Bookshops have seen increased sales resulting from the viral TikTok trend #BookTok which encourages young adults to purchase and read featured books.
BookTok is a subculture within TikTok, where users create short videos to discuss, recommend, and review books. This has grown in popularity, with the hashtag ‘BookTok’ acquiring over 176 billion views.
Sarah McConville, who is in charge of fiction at QBD books, has seen a significant increase in book sales that she attributes largely to the BookTok phenomenon.
“Young people have always been a big part of our customer base, but I would say that portion of our customers has gotten bigger in the last couple of years,” Ms McConville said.
“BookTok has been huge for us [QBD books] over the past couple of years and young people are driving that.”
Many bookshops across the country now feature a BookTok section in their bookstore, a dedicated shelf for the most popular books as seen on BookTok.
“Rebecca Yarros is huge right now, Fourth Wing is massive and the response to the limited editions of both Fourth Wing and the new one, Iron Flame, was incredible,” Ms McConville said.
“It’s generating conversations and ultimately selling books, and that’s what we in the industry are here for.
“I also like how no one can market to TikTok readers; they choose what they like and what to talk about.”
BookScan analyst Kristen McLean said BookTok is one of the industry’s most vital platforms for discovering and promoting new authors.
“BookTok is really important for book discovery,” Ms McLean said.
“In today’s social media driven world, BookTok is especially important as a place to find books for younger readers.”
Avid reader Jessica Ind said she likes to look on BookTok to gain inspiration for books to read.
“I follow various BookTok creators who review books, which confirms or denies my decision to purchase,” Ms Ind said.