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  • Writer's pictureBriAnna Sankey

It's a Booktok Takeover!

Updated: Apr 7

Personally Booktok has taken over my whole for you page, and I know I'm not the only one. It's become a phenomenon that has brought book lovers, readers, and writers all together into one haven where we can share our mutual love for getting lost in a story. This platform has made it possible for authors to become bestsellers over night, due to one trending video. You don't have to have a particularly large following to be heard on Booktok because your voice will be projected by others. All it takes is one person to fall in love with your book, post a video talking about it, and it convinces others to read it. Before you know it hundreds, maybe thousands of people are reading the same book because they feel a sense of community where they can share their ideas with people who just get it. It's like the worlds largest virtual book club, who doesn't love the sound of that?


We Were Liars By E. Lockheart was a trending novel on Booktok back in 2021, despite it being published all the way back in 2014. Someone had stumbled upon it, read it, loved it, posted about it, and over night it climbed it's way back up the New York Times Bestsellers list. This over night success for Lockheart gave her the opportunity to market a prequel to We Were Liars, which readers couldn't get their hands on fast enough! A book that was almost a decade old became the most talked about book on social media because of Booktok.


No other social media platform has ever had that kind of influential power over the public, which makes Tiktok an incredible marketing tool for the publishing industry. You can't walk in any book store now without seeing a "Booktok" table front and center. These are familiar titles that people see and buy because they want to relate to what everyone else is talking about. For new and upcoming authors, it's a great platform to get their voice out to the public and boost sales. There are so many creative options: a video of the author including a trending audio, telling a summary of their book as an intriguing storytime, marketing dialogue in the book as text messages... There are countless ways to draw in an audience. In my opinion I love seeing tiktoks from the authors casually at their desk, talking about how excited they are about their book, and thanking their fans. It gives them personality, but more importantly it humanizes them. We have a face to a name, and they feel like a friend we should support, instead of a name on a cover page.


 

Popular trends on Booktok include but are not limited to...


Bookshelf Tours: Here creators show the way they organize their bookshelves according to various different categories such as genre, author, color, or even personal favorites. The decor is always visually aesthetic.


Monthly TBR: This is an ambitious layout for the books a creator plans to read in that upcoming month. Usually it's much more than they can complete, but it's entertaining to watch especially now during the Fall season. You'll notice they correlate to the given month. I'm noticing more Halloween, thriller, witchy books being pushed currently.


Monthly Reading Wrap Up: These videos consist of creators briefly reviewing the books they've finished during the course of the month. They'll start with their total amount of books read, and go in chronological order, while giving a brief synopsis, and ranking the book 1-5 stars. These have a gigantic influence on me personally. I feel like every time I watch one I add five more books to my wish list.


Book Hauls: These videos are extremely entertaining, and one of my favorites to watch. In a book haul, a creator will show a giant stack of books and break down each and every book they recently purchased. It's perfect for people who have put themselves on book buying bans (me) because we can live vicariously through them and not spend a dime!


5 Minute Challenge: When I tell you this is any book lovers dream, I am not exaggerating. The 5 minute challenge is when a creator has only 5 minutes to pick out as many books as they possibly can carry, either in their arms or a basket, before their time runs out. Whoever is recording them in the book store usually buys all the books for them. It's situations like these, where we realize we have super strength all of the sudden.


 

Over the summer I read many trending Booktok books. Not every one is a 5 star read, but a majority of them are incredible pieces of literature that I probably would not have picked up without seeing the recommendation in a book haul, or a monthly reading wrap up video where they review and rank all the books they had read in that previous month. Honorable mentions for trending Booktok books include, The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides, Fourth Wing By Rebecca Yarros, They Both Die at the End By Adam Silvera, The Housemaid By Freida McFadden etc. The beautiful thing about this community is that any and every genre is welcome, which influences readers to step out of their comfort zone and tackle something they otherwise wouldn't have picked up in a bookstore.


Booktok has influenced people who don't read, to give it a spin! There is one tagline that is popular in the 60 second videos where creators post, "Books I read in one sitting". The idea here is to show that these books were so well written that they couldn't put them down! No bathroom breaks or midnight snacks, before they knew it the sun was coming up and they were on the last chapter. If that doesn't convince you to hop in your car and make a trip to Barnes and Noble I don't know what will!


Next time you find yourself with a five star read you just can't get out of your head, share it with Booktok. Who knows, you might even set the trend for the next New York Times Best Seller because on Booktok, everyone has a voice.



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