Long are the days of going to a bookstore just to find out about new reads. Now, it’s as simple as opening up your TikTok app and scrolling through the growing #BookTok accounts that dish out top lists, book reviews and recommendations for any and all types of genres. The #BookTok hashtag on TikTok has 37.2 billion views — and it continues to grow.
As most trends go, when a book recommendation hits the BookTok viral scene, searches and sales go up. According to Forbes, in 2021, TikTok helped fuel a best-selling year for print books, with sales up 9 percent in 2021 compared with 2020. Barnes and Noble recognized the trend as well, hosting in-store BookTok events, creating a BookTok website landing page and showcasing specialty BookTok tables of the top recommended books.
Top BookTok Accounts to Watch
If you’re a book reviewer, publisher, or just an avid reader, be sure to follow these top #BookTok accounts to stay on the pulse of the reading world.
Having an educational background heavily invested in numbers doesn’t stop Cait from having a passion for words as well. Point in case: According to her website, she’s one of the first creators of BookTok. And it shows: Cait and her page reviews are all over TikTok — and beyond. She has a huge presence on Instagram, her personal blog, and she’s also launched the Bookington Book Club.
Abby really homes in on the ambiance of reading a book: where you are sitting, what you are eating and drinking. Is there a candle that is lit? Through her videos, she inspires and encourages her 420K-plus followers to create a reading “vibe” for each book that she features. Abby also does a great job of including humor into her reviews of books. And although an avid reader, she is open about the fact that attention span and finding time to read can be hard.
Kevin really covers the full scope of book reviews, from LGBTQ+ literature to thriller to poetry – and even some of his own work. In his posts, Kevin really plays into the emotional and theatrical side of his reviews to capture the attention of his audience, whether that’s fake crying with mascara running down his face or using a fan to blow his hair around for dramatic effect. He gets into character and uses trending TikTok audio to explain how someone would potentially expect to feel after reading the book he is reviewing – which is a refreshing and take on the typical book review.
BookTok creator events are also gaining in popularity and Kevin is a huge supporter, recently hosting an event in Los Angeles with Barnes & Noble. Get even more reviews via his Goodreads account.
Selecting a theme, genre or, in Amy’s case, an emotion or feeling when choosing books to feature in a TikTok is super trendy. For Amy, this ranges from “Books That Helped Me Heal” to “Books I Wish I Read When I Was Younger.” She also does a great job with her strategy leading up to the unveiling of the books by teasing the pages versus just showing the front or the spine in the first frame.
Not only does Sydney provide book recommendations and reviews, the most unique thing about her is that she also offers tips for reading, like getting out of a book slump. Sydney is a great example of an influencer getting even more niche in the BookTok world, with her main focus being thrillers, books with plot twists and mysteries. Also don’t miss: She’s launched a book club to engage her audience and make a profit in the process.
Kelsey, known as Munny (her last name) on TikTok, is a middle-school teacher who takes insight from her students and shares their recommendations. Humor obviously ensues in each post. Kelsey also offers tips for fellow teachers on books that are diverse and inclusive that they can also use in their classrooms. Something that sets Kelsey apart from a lot of Booktokers is that she talks about and actively re-reads old books from her middle school days and then reviews them.
Kendra is a huge romance novel fan. She uses the green screen feature on TikTok to unveil who she thinks represents or resembles the main male love character in the book she’s reviewing. She has multiple series talking about “book boyfriends” that acts as a great content bucket for followers to keep coming back and stay intrigued with the books she’s reviewing.
Kendra was also featured in CBS News as a TikTok creator who helps Black readers find their main characters in the books she reviews. She tells CBS: “A lot of the BookTokers were White and they were just doing a lot of the same books. I was like, ‘Wait, well, I like those books too, but I think I can add something a little more.'”
There is just something raw and real about watching someone share their enthusiasm for a book that goes beyond what an audience can get from a review in the New York Times. And on top of that, these BookTok influencers have clear impact on book sales, and working with these creative – and well read – influencers on an influencer marketing campaign could be a huge win for any brand.