Courtney Accocella ‘17/ Emertainment Monthly Assistant Web Editor
Six years ago, a fifteen year old in England sat down to post video reviews to popular YouTubers like charlieissocoollike. He called his channel the PointlessBlog. Now twenty-one years old, Alfie Deyes’ intentions are anything but pointless — in fact, he might be one of the most celebrated YouTubers today! PointlessBlog has come a long way, with nearly 5 million subscribers and almost 300 million views. It’s had some spinoffs too! If you were to add to his main channel stats Deyes’ vlog and game channels he has roughly 8 million subscribers overall and over half a billion views. Numbers like that are the reason Madam Tussauds is immortalizing Deyes and fellow YouTuber (and girlfriend) Zoe Sugg as waxwork figures to be premiered this year.
On any given day, a subscriber’s feed could be filled with a variety of content from one of Deyes channels. Whether it be a challenge video with a fellow YouTuber on his main channel or watching the internets favorite couple Zalfie play Sims on his gaming channel, or maybe even just a relaxed video of Deyes hanging out at home with his adorable puppy Nala, each video features the fun spirit and honesty he is known for. In an email interview, Deyes said, “I personally don’t have a line [when deciding what to film], I like to share everything so that my audience have a true and real concept of my life. Even when I’m at the doctors/traveling/moving house…everything!”
Deyes has created a brand based on sharing what most would consider, well rather pointless events. Watch any one of Deyes hundreds of videos though and you will understand why he has millions of views. Nothing feels contrived — instead, it’s just watching a genuinely happy person having fun and laughing. It’s clear that Deyes is actually enjoying the time spent filming and is able to create a sort of friendship with viewers through his camera. That’s why Deyes thought that writing a book was the next natural step to developing another way to interact with his fans.
And so became the first ever The Pointless Book! “I feel that the book is a physical version of my Youtube channel where the reader can also get involved in the fun,” Deyes explained. The Pointless Book was an activity-based nonfiction book that challenged the reader to think outside the page — sometimes literally. It also allowed a little more insight into Deyes’ personality. As fans answered the books questions, they could use The Pointless Book App (available on iTunes and Google Play) along with the novel to see his responses as well. It was a brilliant integration of the video-making Deyes’ fans were accustomed to, and it also brought his book to life. It was clear fans loved the concept as more than 10,000 copies were sold in the first week alone and The Pointless Book skyrocketed to the top of Amazon’s Best Book list in the UK. The Pointless Book has continued to have great success, selling over 250,000 copies since publication.
Deyes said, “The reaction to the first book blew my mind! I never expected it to be as successful as it was. People kept on asking me if I was going to make a 2nd so I sat down with my publishers and thought how we could make the book even better and then the work on book 2 began!” The Pointless Book 2 was released this past April (in fact the release date had to be moved up to meet the unprecedented demand) and quickly made it to the top of the Amazon Best Book list and the nonfiction chart yet again, continuing to impress fans with fun activities and quirky questions. “My favorite, but also the most challenging part,” Deyes said, ”was coming up with the page ideas and thinking how people might react and fill them out in different ways.”
While Deyes may claim this to be the most challenging aspect of his novel process, he seems to have a gift for it. The Pointless Book 2 is just as amusing and quirky as the first and picks up right where it left off. While the brand name may be Pointless, Deyes is certainly thoughtful in the work he has created for his fans. Everything fits together perfectly into this universe, so to speak, of Deyes light-hearted comedy and upbeat personality. Though we might not know what Deyes plans to do next, he’s bound to find success with his enjoyable and honest content.
Check out The Pointless Book and The Pointless Book 2 in stores now! If you’d like to see more of Alfie you can check out his announcement video for The Pointless Book 2!