Although influencer marketing has grown into a $21.1 billion industry, it’s still a relatively new and rapidly evolving field. You may be worried about how long your online career will last amidst challenges like changing algorithms and virtual AI influencers. 

One of the best ways to diversify your income and expand your brand beyond social media is to become an author. As an influencer, you already have the knowledge and tools to promote your book, making this a natural career move. Releasing long-form content also gives you an opportunity to connect with your audience more deeply and create an even stronger community. Authoring a book can even help you draw in new fans who may not be as active on social media. 

If you’re unsure of where to start, it’s helpful to learn about how other influencers made the transition. Below are profiles of six social media stars who have released multiple books and established themselves as authors.

6 Celebrities and Influencers Who Became Successful Authors 

Zoe Sugg 

Zoe Sugg, a popular British YouTuber, is one of the first examples of expanding your influencer career through authorship. Zoe started her beauty-related YouTube channel in her childhood bedroom in 2009 and grew her following to a total of 10 million.

Zoe broke the record for highest first-week sales for a debut author with her first novel, Girl Online. The book is about a fifteen-year-old anonymous blogger whose writing goes viral. The Telegraph called Girl Online “as sugary as a frosted cupcake,” which aligned with Zoe’s bubbly online presence and teenage audience. Her decision to stay true to her niche and brand paid off. 

Although Zoe’s novel achieved commercial success, she received backlash over her reported use of a ghostwriter. While Zoe contended that Girl Online’s story and characters were her own creation, it’s unclear how involved she was in the writing process. To prevent a similar PR crisis, it’s usually best for influencers to write their own books with support from an editor, book coach, or co-author. 

Luckily this wave of criticism didn’t derail Zoe’s authorial career, which has given her an additional stream of income as her YouTube views have fallen. She’s since released a nonfiction title, Cordially Invited, and launched a series of novels with co-author Amy McCulloch, titled The Magpie Society.

Connor Franta 

Connor Franta, an American YouTube star and artist, has written three successful memoirs about his childhood struggles with anxiety, depression, and self-love. His first book, A Work In Progress, sold nearly 200,000 copies in 2015 and stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 16 weeks. It focuses on his transition from growing up in the Midwest to becoming an internet star. 

He released follow-up memoirs called Note to Self and House Fires in 2017 and 2021 respectively. Connor has also launched a clothing line, coffee company, and record label. By diversifying his income streams, he’s been able to build his brand and create longevity. 

Joey Graceffa 

Joey Graceffa is a multi-talented YouTuber, actor, producer, and author. He’s translated his internet stardom into a diverse career, building four YouTube channels dedicated to vlogging, gaming, and reactions. Joey has been a contestant on The Amazing Race twice and won a Streamy award for his acting. He even produced and starred in a popular reality series called Escape The Night. 

Joey released his debut book, In Real Life: My Journey To A Pixelated World, in 2015. In it he details his challenging childhood, during which he had to grapple with his mother’s alcoholism and bullying at school. The book was well-received by fans due to its heartwarming message.

Since then, Joey has released a young adult novel titled Children of Eden, which turned into a series. While Joey is still active in the YouTube and film community, his career as an author has helped him stay relevant. 

Florence Given 

Florence Given, a British influencer and illustrator, has been praised for her social activism and relatable perspective on feminism. In 2018, she started a petition to end the Netflix show Insatiable for its body-shaming undertones. By 2019, Cosmopolitan UK named her influencer of the year.

Her first book, Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, was published in June 2020. It explores themes such as body positivity and self-confidence. Florence’s success as an author continued with her second book, Girl Crush, which came out in 2022. It follows a fictional bisexual woman as she goes viral on the internet. Girl Crush topped the Sunday Times Bestseller List for 26 weeks. Her next book, Women Living Deliciously, is set to be released soon.

Florence has been able to amplify her voice not only through writing, but also podcasting. In 2022, Florence launched Exactly, which explores topics like relationships and social media. Her success as a writer has also helped her attract readers outside of her TikTok and Instagram audience and grow her following.

Joshua Weissman 

Joshua Weissman turned his passion for cooking into an online career as a food influencer, amassing nearly 7 million subscribers on TikTok. Joshua says that he started cooking when he was only 3 years old and struggled with his weight as a child. In his teens, he lost over 100 pounds and detailed that journey in his first cookbook, which he published at just 18 years old. 

Although his first cookbook is no longer in print, two of his other titles have achieved New York Times bestseller status: An Unapologetic Cookbook and Texture Over Taste. Joshua’s unique approach to cooking and sense of humor have earned him many loyal fans and publishing success.

Lauren Conrad

Lauren Conrad is the epitome of an underdog story in the publishing world. She rose to fame on reality TV, starring in Laguna Beach and The Hills. At first, she wasn’t taken seriously as an author. No one thought that her debut novel, LA Candy, would be a hit. 

It was released in 2009 and immediately became a New York TImes bestseller. Lauren then published sequels titled Sweet Little Lies and Sugar and Spice in 2010. In 2012 and 2013, she released four more books in rapid succession: The Fame Game, Starstruck, Lauren Conrad Beauty, and Infamous

Lauren is not only a prolific author, but also a shrewd businesswoman. Paving the way for many starlets after her, Lauren created a popular clothing line as well as a beauty brand. Even when some of her projects failed, she was quick to pivot. Her ability to reposition her brand has enabled her to create stable sources of income from flash-in-the-pan reality TV fame. 

How to Break into the Publishing World

Books written by social media stars have become increasingly popular, even among demographics that don’t read very often. Publishers have taken notice of this growing trend and are releasing more influencer titles, from memoirs to cookbooks to how-to guides about social media. 

Influencers with dedicated fans are well-positioned for publishing success because they can easily build buzz around their book launch. As long as you leverage your following by creating a solid marketing plan, your book is likely to perform well. Here are some tips to help you break into the publishing industry and promote your writing.

Attend Publishing Industry Events

Although you have lots of contacts in the influencer space, you may not know as many people who work in publishing. Try to grow your network by attending industry events such as book fairs, writing conferences, and book launch parties. Rubbing elbows with agents, editors, and other authors can help you launch your publishing career. 

Publish Essays to Test the Waters 

If you haven’t done much writing, crafting a few essays is a great way to dip your toe into the literary world. Testing multiple essay topics will show you which message resonates the most with readers, helping you determine the best creative direction for your book. Getting your essays published will also drum up publicity for your project, especially if you submit them to major media outlets. Mentioning that you’re working on a manuscript in your contributor bio will build buzz and excitement around your work. 

Think Outside of the Traditional Publishing Box 

Many influencers and celebrities try to secure a book deal with a traditional publisher, believing that it’s the only way to get their book out into the world. However, there are other publishing options that can give you more creative control over your book and a larger share of the profits. 

Partnering with a traditional publishing house comes with significant downsides. Authors usually have to sign over the rights to their work, which may limit your ability to reuse and republish your own writing material. Your contract might prevent you from engaging in content repurposing, which involves editing your book into different formats like blog posts, podcasts, and speeches to save time. Being able to create derivative works from your book is one of the main benefits of becoming an author, so think twice before you sign your rights away.  

You and your publisher may also have disagreements about the direction and topic of your book. Your publishing team may not understand your audience and what appeals to them as well as you do. This disconnect can lead to creative conflicts over how to position and market your book. 

Publishers also take a large cut of the profits. Authors usually have to sell enough books to repay their advance before they can earn any royalties. Once you finally start getting paid, you may only receive 10% to 15% of each book sale. If you want to retain more of the profits, you should explore other options, such as working with a book coach. 

Get The Support You Need to Tell Your Story

Partnering with a book coach will give you the writing and editing support you need to craft an impactful manuscript. You’ll maintain creative control of the project, ensuring that your story is told in an authentic way that reflects your vision and appeals to your audience. Plus, you’ll maintain the rights to your work and won’t have to share royalties with a publisher. 

Our book coaching programs will guide you through the entire writing and publishing process, allowing you to leverage your following into a new career path. Becoming an author will add another dimension to your brand and show the world how multi-talented you are. Reach out to learn more about how we can guide you as you embark on your publishing journey.