Century, an imprint of Penguin Random House, is publishing a "unique" crowd-sourced book by British vlogger Will Darbyshire that aims to get to the heart of modern relationships, called This Modern Love.
From now until Valentine’s Day 2016, Darbyshire, who has over one million followers across his social media channels, is asking people around the world a series of questions about their romantic experiences, posting questions via his website, YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. The project will be a forum to share "innermost thoughts, either by letter, poem or photograph", described as "a chance for closure, to put words to feelings too complicated to speak aloud, or simply to celebrate the best of love".
Since launching on Tuesday (17th November) through an announcement on YouTube by Darbyshire, which has since racked up 90,000 views, his publishers have already received 2,000 letters in two days in response. ‘What would you say to your ex, without judgement?' is the first question posed as part of the project. A selection of letters and responses, curated by Darbyshire, will form the fully illustrated final book, which will publish in hardback and e-book on 7th July 2016.
Darbyshire, 22, said: “This project grew from the many messages I’ve received over the years from people with broken hearts. I’m so excited to start reading the letters and responses, and hope the book can offer some closure and comfort to anyone involved, as well being a fun read for the voyeurs among us.”
Senior editor Ben Brusey bought world rights from Giles Cowan and Nick Hayward at The Narrative. Brusey said: “Will is one of the most original creators on YouTube and this book is going to be a publishing feat – a new kind of collaboration between author, reader and publisher. We are delighted to be involved in such an innovative project”.
To get involved, submissions to the project can be sent by email, by post (UK or US), Twitter or Instagram using the hashtag #thismodernlove. Darbyshire’s Twitter handle is @willdarbyshire Details can be found at www.modernlovebook.com