Booktok: 5 Things To Know About This Literary Phenomenon On Tiktok
TikTok, the favorite social network of young people, has also become a windfall for the publishing world. Users and influencers are now sharing reading recommendations via the BookTok hashtag. Here are 5 things to know about this phenomenon that publishing houses and authors did not anticipate.
1- This hashtag has 90 billion hits
If you think the content available on TikTok is all about dance videos, it's time to reconsider! In less than a decade of existence, this Chinese app launched in 2016 has established itself as the favorite social network for young people and has diversified its content into sometimes unexpected areas.
For example, this video-sharing platform offers numerous reading tips via the hashtag #BookTok. With some 90 billion hits, BookTok has become a global community of readers on TikTok and a real boon for the publishing world.
2- This community is animated by literary influencers
From dance to cooking videos, you can find everything on TikTok, including influencers and influencers who share their favorites for books... Among those who are now called booktokeurs, there are of course manga enthusiasts like Josh @letempledumanga who federates 1.7 million subscribers.
But this phenomenon is not limited to certain types of books popular with teenagers. The BookTok hashtag is now a kind of global book club where all literary genres have their place, not just manga or teen romance...
Among these book influencers, many are young women like Gallianne Goural, who shares her favorite romances with a community of 184,000 young people on her account @urfrenchbookworm and Victoire Ducluzeau who presents her favorites in short and addictive videos on the account @nous_les_lecteurs followed by 173,000 followers.
3- These videos help to boost the sale of certain titles
Thanks to these short and spontaneous videos, often funny or even moving, young people are reconciling with reading. If we are to believe the publishing houses, the BookTok phenomenon has even helped to relaunch certain so-called 'backlist' titles, i.e. those released several years ago.
All it takes is for a booktokeur to mention a book, even one that has been out for a long time, to see its sales increase in paperback format... This visible effect on sales is a boon for publishing houses and for authors, who today consider social networks in general and TikTok in particular to be formidable influencers.
Books recommended on TikTok were often favorites in bookstores when they were published and this social network allows them to be rediscovered or to be discovered by the younger generation.
4- The book world starts to collaborate with influencers
The craze for reading on TikTok is such that in October 2022, this platform was a partner of the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany, the largest international event in this field!
Some publishing houses are actually starting to work with influencers, for collaborations that go far beyond simply advertising new titles.
At the same time, booksellers are training on TikTok in order to be able to surf on this phenomenon. Some have decided to create an account to share their favorite books on this social network and/or to highlight in their store the books recommended via the hashtag BookTok!
5- Popular books on TikTok inspire screen adaptations
Finally, the BookTok phenomenon does not stop at the world of books and publishing, but also impacts streaming platforms. Recently, platforms are snatching up the adaptation rights to the most popular novels on TikTok and giving them a second life as movies or TV series!
This is for example the case of the series Daisy Jones & The Six available on Prime Video since March 3, 2023 and Shadow and Bone (whose season 2 will arrive on Netflix on March 16). As you can see, from the reading choices of your teenagers to the scenario of the next TV series or movies to be discovered, a little hashtag like #BookTok can have a huge influence!