TikTok has been one of the fastest growing online communities. But have you ever heard of BookTok? If you are like most people, you haven’t caught onto this newest TikTok community trend. BookTok is basically the bookish community on TikTok. In a nutshell, members post videos of them reviewing books and so much more. So, what makes BookTok books so special? You will find out, as I dive further into this thriving online community.
What is BookTok?
As I mentioned above, BookTok is one of the communities on TikTok. People spend hours sharing the BookTok books they cannot live without. Or dissing the ones they could have skipped past. After all, not every book is a winner, and some are just not worth reading.
No one is quite sure when #BookTok was first used, but @kathyellendavis was one of the first people to use it regularly when she recommended books to others on TikTok in 2019. It took until April of 2020 for BookTok to really catch on and become a larger community.
Currently, #BookTok has approximately sixty-two billion views. Certain videos have at least one hundred thousand likes. And the platform continues to grow with more people jumping on the BookTok books bandwagon every day.
What makes BookTok better than other platforms is their audience reach. Back in July of 2022, ten of the fifteen books on the New York Times Paperback Trade Fiction Bestseller List were BookTok books.
BookTok has become one of the easiest ways to promote a book. Publishers and authors are loving it, because they don’t need to be well-known to sell hundreds of thousands of books. All it takes is one video going viral and any book can be a bestseller.
How to Start Using BookTok
Using BookTok is fairly simple. You begin by setting up an account on TikTok. Basic account information that includes email, birthday, and username is needed for this step. You can try to keep your username the same as all your other social media platforms or you can use something different.
If you are an author, or an aspiring author, I recommend using the word “author” in your username. That word will automatically get your account noticed by other users.
It is best to share your interests as you are creating your account. This will ensure you see videos you are interested in. Those interests will also be used when TikTok suggests accounts for you to follow.
To get the most out of BookTok, you must optimize your profile. This can be done by using a headshot as your profile picture. Customizing your bio is also helpful. Although, there isn’t much room for a lengthy bio in your profile. You may need to link your bio to another page and have people click over for more information.
I recommend adding links to your website or other social media platform pages to your profile. This will move BookTok traffic to those pages.
The last thing you will want to do is start following other users. Following suggested users is one of the easiest ways to get started. However, you can use the BookTok hashtag in the search bar with other relevant hashtags to find the accounts you really want to follow. You may even find a few favorite authors on BookTok!
How to Use BookTok
As soon as your TikTok account is set up, you can start posting and using the BookTok hashtag. Remember, this is a video platform, so all your posts will be in the form of a video. However, you don’t need to focus on solely books you are reading or anything that relates to being a writer or author. Many BookTok users also create videos about their travels, family, and hobbies. These videos will allow other users to get to know you even more. And they may help you grow your audience faster too.
The videos on BookTok are short at no more than one minute in length. You can create slideshows within these videos as well. Despite the videos being only sixty seconds, they are not super simple to create. Most videos will require numerous takes and quite a bit of editing. If you don’t have time for all that, you may want to consider outsourcing some of the work.
If you are struggling with choosing content for videos or trying to determine the right vibe for your videos, check out other BookTok users. The landing pages for large bookstores like Barnes and Noble and Books-a-Million are excellent places to see what is trending and what genres are the most popular. Just remember to be genuine to yourself or all the videos in the world won’t make you a leader in the BookTok community.
Engaging with other users is an important part of being in the BookTok community. Respond to comments people are leaving you. Start adding comments, or liking, to videos you watch. Doing all this will make you a respected member within the BookTok world.
The Future of BookTok
It is always difficult to predict the future of any online platform, but the future looks bright for BookTok books. More authors and publishers are joining in on the BookTok trend and using it as a marketing tool.
This could bring more promotional content to the platform. If that happens, some people could lose interest in BookTok altogether. However, if people can look past all the promotions, and focus solely on what they want to see, BookTok should be around for a long time.
This is excellent news for those who want authentic reviews of books, as well as personal information about the authors of the books they read. Anyone who hasn’t joined BookTok yet will want to check it out soon. BookTok books are some of the best in the world. And you never know when you will find a really good unknown author to add to your stack of books to read.