What is BookTok? A Publishers Guide

The hashtag #BookTok currently has 192.8 Billion views. That’s enough views, on average, for every person on Earth to view a BookTok video approximately 24 times. In the dynamic world of social media, BookTok has emerged as a literary haven, truly captivating the attention of readers and driving book sales. With this many eyes in one place, it’s essential for publishers to not only understand this platform but use it to their advantage. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the essence of BookTok, explore its influence on the literary landscape, and unravel the strategies publishers can employ to harness its potential.  

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At BR Printers, we collaborate with publishers daily to streamline the process of bringing books to readers, providing specialized book printing services. In the printing and publishing industry we know that BookTok is a buzzworthy topic, and for good reason. It’s an effective way to directly engage with young readers and promote books, and the best part is, many BookTok influencers LOVE printed books!  

BookTok 101 

What is BookTok? 

BookTok, a derivative of the popular video-sharing platform TikTok, is a vibrant community where bibliophiles converge to celebrate their love for literature. Beyond a mere platform for book recommendations, it has become a literary force that can propel even lesser-known titles to the forefront of readers’ consciousness. 

How do I get BookTok? 

The beauty of BookTok lies in its accessibility to any TikTok user. Any book lover with the TikTok app can be influenced and become a part of this thriving community. The process is simple:  

  1. Create at TikTok account
  2. Click on the search magnifying glass in the top right corner
  3. Search away

The most popular way to find the BookTok community is by searching BookTok and navigating to the hashtag category then selecting the BookTok hashtag. You could also search specific authors, books, genres, languages or other reading characteristics to find smaller communities, videos, hashtags, and influencers speaking on those niches. The more influencers and hashtags you engage with and follow, the more BookTok videos will appear in your algorithm on the “For You Page” feed that opens when you open TikTok.  

How Can I Tell If a Book is Trending on BookTok? 

While navigating the vast BookTok landscape, publishers may wonder how to determine whether their titles are gaining traction and which titles are trending. The easiest way would be searching your book titles, authors’ names, book genres, and other applicable characteristics. Keep an eye on any influencers who review books similar to your titles or who have spoken about your books in the past. 

Publisher Tips for Success on BookTok 

Whether you’re just starting out on BookTok for any reason, figuring out where to begin and how to find success might feel a bit overwhelming. These tips are a good place to start! Before you dive into daily video posting, it’s crucial to get a feel for the BookTok audience. Right now, it’s mostly book lovers driving the community speaking about their newest book recommendations, book hauls, or book reviews, with authors and publishers still catching on. But that’s okay! Young readers are loyal fans who genuinely appreciate authors and publishers. By engaging with creator posts, teaming up with influencers, sharing user-generated content, and offering exclusive material, publishers can tap into a fantastic opportunity in this space. 

Influencer Partnerships 

BookTok thrives on community-generated content, and influencers play a pivotal role in shaping the reading preferences of their followers. To tap into this potential, publishers can reach out to BookTok influencers, fostering collaborations that can elevate a book’s visibility. When selecting influencers to partner with, you don’t have to go for the biggest names on the platform. Don’t be scared to partner with an influencer with a smaller following that truly aligns with the books you’re promoting.  

Highlight Trending BookTok Books 

Publishers often feature trending, favorite, and new titles on their websites, newsletters, or social media platforms. Including trending #BookTok picks in these showcases not only keeps readers well-informed but also positions the publisher as attentive to the pulse of BookTok trends. 

Interact with the BookTok Community 

Active participation in the BookTok community is crucial for publishers aiming to establish a meaningful presence. This involves engaging with creators who feature a publisher’s books, responding to comments, and joining conversations. By becoming an integral part of the BookTok conversation, publishers can build a loyal following and have more influence. 

Use Targeted Hashtags 

Harness the power of hashtags by categorizing content based on location, demographics, and genre. Utilize popular and applicable hashtags, such as #booktokitalia which currently has over 3 billion views, or #booktokespanol which has over 4.8 billion views, to ensure maximum visibility for your books. 

Repost Content 

Like on LinkedIn, you can repost content created by other users on TikTok. This is a great strategy for publishers’ pages looking to grow their audience and publishers looking to spread awareness about their books.  

Create Engaging Content 

Publishers should go beyond traditional marketing strategies, offering exclusive interviews, release dates, reviews, and bonus content. Inviting BookTok influencers to create content for a publisher’s channel can further enhance engagement and broaden the audience. 

Embracing Digital Trends in Publishing with BR Printers 

In the world of digital media, BookTok shows how social platforms can impact literature. Publishers who understand BookTok and connect with the right BookTok creator for their books can benefit from this cultural trend. As BookTok shapes reading habits, publishers and authors can place themselves at the forefront, making sure their books are enjoyed by BookTok enthusiasts worldwide. At BR Printers, we understand the changing landscape of publishing and are here to help publishers bring their books into the spotlight in this digital age.