Influencers Turned Writers
By Alexandra Constable, Hayley Cadel and Yashika M.
In this issue, we are focusing on the turn of influencers to writers, the themes influencers cover in their books as well as some of the potential criticisms. Now in the age of social media, influencers have an engaged audience interested in their life and their business, which both makes their books appealing to their specific audiences but is also a large market for publishers to tap into. While many entrepreneurs and celebrities have written autobiographies, now there is a growing market not just for online content from influencers but also books authored by them.
Many influencers have chosen to use their platform to inspire their readership and share the secrets of their success in their autobiographies. For example, Jacy Duprie – a top fashion influencer – released her autobiography Liking Myself Back: An Influencer’s Journey from Self-Doubt to Self-Acceptance this June, in which she shares her journey from farm girl to online celebrity. She offers a candid account of her success and shares tips for embracing self-growth and confidence. Similarly, Chrishell Stause’s Under Construction: Because Living My Best Life Took a Little Work was released earlier this year in February. Stause is an American actress, known primarily for her role in the reality TV show Selling Sunset, in addition to her roles in The Days of Our Lives and All My Children. The book is a humorous and poignant memoir that recounts the obstacles Stause has faced in her journey to success and offers tips on how to overcome these personal trials.
As part of influencer-turned-writer success, many publishers are tapping into this market with books which act as a how-to for aspiring influencers. One example of this is Influencer: Building Your Personal Brand in the Age of Social Media by Brittany Hennessy which aims to teach readers how to monetise their content whilst doing what they love. Influencer is marketed as insider information from Hennessy who has “seen the role of influencers evolve and expand.” Another example is InstaStyle: Curate Your Life, Create Stunning Photos, and Elevate Your Instagram Influence by Tezza (Tessa Barton) and other well-known influencers. In this book, Tezza focuses on Instagram, which teaches users how to gain followers and grow an authentic brand. In both these examples, whilst creativity is at the heart of influencing, the authors do not neglect the business element and discuss analytics, engagement, and management representation.
However, it is worth noting that books by influencers and about influencing do not exist without criticism. When it was announced that Molly-Mae Hague would be releasing her book Becoming Molly-Mae, the similarity between her book title and Michelle Obama’s Becoming was commented upon, as well as the book’s potentially misleading angle. Whilst Molly-Mae has been financially successful, opportunities have, in part at least, stemmed from her stint on Love Island and, after many interviews, she has been criticised for her naivety on this boost of her platform. On the one hand, from a publishing perspective, books could be seen as just another business endeavour for an influencer and their brand, on the other, it could be argued that they are to some extent lacking authenticity or experience. Alternatively, The Accidental Influencer: How My Need to Get Likes Nearly Ruined My Life by Bella Younger has been praised for showing the realities of social media influencing. In her book, she frankly discusses balancing the online and offline versions of the self, as well as being honest about staged shots and sponsored content.
Influencer biographies have become an increasingly popular trend - not only do influencers use social media as an effective platform to reach out, influence and make the audience a part of their life, but they are also now releasing biographical books. Influencers, artists and celebrities are gradually joining the writer community with their memoirs. Here are some of the most awaited biographies recommendations of 2022. Brianna Madia’s Nowhere for Very Long is a little sneak peek into the influencer’s lifestyle and travelling experiences across Western America and her take on living life authentically behind the scenes. Another upcoming release that caught our eyes was Tough by Terry Crews who is a well-known television host, actor and former NFL player. The book highlights the importance of staying true to yourself while being a public figure and living up to both personal and professional standards, a very essential thing that needs to be focused upon. With this trend, it is worth keeping a look-out for your favourite creators and influencers because it’s likely that before long they will be releasing a book!