What is BookTok? How to Join the Trend

POSTED ON Apr 8, 2024

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What is BookTok? If you’ve wound up here, you’ve heard the term and are likely confused about what all the fuss is about. And that’s exactly what we are here to explain today. 

BookTok is HUGE in the literary world and is only continuing to gain traction. Whether you’re a writer or a reader, it’s important for you to understand what BookTok is, and how to leverage it, if you want to stay ahead of the curve. 

So what is BookTok? Let’s dive straight in. 

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What is BookTok, Exactly?

What Is Booktok?

BookTok is what we call the niche community of TikTok users who love books and reading. 

BookTok is short for “Book TikTok.”

People in BookTok interact with each other using hashtags. Such as #romantasy, #bookrecommendations, or (of course) #booktok. 

Most BookTok creators are women who post videos about popular book genres such as romance, new adult fantasy, young adult fiction, and more. But there are plenty of men on BookTok, too. 

It is estimated that the BookTok community has amassed over 112 billion views on TikTok – and that’s a lot of potential exposure for a new author!

Readers on BookTok talk about books, recommend books, and even give full reviews on their TikTok channel. While this may not seem like a big deal, the community on BookTok is what can make or break a book launch for many authors.

For example, if BookTokers think an author was racist in a recent press release, you can be sure that will trend all over TikTok and the author could get canceled. Certainly, it will impact their sales!

But what is BookTok actually used for? Let’s have a brief discussion about the uses and benefits of this community. 

What is BookTok Used For?

BookTok is what book lovers use to find new recommendations, review their favorite books, come up with book theories, and keep up with the latest from their top authors and genres. 

And BookTok is what authors use to promote and launch their new books! 

What is BookTok’s Benefit to Writers?

What BookTok is best known for is its benefit to readers, but there are many perks of BookTok for authors, too!

BookTok is a way for new and lesser-known authors to gain recognition, boost visibility, and, in turn, pull in more sales. Authors can even use BookTok to advertise their unpublished books leading up to their book launch

This advertising could actually help new authors find an agent to publish their very first book! 

BookTok is what helps books go viral. If your video happens to go viral, you could see your book hitting bestseller lists repeatedly! 

Many authors are starting to find their fame on BookTok, like Chloe Gong, the author of These Violent Delights. BookTok is what launched her into the limelight, and who knows how long it would have taken her to find it otherwise!?

In other words, BookTok is a fabulous tool for book marketing, and you are missing out if you aren't using it yet! 

What is BookTok’s Benefit to Readers?

As we mentioned above, BookTok gives readers a community to gush about their favorite books, discuss theories, and find riveting new reads. 

The ease of finding book recommendations is what BookTok is so popular for with readers.

A BookTok review is way more fun than reading a written review of a book. For one, BookTokers can physically show their emotional reaction to a book, which doesn’t always come across in a written review. 

And, the reviews are a lot shorter, so it doesn’t waste your time when scrolling. You know you are getting the book boiled down into just a few sentences, and it makes it really easy to decide which books you want to pick up based on the comments section. 

I’ve been lost down the rabbit hole many times and walked away with 20-30 new book recommendations that I am super excited about. 

If you aren’t sure where to start, we have a list of the best BookTok books from recent years that you can dive straight into! 

How to Start Your Own BookTok Account

Want to create your own BookTok account? You absolutely can. It just takes a little thought and effort to do correctly if you want to gain a big following. 

Starting a BookTok account will give you a chance to share your love of books with the world and maybe even shape upcoming publishing trends! It can also push you to become a better writer and/or reader. 

Here are the steps to follow when creating your BookTok account: 

1. Pick a Niche

Determine your motivation for becoming a BookToker. Is there a genre you love? Do you want to promote POC or queer voices? Are you a huge fan of audiobooks? 

Picking a niche will help you gain a more devoted following, so niche down as specifically as you can! 

You should also consider if this is just for fun, or if you are trying to promote your own books in the process. Think about how much money you’re willing to invest in equipment and books for this undertaking. 

2. Choose Your Handle

Choosing the right handle for your TikTok account is important. Ideally, you want it to be recognized instantly as a BookTok, and it also needs to be easy to remember. The simpler, the better. 

3. Set Up Your Filming Space

BookTok is centered around video content, so you need to have good videos! If you want to be competitive and gain lots of followers, you need to provide quality. This means good recording equipment, good lighting, a professional backdrop, and little-to-no background noise. 

You also are going to need some editing skills, so consider watching some YouTube videos or taking a class or two online if you aren’t confident in it. 

While most modern smartphones are adequate enough for recording, you will definitely want to invest in some lighting and decor to improve your videos. 

4. Use TikTok to its Fullest Potential

There are so many options for content creators on TikTok. You can add sounds, special effects, filters, and more. Familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of TikTok so you can make the most of your videos and stay on top of the trends.  

Are you a Current Or Hopeful Author?

If you are learning how to use BookTok with the hope of launching your new book, the team at selfpublishing.com can help. We’ve assisted hundreds of authors in self-publishing their books, and we would be happy to help you with every step of the process.

Whether you’re looking for book ideas, editors, book marketing tips, or how to properly publish your book on KDP, our team has you covered. Just schedule a free strategy call with us today to get started! 

Get The Free Book Launch Checklist!

Get your launch right the first time with our resource.

FAQs About BookTok

Here are answers to commonly asked questions about what BookTok is and how to use it:

How do I Join BookTok as a Reader?

Becoming a part of the BookTok community is easy! Just download the TikTok app to your mobile device and create an account. You can do this with an email or directly via your Google or Facebook account. 

Once you have your account set up, you can follow the top BookTok accounts to instantly learn what BookTok is all about. You can also follow hashtags like #booktok #horrortok #newadultfantasy, and more! 

What BookTok is so popular for is its ability to connect like-minded communities of book lovers from around the world. It is also great for finding book recommendations, so you can never get through your ever-growing TBR pile. 

You may also be able to get the inside scoop on authors and upcoming books from people in the BookTok community – which is super fun! 

Is BookTok an App?

No, BookTok is not an app. As we mentioned above, BookTok is what we call the reader community on TikTok. As such, TikTok is the app you need to download to access BookTok. 

What Are the Best BookTok Accounts to Follow?

There are plenty of fabulous BookTok accounts to follow, and here are some of our favorites.

  • @aymansbooks 949.7K Followers  138.3M Likes
  • @ezeekat             726.8K Followers  25.3M Likes
  • @thebooksiveloved 537.2K Followers  32.8M Likes
  • @abbysbooks             474.4K Followers  44.1M Likes
  • @amyjordanj             431.5K Followers  22M Likes
  • @sydneyyybooks       386.2K Followers  6.3M Likes
  • @jennajustreads 353.8K Followers  15M Likes
  • @munnyreads  346.7K Followers  17.1M Likes
  • @caitsbooks             316.1K Followers  19.4M Likes
  • @moongirlreads_ 223.4K Followers  21.5M Likes
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