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#BookTok: The Social Media Trend That’s Taking The Book Industry By Storm

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TikTok, an app that began as a platform to post dance videos is uplifting the book industry. As the Bookstagram (Instagram Trend) got people deep into the world of books, young users are posting about their favorite books on TikTok with the hashtag #BookTok. Though the videos with the hashtag have more than 84 billion views. This trend has got Generation Z, born in the late 1990s and early 2000s, interested in reading books.

In the past few years, Tik Tok has grown massively. In Germany, half of all 12 to 19-year-olds and one-third of the population in their early 20s regularly use TikTok.

Bookshelves sorted by color

The hashtag #BookTok began on the platform in early 2020. Users post creative short videos presenting the novels they’ve read recently or take different challenges, like that of reading a book in a day.

The Song of Achilles
“The Song of Achilles” written by Madeline Mille, in 2011, became a bestseller long after its publication after being posted on BookTok.

Some BookTokers have arranged their bookshelves according to color. This has created a surprising trend with a profitable impact on the sales of some books. In an unbelievable instance,  “The Song of Achilles” written by Madeline Mille, in 2011, became a bestseller long after its publication after being posted on BookTok.

Digital word of mouth

Young Adult fantasy, thrillers, and romance books are mostly successful. Novels written by Colleen Hoover, a US writer, have appealed to young readers: with suspense, drama, and emotions. Most of Hoover’s fans post videos of themselves in tears while reading the book.

#BookTok is gaining users as it lets them connect with other like-minded people. The recommendations on the books work as a digital word of mouth.

Recognition of unknown writers

This is the power of social media that highlights the work of both the talent as well as the naïve. #BookTok gives an opportunity to not only established writers but also gives recognition to unknown writers. Olivie Blake’s novel “The Atlas Six” became so famous on TikTok that the author was signed by Tor Books, an imprint of Pan Macmillian.

Different communities are also emerging on the platform through the latest social media trend. Books with characters from undervalued or minority groups, written by an author of the same status are promoted using hashtag #OwnVoices, creating new communities of readers.

Power of TikTok

The BookTok trend has spread to other online channels. Retailers are leveraging the trend to boost their online sales. A German bookstore chain Thalia has dedicated a category for BookTok bestsellers on its online shop.

The trend has affected the marketing departments of publishing houses. Piper Verlag is sending BookTok influencers review copies for free. Some other publishers have set up their TikTok accounts to post BookTok-related content including promotional videos or short interviews. They post videos in different formats such as posting polls which has a deeper impact on readers.

BookTok accounts
BookTok influencers are being sent review copies for free. Publishers have set up their TikTok accounts to post BookTok-related content.

German publishers with their accounts on the platform, DTV Verlag and Loewe Verlag, specializing in children’s and youth literature, have had huge successes. But they have not yet received views from the most popular BookToker.

The Frankfurt Fair

The Frankfurt Fair
The Frankfurt Fair, which runs from October 19-23, is in cooperation with BookTok.

The Frankfurt Fair, which runs from October 19-23, is in cooperation with BookTok. For the first time, the fair has a stage for BookTokers, in which they will conduct discussions on different niches, their approach, and the latest trends.

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