Zoella relaunches WH Smith book club with author 'friends'

Zoella relaunches WH Smith book club with author 'friends'

Zoella has re-launched her book club with W H Smith, this time enlisting the help of fellow authors to select the titles.

Writers Juno Dawson, Jennifer Niven, Amy Alward and Chris Russell will now be part of the newly-formed “Zoella & Friends” Book Club, with the first set of titles released today (29th June).

Of the eight chosen books, Zoella herself has selected just one - Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu (Hodder Children’s Books), about a schoolgirl who starts a “girl revolution”.

Niven has also selected one book, Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt (Andersen Press), a “heartbreaking” story, narrated by 12-year-old Jack, whose family is caring for 14-year-old Joseph.

The other three authors assisting Zoella in the book club have chosen two titles each, with Dawson picking Girlhood by Cat Clarke (Quercus Children’s Books) and History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera (Simon & Schuster’s Children’s), Russell selecting After the Fire by Will Hill (Usborne) and Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer (Bloomsbury). The last two titles have been recommended by Alward, whose title The Potion Diaries (S&S Children's) was chosen for Zoella's first book club. She has picked The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr (Penguin) and The Start of Me and You by Emery Lord.

Both Lord’s title, published by Bloomsbury, and Mathieu’s, published by Hodder, will be exclusively sold through W H Smith from today (29th June) until 21st September in the case of Mathieu’s title and until 10th August for Lord’s.

Meanwhile all eight titles will have exclusive jackets for W H Smith.

The retailer said the decision for author “friends” to join Zoella in picking the book club titles would help to create “great conversation online within the young adult community, whilst offering a diverse list of recommendations to Zoella’s number one followers”.

“I had so much overwhelming positive feedback from Book Club Two so I am really excited to announce that this year I have a group of amazing authors joining me to help share another eight fantastic books," Zoella said. "I hope everyone enjoys reading these titles as much as we have.”

Jo Sayer, W H Smith trading controller, Kids Books, added that the retailer “couldn’t wait” to see “what all our customers think” of the new format.

The book club first launched in June 2016 with eight titles including Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard (both Macmillan Children’s Books), which combined went on to sell £1m collectively through Nielsen BookScan for all eight for the duration of the book club from August - September.

When the first tranche was released, W H Smith wasn’t the only retailer to benefit from an uplift, with sales on Amazon of those titles also taking off, and Alward’s The Potion Diaries (Simon & Schuster Children’s) – increasing more than 11,000% in one day.

However, the second set featuring Patrick Ness and Sophie Kinsella didn’t have the same impact on the charts when it was announced three months later in October 2016.

There has been a nine month gap between those titles being released and the announcement of the re-launch today.