BookTok’s Impact on the Book Industry

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Jillian DeMaio, Staff Writer

TikTok has been a major influence over the younger generations in the past couple of years. Currently, TikTok has sectioned itself into many different topics and categories, one of which has named itself “BookTok”. BookTok is a section of the app filled with readers, authors, and publishers of all ages that connect and share their love of books through the app. However, not only is it influencing how much time people spend on the app, with 36 billion views on #BookTok, but it also has a great influence over the books that hit the bestseller list.

A 2014 release has recently hit the bestseller list once again after a long hiatus. We Were Liars gained much popularity amongst users and was suddenly more popular than when it was originally released. However, this is not the only book that has resurfaced due to its popularity on the app. They Both Die at the End, a 2017 release, has hit the top of the Teen Fiction charts. Since March of 2021, the novel has sold more than 200,000 copies, proving that BookTok has once again popularized books that have long since been published. 

The majority of users on BookTok happen to be readers; however, publishers are also aware of the impact the app has on sales. Publishing companies have created accounts on the app and have brought the attention of many books from their publishing house to readers all over the world. Currently, Penguin Teen has over 242.5k followers on the app and promotes sales for books they release. A rise in book sales has shocked companies that have experienced much through the use of the app. In 2021, there were approximately 825.7 million books sold as compared to 757.9 million the year prior. The apps we use every day are shaping the way businesses’ market and appeal to young audiences.

BookTok has taken the book world by storm and it doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. Barnes and Noble have tables dedicated to popular books on the app and interest in the hobby as a whole has risen over the years. This fact alone influences the rate and profits of publishing books but it also runs much deeper into social media than the average reader acknowledges.