The modern way of consuming and marketing books has changed over the years. Today, everyone with a dream and access to the internet has a chance to become a New York Times bestselling author. The process of writing, purchasing and reading books has undergone significant changes, particularly with the intensification of social media’s presence in the common person’s daily life. It has revolutionized the way modern-day authors sell their books to the public.
Due to their significant contribution to the promotion and marketing of books, social media is profitable for authors. A novel will receive a lot of attention and has a higher chance of becoming a bestseller if, for instance, it is discussed on a well-known talk show.
Additionally, authors today have a social media presence and frequently advertise their publications to their thousands of followers. For example, Colleen Hoover, a well-known New York Times bestselling romance author, posts consistently to her 1.9 million followers on Instagram, notifying them of any new releases and has the ability to keep their interest in her work.
Authors also can easily engage with their audience through their platforms, in addition to promoting their own novels. By doing so, they are able to develop a following of devoted readers from all over the world, giving the author a number of people who are likely to always buy and read their books. Additionally, writers who are active online can quickly receive feedback on their work from readers who are interested in reading their books to come.
Other forms of book internet culture have emerged in recent years, such as BookTok, a well-liked side of the video-sharing app TikTok, where users discuss their favorite books in brief narrative snippets. According to The New York Times, TikTok has “made the transition from a novelty to a real anchor for the market,” said Kristen McLean, executive director of business development at NPD Books. “The whole idea of dominating supermarket shelves, dominating airport stores, dominating the front tables at bookstores, it’s just not really where it’s at in the same way.” The most popular videos do not generally offer information about the book’s author, the writing or even the plot, the way a traditional review does. Instead, readers speak plainly about the emotional journey a book will offer. As it turns out, this has appealed to readers in the way that marketing professionals would have never been able to guess.
During the pandemic, BookTok’s popularity on the app began to increase. Self-published, independent authors were suddenly able to go viral once more and experience explosive book sales. According to sales tracking service NPD BookScan, book sales increased by over 30% in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same period in 2020. Adult fiction sales, like those of the books written by BookTok staple Colleen Hoover, managed to keep rising long after the book market began to balance out.
Book sales soar when they become popular on BookTok. Deals for movie adaptions are made. An author who self-publishes could become famous overnight as a result. The influence of BookTok has impacted popular bookstores as well, such as Barnes & Noble. Now, the store has an entire section dedicated to BookTok where they display books that have blown up on the app. The tag #BookTok has over 89 billion views on the app and is now a full-fledged community with a real impact on publishing.