#BookTok: literature back in vogue

Fig 1. Popular books on #BookTok 


During the lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, travel restrictions and the closure of schools and businesses led to a shift in daily habits. As a result, many people started to devote their newfound free time to reading. On TikTok[1], books have become a real phenomenon: the hashtag #BookTok now has 218 billion views worldwide. A new generation of readers has emerged on this online platform, and with them, new consumers.

TikTok holds a power that no other social media platform has achieved before. Most of the literary genres recommended by the platform’s content creators, also known as TikTokers are romance books. Some books have grown in popularity thanks to the #BookTok trend, which has had a significant impact on book sales and enabled many readers to discover new books. Sometimes all it takes is a single video for book sales to take off. This was the case, for example, with Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles. The book is a retelling of the story of Achilles, a legendary hero of the Trojan War. Miller’s book was first published in English in 2011, but it was not until 2021 that it became very popular, selling much more than in previous years. Colleen Hoover, an American novelist in the romance genre, has also enjoyed great success on the platform. Originally published in 2016, her novel It Ends With Us sold a total of 7.3 million units in 2022 thanks to the #BookTok phenomenon, which is 2.3 million more than the Bible.

TikTok seems intent on carving out a place for itself in the book industry, as it is also encouraging creativity with a sticker on the application that lets users earn points by publishing content, following creators, or inviting friends to join TikTok. These points can then be converted into gift cards to buy books, particularly on Amazon, the official partner of the platform’s Book Club launched in June 2020.

Two examples of TikTokers who have created a special place for themselves are @aymansbooks and @byhelgam. Their innovative approach to content creation has not only attracted large followings, but also enriched the #Booktok community by offering unique perspectives on literature.

Mixing insightful book reviews, literary humour, and engaging discussions about all things book-related, @aymansbooks is a remarkable TikToker. With an audience that follows her every recommendation, she has become a leading voice within #Booktok. Her accessible and witty commentary on books transforms the solitary act of reading into a shared experience. Her TikTok now boasts an impressive 950,000 followers and 138 million likes, demonstrating her significant influence and popularity within the #Booktok community.

With a distinctive fusion of literature and fashion, @byhelgam stands out in the #Booktok community that goes beyond traditional book discussions. She attracts attention with over 136,000 followers and nearly 4 million likes. Her meticulously crafted videos have captured the imagination of the #Booktok community by creating outfits and aesthetics inspired by beloved books and characters. She has developed an imaginative approach that not only elevates the visual representation of literature, but also invites her audience to engage with books through an immersive lens. Her content serves as a dynamic exploration of how stories can inspire beyond their textual boundaries, fostering a visually enriched dialogue between literature and its readers. @byhelgam’s videos are a vibrant reminder of the power of stories to inspire beyond the page: they invite viewers into a visually enriched dialogue with literature.

Both @aymansbooks and @byhelgam exemplify #Booktok’s diverse potential to inspire creativity and foster a community around the love of reading. @aymansbooks invites her audience to think deeply about the books they read with her in-depth discussions and humorous takes, sparking conversations that extend far beyond her comment section. Meanwhile, @byhelgam uses visual storytelling to draw her followers into the aesthetic world of literature, creating a unique bridge between stories and their readers.

Their contributions to #Booktok are not just about sharing book recommendations; they are about creating spaces where literature is celebrated, discussed, and experienced in a multi-dimensional way. Their content highlights the evolving relationship between readers and the stories they treasure and proves that the world of books is as limitless as the imagination.

The #BookTok trend works very well simply because people are moved by books. We can find influencers and TikTokers crying because of a book, filming themselves and sharing their feelings. This makes the experience more authentic. Instead of giving an ordinary review, the influencer conveys the emotion of the book. Since #BookTok, reading has become fashionable, partly because of the group effect, but also out of curiosity. A lot of people who haven’t given much thought to literature in their lives are taking up reading.



Culoso, Ava. “The Next Literary Frontier: The Rise of BookTok”. The Hoya. (2021-09-30) https://thehoya.com/the-next-literary-frontier-the-rise-of-booktok/

Flood, Alison. “The rise of BookTok: meet the teen influencers pushing books up the charts”. The Guardian. (2021) https://www.theguardian.com/books/2021/jun/25/the-rise-of-booktok-meet-the-teen-influencers-pushing-books-up-the-charts

Porter, Anderson. “NPD BookScan: US Print Book Market Shows a ‘Strong August Performance’”. (2022) https://publishingperspectives.com/2022/09/npd-bookscan-us-print-book-market-shows-a-strong-august-performance/

Stewart, Sophia. “How TikTok Makes Backlist Books into Bestsellers”. PublishersWeekly.com(2021) https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/87304-how-tiktok-makes-backlist-books-into-bestsellers.html

Zarroli, Jim. “BookTok is a new force driving book sales and publishing deals”. NPR.org. (2021). https://www.npr.org/2021/12/26/1068063564/booktok-is-a-new-force-driving-book-sales-and-publishing-deals

[1] TikTok is the social network most used by young people. It was launched in 2016 and is owned by the Chinese company Bytedance. It allows users to create and share short videos, often accompanied by music or special effects.


OpenEdition vous propose de citer ce billet de la manière suivante :
idridi (18 juin 2024). #BookTok: literature back in vogue. EN-globe. Consulté le 24 juillet 2024 à l’adresse https://doi.org/10.58079/11ujp

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