YouTubers taking to written media has become more and more common over the years. While this movement has led some creators to pump out some overall okay works with their name on it for a quick buck, others have found natural, organic ways to grow their specific brand of content and translate it into the written word. This has resulted in some fantastic pieces of literature that feel like extensions of some already wonderful people.
These are their stories:
Selp-Helf by Colleen Ballinger
Colleen Ballinger is a woman of many faces, but arguably her most notorious is that of Miranda Sings. Miranda’s channel features Miranda, being Miranda, doing Miranda things, such as being as confident and entertaining as she is oblivious and talentless. With her book, “Selp-Helf,” Miranda seeks to impart on readers everywhere what they can do to be more like her, as we all aspire to be. With this satirical spin on the self-help genre, Ballinger doles out the laughs while helping readers come to terms with the harsh truths of life, like the fact that a well-done cateye look is fine, but you need whiskers to really pull it off.
Miranda Sings videos put the spotlight on her and her wacky ways, but “Selp-Helf” brings it all together in one solid book that readers can dig into and enjoy at their own pace as they make the transformation they have been waiting on for so long.
Nerdy Nummies by Rosanna Pansino
There is little that needs to be said about Rosanna Pansino that can’t be gathered from a quick scroll through her uploads: she’s nerdy, she’s a top-notch cook and she’s a pint-sized pack of adorable. Her channel, Nerdy Nummies, highlights techniques, recipes and even spins on classics that can help viewers make their own fun, festive and geeky food to blow away their friends.
Pansino’s book by the same name brings all of that and more directly into the kitchen, so readers can enjoy recipes, both old and new, in a clear and concise manner. A cookbook tends to be easier to parse than a video, but anyone who picks up a copy of “Nerdy Nummies” is in for much more than an average cookbook. Pansino packs all of her enthusiasm and humor in between the covers here, helping readers not only to make D-20 cookies, apple pi or robot brownie pops, but to also have a fun time doing it. The books transforms her signature content into something not only entertaining but practical as well.
The Book of Mythicality by Rhett and Link
Rhett and Link’s show, Good Mythical Morning, is more or less a variety talk show with strong emphasis on the variety. They have been known to make videos on weird psychology experiments, the best dance moves to avoid getting mugged and everything in between, all while preaching a message of being one’s mythical best to their millions of viewers. Their book, “Rhett and Link’s Book of Mythicality: A Field Guide to Curiosity, Creativity, and Tomfoolery,” pushes that philosophy even further. Amid bits of trivia, personal anecdotes and their trademark comedy, Rhett and Link offer readers direct advice on ways for them to take the reins of their lives and turn towards mythicality.
Within the pages of this tome, readers are given the mission to eat something that scares them, recommendations for making bold hair choices and instructions on how to speak at their own funerals. Rhett and Link use this book to put their mantra of mythicality into action and show their viewers just how they, personally, can be their mythical best.
All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher
Carrie Hope Fletcher is a tremendously accomplished actor and YouTuber, finding success in each independently. She has recently taken the time to pursue another passion: writing. Her first book, “All I Know Now,” is a memoir of the path her life followed to get to where she now finds herself. Unlike many books written in similar veins, Fletcher gives recognition to the mistakes she’s made and the problems she’s faced along the way. This mirrors the honesty and reality that her channel, It’s Way Past My Bedtime, is well-known for. Despite her success, Fletcher remains a grounded and relatable human being, and this really shows through in her memoir here. Readers will finish this book and walk away from it, not wishing that they could live a life like her’s, but knowing that she has lived a life like them.
Buffering by Hannah Hart
Creator of the My Drunk Kitchen series, Hannah Hart is no stranger to getting deep with her viewers. However, for the most part, this comes as brief asides or overarching morals explained as she hilariously stumbles her way through baking and booze. In her autobiographical essay compilation, “Buffering,” Hart expands on the beliefs and lessons she holds dear to heart and the trials and tribulations that taught them to her.
The sincere nature contrasts with the general tone of her My Drunk Kitchen series (although not entirely with her more recent deviations from these videos), but it never feels out of place or forced. Instead, “Buffering” lets fans of Hart get a deeper look into the aspects of her life that they know are there but are less commonly expounded upon.
You Deserve A Drinkby Mamrie Hart
Mamrie Hart (no blood relation to the above) offered a different take on memoirs in “You Deserve A Drink,” named after her video series wherein she dedicates personalized cocktails to whoever she deems deserving and partakes in them as she throws out pun after pun. Rather than showing off the polished portions of her life, Hart works to highlight the rowdier times, not shying away from any story she finds too funny to keep to herself.
“You Deserve A Drink” earns its subtitle — Boozy Misadventures and Tales of Debauchery — as Hart recounts stories of concerts and couch-surfing, tequila and topless tuesdays, all interspersed with detailed instructions for making some of her signature cocktails, helping readers simultaneously drink and laugh themselves silly all throughout her stories. Hart mixes equal parts wit, wine and wonderful tales, ending up with the perfect blend of everything she has made her channel to be.
The ABC’s of LGBT+ by Ash Hardell
“The ABC’s of LGBT+” differs a little from the other books on this list, offering up a detailed, inclusive and accessible educational resource for anyone looking to learn more about the LGBT+ community and all the different identities within. Ash Hardell is a prominent LGBT+ educator on YouTube who actively seeks to use their platform to promote understanding and acceptance of the myriad gender and sexual identities in the world. They have spent years putting out educational content, helping both those outside the community and those within learn about the people around them and, potentially, themselves.
The “ABC’s of LGBT+” serves as an inclusive encyclopedia of sorts that helps promote the goals Hardell pushes for with their channel, including a helpful glossary, detailed footnotes and an informational yet light-hearted tone. In an effort to make their work even more inclusive, Hardell features several anecdotes and illustrations by other queer folk, working to give those of all identities the voice and representation they are not often afforded. The book works wonderfully as both leisurely reading and a reference text, even having worked its way into some curriculums around the globe.
Art is Dead by Thomas Ridgewell
Thomas “TomSka” Ridgewell is one of the oldest YouTube creators out there with uploads dating back almost twelve years. Many of his videos are better known than the creator himself. In the decade and change that Ridgewell has spent putting out content, he has developed a specific brand of absurd, non sequitur-based and sometimes comedically-violent comedy. While his most common uploads are scripted sketches, often featuring other YouTube personalities, arguably his most popular and far-reaching work is the series of animated shorts he writes entitled “asdfmovies.” His book “Art is Dead” expands on the latter as a compendium of comic strips featuring bits and characters both classic and new.
In addition to a simple compilation of strips, though, the book also features personal notes from Ridgewell, explanations behind his works, and even original artwork by the man himself. “Art is Dead” is a great case of a book bringing content originally made for video to the written page while retaining all of the original quality and adding in elements that simply would not work in its original form on top of it.
The Amazing Book is Not on Fire by Dan and Phil
One would be remiss to write about books by YouTubers without acknowledging “The Amazing Book is Not on Fire,” by creative duo Dan Howell and Phil Lester. Across both their personal and collaborative channels, Dan and Phil have accrued a gargantuan audience with their light-hearted and uplifting comedy and general universal likeability. Their content is a little bit of everything: humor, discussions, games, challenges and most anything else you’d seen on the YouTube front page, but they always manage to put their own spin on it.
“TABINOF” draws on these bases in every respect and shows just as much variety in its pages as the boys do on their channels. Readers can find personal anecdotes, diary excerpts, quizzes, activities and more, each section dripping with everything that makes Dan and Phil who they are. The book serves a fantastic purpose in respect to their online presences. It is both a perfect starting point for those unfamiliar with the pair and a fun way for fans to feel like a part of the family they have built.
Books can be more than just a way to capitalize on an existing audience.
There are dozens of other worthy authors on YouTube, but this list should provide a starting point for anyone looking to get in touch with their literary side. The take away here is that books can be more than just a way to capitalize on an existing audience. With the right approach, writing a book can both complement existing content and expand overall channel reach.