Everything You Need to Know About BookTok

When BookTok first came on the scene, the publishing industry was taken by storm. BookTok has consistently remained one of the most active communities on TikTok, with over 72 billion views as of the writing of this post. BookTok is the spot for book lovers of all kinds to share books they’re reading, new or old. On TikTok, you don’t necessarily need a huge following to reach a lot of people, making BookTok a powerful–and mysterious–tool for indie authors. 

But before you jump in, here’s everything you need to know about BookTok:

  • Romance, romcom, fantasy, and YA are typically the most popular genres on BookTok. It’s also important to note that TikTok’s audience skews heavily female (60 percent female to 40 percent male) and young (the majority of users in the US are under 30). However, don’t be discouraged if your books don’t fall into these categories or audiences. There are still niche communities within BookTok, and even though these may be the most popular genres overall, there’s probably a BookTok creator out there that will enjoy your book. Try searching hashtags by genre (ex: #historicalfiction, #memoir, etc.) to find and follow other BookTok creators and influencers!
  • Barnes & Noble partnered with TikTok to bring you the #BookTokChallenge, in which readers are encouraged to share their reactions to new books and authors. TikTok is known for their viral challenges and trends, so it’s no surprise that BookTok gets their own challenge! With 145.9M views, the #BookTokChallenge is a great way to reach the BookTok community – and even possibly Barnes & Noble stores and shoppers! 
  • In July 2022, TikTok launched the TikTok Book Club, led by 5 of BookTok’s top creators (named “BookTok Laureates”). Every month, the Laureates read a selected book along with other BookTokkers and share their reactions, which culminates in a TikTok Live discussion at the end of every month. This is a great way for authors and readers alike to find each other and feel like a part of a community. Check out what they’re reading this month.

So, you want your book on BookTok…

…join the club! Just like other social media platforms, there is no exact formula for going viral on BookTok. This is why we encourage authors to join TikTok and post organically. Take a look at the #BookTok hashtag regularly to see what’s trending, what other authors and BookTok creators are doing, and don’t be afraid to interact with other users! Overall, the true power of BookTok’s success lies in the strength of community and word-of-mouth. 

“The #BookTok community keeps getting stronger, and is having a huge impact on people’s perception of reading,” says James Stafford, head of partnerships and community at TikTok. “No matter how well-known a genre or author, there’s a community celebrating it on TikTok, and we’re excited…to keep sparking these conversations.”

Still mystified by BookTok? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment below with any questions you have, and we’ll answer them in another blog post!

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