Zoella Ghostwriter Siobhan Curham Comments on Controversy: “I did not write Girl Online to get rich or famous”

After having been outed a couple weeks ago by an online forum as the real author of Youtube star Zoella’s novel, Siobhan Curham took to her blog yesterday to remark on the abuse she has received ever since the story blew up earlier this week.

Starting with the caveat that her contract prohibits her from getting into specifics, Curham said that:

However, now that I’m receiving messages from complete strangers accusing me of things that are a million miles from the truth, and now that my family are becoming furious and distraught at some of the comments about me on twitter – I feel I need to set the record straight as far as I am able to.

She went on to add that while she appreciated the acknowledgement, she did not know that her full name would be printed in the book, and that: “I did not invite any of this attention upon myself. I’m not remotely interested in cashing in on someone else’s fame. The thought of doing so turns my stomach.”

Later in her post she says that she was immensely impressed that Zoe Sugg chose to create a storyline that dealt with serious issues:

And, when I was offered the opportunity to help Zoe, I also saw the opportunity to help get important and empowering messages across to her incredibly huge fan-base.

Messages about self belief, anxiety, sexuality and – oh the irony – online hate.

The news officially broke on Sunday that Curham had in some nonspecific way assisted with the creation of Girl Online, a new novel which has sold 78,000 copies in its first couple weeks and is expected to be the best selling book this holiday season.


Random House was less than specific on what role Curham played, but I found enough evidence to convince me that Curham was the author.  And in the week since I have yet to find anything that would make me doubt that conclusion.

There’s speculation going around that Curham was paid  £7,000 to £8,000 for chost writing the novel, and if that is true then it’s frankly not enough for all the shit she’s had to put up with.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Bridget McKenna12 December, 2014

    Oh, the stupidity! A writer takes a work-for-hire gig to write a book for someone else, and the shitstorm falls on HER? What the EFF?

  2. Joe Follansbee13 December, 2014

    I believe we may be witnessing a variation of the “Streisand Effect,” wherein the person who is the receiving end of criticism (deserved or not), complains, and receives more attention. Instead of telling people that she doesn’t want to be famous, Ms. Curham ought to embrace her accidental fame and leverage it into a nice fat book contract.

    1. Nate Hoffelder13 December, 2014

      That would be a good business move, but I think this may have been too painful for Durham to want to capitalize on it.

  3. Kevin j waldroup14 December, 2014


  4. […] Galbraith pen name said that Robert was a veteran, or the book publishing industry's practice of deceiving the public by hiring (and then not crediting) ghost […]


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