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Zoella's Debut Novel WAS Ghostwritten, Obviously

08/12/2014 09:38 GMT | Updated 09/12/2014 14:59 GMT

The YouTube sensation Zoella didn't actually write her best-selling debut novel - at least, not on her own - it has been confirmed.

While she is largely inexplicable to anyone over the age of 16 outside of a broadsheet thinkpiece, Zoella (Zoe Sugg) has millions of young fans.

So when she released her first novel - Girl Online - in November it was unsurprising when it sold 78,000 copies in a week and went straight to the top of the charts.

But suspicions emerged almost immediately that the book was ghostwritten, and now Penguin Random House have confirmed it.

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Zoella and her publishers maintain that the idea for the book, the characters and the story were created by Zoella.

But a spokesperson told the Sunday Times: "to be factually accurate you would need to say Zoe Sugg did not write the book Girl Online on her own".

Zoella has now released her own statement on Twitter:

Zoella did not try to hide the fact the book was, at best, a collaboration. She even thanks two ghostwriters linked to Penguin (Amy Alward and Siobhan Curham) in the acknowledgements page.

"I want to thank everyone at Penguin for helping me put together my first novel, especially Amy Alward and Siobhan Curham, who were with me every step of the way."

Let's face it, it's also hardly unusual for a celeb to not write their novel first hand. Katie Price, for instance, famously embraced the fact that she used a ghostwriter (the novelist Rebecca Farnworth who died earlier this month) while going on to outsell most Booker nominees by default. Then there was the time "the minds of" Kendall and Kylie Jenner released that sci-fi novel. Eesh.

Zoella's fans largely seem to be sticking by their idol:

And some bloggers have pointed out that it might not matter that much either way.

'Ceilidhann' at Bibliodaze wrote: "…it remains to be seen as to whether or not this will cause loss of trust between her and her audience. Even then, it may not make much of a difference. 80,000 sales in one week speaks a hell of a lot louder than this kind of discussion".

Others have argued there is a contradiction between Zoella's message and her actions: