March 19, 2015
The next Zoella book is being published this November
by Liam O'Brien
The council of bookselling elders took their seats around the ceremonial stone table. The firelight cast a shifting, uneasy glow across the table’s surface, no doubt echoing the group’s collective mood. Skerik, Queen of All Bookstore Buyers, was first to speak.
“The runes of The Bookseller have spoken,” Skerik intoned. “It will come to pass this year that she who is known as Zoella will return, bringing with her the Second Volume of the Vlogonomicon, also known to the commoners as Girl Online 2. Her army of followers will be at the gates of our bookstores by the eleventh month.”
An audible gasp rose up from almost the entire council. The face of Calaghea, Overlord of Supply Chain, drained almost entirely of color. “It cannot be!” he cried. “I heard tales she had just purchased a new fortress, but another novel…it is not possible!”
Skerik nodded. “It comes as a shock to even me, my friends. Her YouTube followers number in the millions, and there is no force large enough to stop them.”
Consortium, the Chief Executive of Parcel Shipment, slammed his tankard of mead onto the stone table with a resounding CRACK! “This is tyrannical!” he exclaimed. “Girl Online is already the fastest selling debut novel in our recorded history! Her beauty tip videos receive hundreds of millions of views – for eyeliner! EYELINER! Lord and Lady Bookscan are both still afflicted with the madness that she brought with her first book – nearly 80,000 units from the first week alone – and they still refuse to leave their chambers! Another book will undoubtably break their computer engines beyond repair!”
Calaghea nodded vigorously. “Indeed!” he croaked. “We simply don’t have the resources to supply copies that quickly again. Demand this great is simply unheard of!”
“ENOUGH!” roared Skerik. “You old men sicken me. You grouse and lament the coming of Girl Online 2, yet do we not seek a nation in which book sales remain robust, nay absurdly robust? Must we not show accordant respect for a vlogger-turned-superstar whose social media channels draw more traffic than traditional consumer media?”
“Appeasement!” cried Calliope, Baroness of Traditional Consumer Media. “Blasphemy!”
“Face it, people,” said Skerik. “We’re all going to have to brace for Zoella. She is unstoppable.”
“Must we?” hissed Consortium. “Is she truly as unstoppable as her follower count would imply? Did she not receive a sound defeat when it became public that she had not, in fact, written Girl Online herself, enlisting the help of Writer of Ghosts Siobhan Curham?”
A cackle rose up from a shadowed corner of the room. All heads turned, as the High Priestess of Social Media emerged, seemingly from nowhere. “Are you kidding me?” she said, taking her seat. “That barely made a dent. Some people got angry on Twitter and Facebook for about five seconds, and then they moved on. If anything, it made her fanbase even more devoted. Pro wrestling is fake, and celebrities-turned-YA-authors get some help writing their books. Everybody knows it and nobody cares as long as the ghostwriter gets paid.”
She retrieved her iPhone from one of her robe’s many pockets, opened Twitter, and began refreshing intently. “If any of your stores land a signing, I’d shore up your servers—her ticket sales tend to crash them. Oh, and sorry I’m late, or whatever.”
Skerik folded her hands, and stared down each of the elders in turn, except for the High Priestess who was still looking at her phone. “Send out your envoys, with horses who are fleet of foot. Let all who live within our nation prepare, as they cannot resist. Spread the word as far as the map’s reach.” She paused, and took a deep breath, as if to steady herself against the sheer weight of the three words she dreaded speaking.
“Vlogger is coming.”
Liam O'Brien is the Sales & Marketing Manager at Melville House, and a former bookseller.