December 1, 2022
Since its rise in popularity, the app TikTok now has over 750 million users worldwide. Its influence spreads, whether by discussing favorite artists, shows, political issues or even books.
A subsection of TikTok called BookTok has dedicated readers hooked. Left and right, books are gaining popularity based on recommendations through this platform. Evelynn Papez ‘23, an avid reader, states, “If it weren’t for a suggestion I got on BookTok, I would not have found my favorite book, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.”
There are hundreds of creators on BookTok. A creator is classified as someone who makes videos for others to watch. In this case, these creators make videos promoting certain novels, influencing others to read them.
These videos often discuss a book’s emotional aspects, with a side description of the plot, which is what most dedicated readers are looking for.
A user can even search for a particular trope (a standard convention used to classify a book in a specific genre) to personalize the experience of finding the next novel.
For example, if a reader were looking for a romance novel under the trope of “Enemies to Lovers” (one of the most popular ones today), she could easily do that through BookTok. Not only would she get recommendations, but she would hear honest reviews from the creators.
The possibilities are endless on BookTok. Every book possible is highlighted on the app, ranging from mystery to science fiction to romance.
This platform for sharing videos has helped authors immensely. According to the New York Times, BookTok has allowed authors to sell 20 million printed books in 2021. This number only goes up as the years go on, increasing by another 50% in 2022 so far.
Authors who have not had much recognition in the past are now getting the attention they deserve through creators’ videos.
Colleen Hoover is just one example of this phenomenon. She is now one of the best-selling authors in the United States. NPD BookScan, a program that tracks books sold in the United States, found that Hoover has sold four of the ten best-selling books this year, an accolade not many receive.
Even retail stores like Barnes & Noble have started featuring a “BookTok” shelf to attract young readers. In this section, many of the most popular titles on the app are displayed, such as A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder and The Inheritance Games, both of which are raved about on TikTok.
These retailers are even noticing a boom in their sales, too, after the launch of #BookTok. As mentioned in the World Economic Forum, people have bought over 825 million print books just this past year.
These numbers are the highest they have been since 2004, showing that the pandemic has dramatically increased the number of readers in the nation and even internationally.
Overall, BookTok has had nothing but positive effects on the community. Not only has it increased the number of readers worldwide, but it has also allowed retailers to continue selling and authors to keep writing. Rylie Wood ‘23 exclaims, “I love BookTok! Whenever I want to read something, I go straight to the app. I don’t know what I would do without it.”