What is BookTok and How is it Altering Book Marketing?
It Ends with Us and The Deal, are books that came out over four years ago. This year, because of “Booktok,” they have all seen a surge of popularity that has led to one landing on best seller lists for weeks at a time, and the other having its series expanded.
How did TikTok change the publishing industry and best seller lists so drastically, and what does it mean for the future of book marketing?
In a small, obscure corner of TikTok, there is this little community called “Booktok.” Within this community is a group of people who all share a hobby that many people may not have time for anymore. Reading.
Within this niche, you will find all types of readers. Young, old, people who enjoy adult fantasy romance, and people who enjoy getting their heart strings pulled on. Despite their many differences, many of these readers will band together to start conversations about books, and some of these conversations go VIRAL.
A “Booktok” book that is particularly hot right now is It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover. It is an adult romance book that follows a woman on her journey within a new relationship with a partner who is different from her in more ways than one. The book rose to popularity after many Booktok users raved about how beautiful yet heartbreaking the story was.
The author of this book, Colleen Hoover, joined the TikTok platform to start conversations with her fans, do giveaways, and chat about upcoming releases. Her book, It Ends with Us, has been on the New York Times Best Seller list (as of 10/6/21) for 22 weeks because of its popularity on Booktok.
The Deal by Elle Kennedy, was first published as an indie romance book in 2015 as a part of the Off Campus series. The companion novel series are college sports romances that follow four couples who find love for the first time in their young adult lives. This year, her books have seen a rise in popularity because of Booktok. This popularity encouraged her to write the fifth book in the series that features novellas about the couples after college.
Publishers are starting to take notice of this level of popularity and have started Booktok accounts to promote books, have impactful conversations with fans, and even make funny meme-like videos to poke fun at some of the characters in their books. Publishers have even started to listen to fans about promoting diversity. Readers on the platform have expressed their want for more racially diverse books, and books that feature more LGBTQ+ characters. Publishers have taken notice of this request and started to promote books by these types of authors more.
Booktok is more than a group of people who meet up for a monthly book club. It's a platform full of creators who have changed the lives of authors and how the book marketing industry works.
If you want to see what the hype is all about, check out these Booktok videos!
It Ends with Us aesthetic by @katsxlibrary
The Legacy hype by @ellekennedyauthor
Penguin Teen 2022 book secrets by @penguin_teen