Content focused on healthy living and looking good was popular long before the advent of social media. The difference now is that platforms like Instagram and Youtube have made the visual manifestations of health and beauty so quantifiably accessible that, for many, gazing at an avocado has become both commercially relevant and a beautifully framed creative lifestyle choice.
That’s not to say that every person snacking on these images are actually living their life by the mantra of these books. In this article published on the Guardian website last June, Hadley Freeman observed:
“It’s perhaps not surprising that these books have found such a large audience: most people do eat too much crap and would like to be healthier, or at least thinner. If it takes a bunch of 25-year-olds with access to social media to make eating fruit (non-tropical) seem cool, this can only be a positive thing, surely?”
And for publishers it does indeed seem to be a hugely positive thing, as PanMac’s Blue Bird imprint discovered with Instagram star Joe Wicks’ cookbook Lean in 15 which has broken sales records with over 500,000 copies sold in the first three months.
Shooting into the best seller lists this week based on huge pre-orders is Youtube star Niomi Smart’s Eat Smart, with a publication date set for September. A signed edition, without an official cover, has already topped the overall bestseller book chart. Illustrating once more the power of a massive, direct network and a meaningful platform. But also, once again, a good old fashioned physical book is helping extend the reach of a developing 21st century on-line brand. Not as just another piece of merchandise along with the t shirt, mug and calendar. But as an engaging, high spec piece of content with significant perceived value. As smart gift and self-purchase.
Who’d have thought it.