What’s this – a last-minute candidate for the Booker Prize shortlist?
One of the UK’s foremost video bloggers has seen his debut book shoot to the top of The Sunday Times bestseller list and up the Amazon charts after 30,000 copies were snapped up in less than two weeks.
Tomorrow, Alfie Deyes, who runs a YouTube channel named PointlessBlog, will become the first author to hold a standalone book signing at the ExCeL arena in London. The channel, which served as the inspiration for his tome, The Pointless Book, has more than two million subscribers.
Pointless by name, pointless by nature?
Deyes, who turned 21 on Wednesday, has amassed an impressive following of dedicated fans – mostly teenage girls – who would vehemently dispute that. Part journal, part activity book, the publication features a free downloadable app enabling readers to communicate with their hero online via social media.
The vlogger, whose recordings have been viewed 37 million times in the past month alone, explained it is “basically just full of loads of crazy fun, weird little activities for you to do”. In his videos, which he began creating from his bedroom in Brighton when he was 15, Deyes performs pointless tasks such as Googling himself and covering his face in chocolate. The Pointless Book, which Deyes has called “a gift” to his fans, encourages readers to complete “pointless” tasks and “challenges of nothingness” including baking a cake in a mug and creating a time capsule.
Pretty cutting-edge stuff, then...
You may sniff, but Perminder Mann, managing editor of Blink Publishing which is behind the book, said: “Vloggers and YouTubers are shaping the future of publishing. Many of them have more viewers than prime-time TV programmes and the teenage readers of books relate far more to them than traditional authors.” Given the sheer number of fans Deyes enjoys, there could be a kernel of truth in that: a book signing at Waterstones in Piccadilly had to be cancelled two weeks ago for safety reasons after 8,000 teenage girls turned up.
He’s not short of admirers, is he?
Sadly for Deyes’ disciples, he’s off the market. The internet celebrity is in a relationship with the beauty vlogger Zoe Sugg, also known as Zoella, whose channel has a whopping six million subscribers. Touted as the Posh and Becks of the internet, they have been assigned their own portmanteau – together they are known as “Zalfie”.