have seen Zoe Sugg receive through traditional media this week.
Maybe it's because of the book's immediate smash hit success that people are feeling a little indignant that it's due more to her name on the cover than her own words on the page.
But don't forget, it's not like James Patterson writes his own books anymore - it's just his name on the cover. Nancy Drew and Sweet Valley High were written by a team of ghost writers, too. Did it make them any less enjoyable?
And film studios are doing the same exact thing, capitalising on prior successes by picking up best-selling fiction franchises and turning them into blockbuster movies because the fans are already there. It's easy money. Who DOESN'T want easy money?
It can be hard for writers without a known name to break into the industry on their own, especially when there are celebrities monopolising the attention, but it's all part of the business. And they weren't always celebrities. Zoella started with a big fat goose egg of subscribers on day one and has built her way to success just like we're all trying to do.
As I said above, I think Girl Online looks cute and I look forward to reading it, regardless of who wrote it.
I'd love to know your own thoughts.
I, Sarah Billington, am an Australian writer of romantic comedies, thrillers, zombies, a TV extra, travel blogger for Expedia and animal blogger for Zookie. I also edit other peoples work sometimes, be they authors or businesses, and design their page layout and book covers.