The Power of BookTok: How TikTok is Reviving Reading
At some point in our lives, we have all read a book, whether it was a children's book, a short fiction story, a comic book, or a graphic novel. We may have had to do so for a school assignment or chosen to read for leisure. With the increasing prevalence of technology in our daily lives, traditional reading is being replaced by social media stories and reels.
Although social media can have negative impacts on society, there is a recent trend that has a positive impact on people's lives. The impact of BookTok, the book lover community on TikTok, can hardly be overlooked and is considered one of the most notable social media trends in recent times.
BookTok has a huge online community of book lovers who share their favourite reads. In the last 90 days alone, there have been over 1 million posts and 6 billion views. This article will discuss the influence of BookTok on readership in North America and analyse why this trend is particularly significant.
How has BookTok revived reading?
A recent study shows that BookTok has been playing a major role in reviving reading in the United States and Canada. According to the study, which surveyed 10,000 TikTok users, 48% of American users and 53% of Canadian users stated that they are reading more books directly because of the BookTok trend. Many people want to join in because it's currently a popular trend and nobody likes to be excluded.
In addition, American and Canadian users have reported a considerable rise in the amount of time they spend reading, with Americans reporting a 60% increase and Canadians reporting a 58% increase. This suggests that BookTok is not only generating interest in reading but also motivating people to read more frequently.
What is the driving force behind the BookTok trend?
One of the most significant drivers behind the BookTok trend is the recommendation of books by TikTok influencers. According to the survey, 65% of TikTok users in the USA and Canada have read a book because it was recommended by a BookTok creator.
This highlights the power that influencers hold in shaping opinions and behaviour on social media, and how easily people will follow and copy, just so they can be more like their peers and feel like they too are a part of the crowd.
What has the trend created?
The trend has brought about and created a modernised virtual book club. This gives individuals, influencers and fans a place where they can share their thoughts and opinions on any new literature they have recently been reading and, additionally, they can also offer recommendations of books to others.
However, one of its most appealing aspects has been said to be the fact that BookTok has created a sense of community. It has brought people from all walks of life together, from all over the world and allows them to share and bond over their common interests, which are books and reading.
How has BookTok impacted book sales?
BookTok has also had a significant impact on book sales, with numbers of books being bought becoming higher as time goes on. In a late 2022 Forbes article, it was reported that book sales have increased by a total of 9% in the wake of the BookTok trend.
This is a massive boost and a big win in an industry that has struggled in more recent years, particularly with the rise, preference and convenience of digital reading. It also shows the power that social media holds in shaping consumer behaviour and influencing purchases.
How else has BookTok made an impact?
The BookTok trend has not only been positive for readers and book sales, but it has also created opportunities for new and diverse voices to be heard. Many of the books recommended on BookTok are written by up-and-coming authors who may not have had the same exposure without this platform.
BookTok has given people a chance to promote their own work or have others promote it for them. This is done through customer reviews, book descriptions, and advertising, which can reach a large scale audience all at once.
The increased diversity in book recommendations has been a positive change. Readers can now discover new types of books that they may not have considered before or even known existed.
Other platforms that would be just as effective?
Aside from TikTok, there are other platforms that can be just as effective in promoting books and reading. One such platform is YouTube, which has been popular for years as a service where people can find content related to their interests.
YouTube booktubers or reviewers often post videos talking about the latest books they have read and discussing them with their audience. This provides viewers with the opportunity to listen and learn about books in detail before deciding if they want to buy them or not.
Similarly, podcasts work well for book reviews and discussions. Podcasts can be an interesting and entertaining way to learn about books, as the hosts often engage in lively debates that can provide listeners with different ways of looking at a book.
Again they provide widespread advertisement and promotion to a vast amount of individuals in one go and also provide a more in depth way for people to become more familiar and more engaged with a book before they decide to purchase it.
The BookTok trend has had a positive effect on books and reading in general. It has opened up new opportunities for readers and authors alike, as well as offering an alternative platform for promoting books. Additionally, it has helped increase book sales and has given people the chance to explore different book genres and diverse voices.
Finally, it has created a community that allows readers to share their passion for books with like-minded individuals from all over the world. As technology continues to evolve, there is no telling what new platforms will come out in the future to promote reading and books even more.
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Article written by Dylan Moore
Dylan, originaly from Turkey, discovered his passion for programming and podcasting online. Him and his team later founded PodApp, a user-friendly platform designed to make podcasting accessible to everyone. Read more