In the past year, the number of YouTubers with their own book deals has shot up dramatically. Publishers have realized the purchasing power of the devoted audiences who follow their favorite personalities online, and this has opened up the literary world as an alternate revenue stream for some web video creators. One of those creators is Grace Helbig, who begins a nationwide tour for her book Grace’s Guide on October 19th.
Helbig will appear in bookstores in seven cities to promote Grace’s Guide, which will arrive in both brick-and-mortar and online outlets on October 21st. Helbig announced her “irreverent and illustrated guide to life for anyone faced with the challenge of growing up” back in May, when it became available for preorder. The book is published by Touchstone, a Simon & Schuster imprint that also published a spin-off of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries.
Helbig’s tour comes right as the “YouTuber book deal” trend seems to be hitting a high point. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal profiled the process by examining YouTubers-turned-novelists like Helbig, Michelle Phan, and Alfie Deyes, whose Pointless Book attracted thousands of fans to signings in the UK. “I’m happy to sell six to 12 copies of a best-selling novel in a month,” said Cindy Dach, the co-owner of a bookstore in Arizona. “But when a YouTube star comes in, we sell hundreds in a few hours.”
Will the rise of the YouTuber book continue unabated? It doesn’t show signs of slowing down, so expect big crowds when Helbig hits the road on the 19th.