Not so long ago, Alfie Deyes was known only by his teen following. Now, his new book, The Pointless Book, tops the UK paperback chart. How can it be that this book has rocketed straight to the top of the charts?
Apart from a few five minute slots on daytime television, this book was the subject of a frenzy of free advertising on sites like YouTube and Twitter. Search ‘#pointlessbook’ on Twitter – the book has been out for a month now and Deyes’ fans (who seem mostly to be pre-teen and teenage girls) are still gushing about the book. This surely demonstrates the key to marketing books to the younger generation: social media.
Deyes’ book is described as ‘part activity and part journal’, and is reminiscent of Wreck This Journal. It comes with a free app to download, which includes ‘linked hashtags and a social media campaign across multiple platforms’ so that ‘fans can share their experience of the book in real time’. This smart inclusion means that readers advertise the book as they read and interact through their use of social media, so the book is locked in a cycle of continuous re-advertisement for as long as his fans read it.
Blink Publishing, who published The Pointless Book, stated that if the book sold ‘30,000 copies that’s a success’. In reality, 8,000 fans turned up outside of Waterstones on the day of Deyes first book signing. This book, made up mostly of nearly blank pages, is an incredible success.
At first, upon hearing about Deyes’ book deal, I wondered whether print publishing would be a suitable market for a YouTuber. However, if you think of the product as a piece of merchandise, the move makes sense. Deyes’ fans would have been interested in a Pointless product in any format, but a book is something that most parents are more than willing to buy for their children. The Pointless Book ensures that fans are still entertained even when their allocated internet time is up.