BookTok is changing the game for writers old and new

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Every day, millions of creators post video content on TikTok to attract viewers and gain awareness on the site. Artists use the social media platform to sell their work, whether they make paintings, sculptures, clothing or books. TikTok is based on an algorithm that tracks what each user watches and interacts with, then provides related videos to engage them. Due to the algorithm, users with similar interests often end up seeing and interacting with the same content, creating the different “sides” of the app. One side of TikTok is BookTok.

What’s happening on BookTok is right in the title – it features content involving anything and everything to do with books. And, while TikTok is keeping its analytics locked down, it’s safe to say that BookTok is huge. The BookTok hashtag is currently at 60.8 billion views (a significant increase from the hashtag’s 12.2 billion views in November 2021).

Many creators who use posting content from the BookTok hashtag are strictly related to the books they have read, i.e. many BookTok users are not authors, only readers. These creators make videos featuring their favorite books, least favorite books, rankings, recommendations, and book races, but the content doesn’t stop there. TikTok linked to the book also covers character cosplay, scene re-enactments, and skits that poke fun at characters, tropes, and stories. Theories on future books of popular series also make up a significant number of videos.

App authors often post content related to the process of writing, editing, and publishing their book, but they may also post teasers or snippets to grab the attention of potential readers. Some authors explain important information that prospective authors need to know, such as the difference between independent publishing and traditional publishing. Many TikTok authors update their page with information about where their book is in the publishing process, whether they’ve just started writing, whether they’re reviewing their book, or whether they’ve reached the bestseller list .

Many authors are invested in both publishing content about their novels and other books that interest them. TikTok author Kaven Hirning (@kaven_books) often posts videos related to books by renowned author Sarah J. Maas, where she pretends to be the various characters in the series “A Court of Thorns and Roses” interacting with each other. others. She emphasizes the remarkable traits of each of the characters, such as Cassian, whom she portrays as a comical but silly character. Hirning is also promoting his first series, the first of which, “A Forbidden Fate,” will be released in the fall.

Likewise, Stacey McEwan (@stacebookspace) pokes fun at the common tropes and characteristics of love interests in popular novels. She has a series of videos in which she encourages her husband to learn the common ways of love interests in books. His other content includes promoting his upcoming novel “Ledge”, interacting with other BookTok creators, and discussing books and book adaptations.

BookTok has become a driving force in the book industry. Publishers say the book side of TikTok has significantly increased overall sales, but especially for books in the children’s and contemporary romance genres. Fantasy novels were also highly recommended on the site. What’s interesting, however, is that many of the books highly recommended by the creators of BookTok aren’t recent releases but are a few years old. Colleen Hoover was shocked when her 4-year-old novel ‘It Ends With Us’ surged in sales last fall thanks to her book’s popularity on TikTok. The sentiment is likely shared by many authors whose sales have increased thanks to BookTok.

Apart from its impact on sales, BookTok has revitalized the love of reading in many people. BookTok began to gain prominence at the start of the pandemic as people who hadn’t read a book in years started reading again. The community has since grown and encourages everyone to read. He recommends books for all interests, though he mostly focuses on specific genres.

TikTok has become a hub for authors, especially aspiring authors. With many authors explaining their experience with the publishing process, budding authors learn the steps to publishing their own books. Many choose to bypass the traditional publishing process altogether to self-publish or independently publish their novels. However, other aspiring authors have partnered with publishing houses to increase diversity in the publishing industry. TikTok has also helped potential authors who want their books published by bringing these writers to the attention of publishers. TikTok launched the careers of new authors by attracting an audience for writers’ books before the books had even been published — or even surveyed. Publishers are more likely to buy or bet on a book and author that already has a following.

Popular authors who use the app include Victoria Aveyard, author of the ‘Red Queen’ series, Ayana Gray, who opened a window to her life when she released her debut in 2021, and Hoover, a favorite of many creators. from BookTok. Hoover is of great interest as an app presence because most of his romance novels are staples on BookTok recommendation lists. As of December 2021, Hoover — or CoHo, as BookTok calls him — was the second most popular author with two of his books (“It Ends With Us” and “Confess”) appearing in the top 10 most popular books. Popularity was measured based on hashtag views, and Sarah J. Maas was the app’s most popular author at the time, even without a TikTok account; however, Colleen Hoover has more views than she currently does.

TikTok became a popular app in the pre-pandemic era, and the quarantine only increased its popularity. BookTok is certain to grow further and its reach will become more widespread. Bookseller Barnes & Noble even has sections for trending books on TikTok, so BookTok is unlikely to go away anytime soon. TikTok is unlikely to become a passing trend, but in that case, the BookTok community is also being felt on other apps, such as Instagram.

Social media has become more addictive and powerful in recent years, and TikTok has proven it can change perspectives and entire industries. BookTok has imagined a new world for authors to share their ideas and stories and connect with other authors. Social media can be toxic and harmful in many cases, but TikTok has connected people through a shared love of reading and writing.

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