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Since the birth of TikTok in September 2016, many people have found their own niches on the platform. This unique formula of TikTok constantly begs the question, “What side of Tik Tok are you on?” Some of us answer with dancing TikTok, others say FoodTok, DisneyTok, or even FrogTok. If there’s one thing the algorithm can do right, it’s get us hooked on videos we never knew we wanted to see but now can’t seem to live without. For me, it’s BookTok accounts.
The Rise of BookTok
For many of us, #BookTok is taking our For You pages by storm. This bibliophilic corner of the internet, which offers videos garnering nostalgia for childhood favorites or promoting new bestsellers, has amassed over 46.6 billion views. According to NPD BookScan, print book sales in 2021 have risen by 9%, reaching a total of 825.7 million – this increase in sales is largely attributed to BookTok.
BookTokers have been able to carve out a creative outlet and point of connection among not only young people but readers everywhere. From bookmakers-turned-authors, to videographers who make our most fantastical dreams come to life, here are NeoReach’s top BookTok accounts on TikTok.
Niches under BookTok often include
- Book Reviewers
- Photographers and other artists
- Writers (of WriterTok/AuthorTok)
Top BookTok Accounts on TikTok
This 24-year-old BookToker makes engaging, thoughtful, and funny videos in front of her beautiful and fully stocked bookshelves. She recently posted her August Wrap-Up (“wrap-up” is bookworm slang for the list of books one has read in a given time). In the video, she says that this month she didn’t read as many books as normal, but it was still a “good month” because she loved the books she did read. Now she’s in a “reading slump” – another slang term for when a book is so good, you don’t know what to read next because nothing else can compare.
This summer, she posted a TikTok to help out her fellow BookTokers – “How to Review Books on BookTok” which has garnered 16.7k views. In this video/ad as a TikTok Partner, Kendra spells out some helpful guidelines for blossoming book reviewers. These guidelines include some common sense rules, such as making sure you actually read the book before you review it, as well as BookTok common courtesy, such as not tagging authors in negative reviews. It is videos like these that led to BookTok earning the name “the last wholesome place” on the Internet.
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Draped in shimmering gold, Maya of @mnmbooks on Instagram and TikTok poses with her favorite Desi books. Maya, a third-year college student based in Atlanta, Georgia, is an advocate for meaningful representation and discussion of books by a diverse array of authors.
Maya says she loves “talking about and advocating for greater access to local libraries, accurate and joyful representation for Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC), and more diverse bookshelves in school libraries, so students can see themselves and their stories represented in their place of education.” Her BookTok account does just that! She loves “seeing herself” in books and is constantly recommending books by Desi authors, as well as other BIPOC authors.
18-year-old Sophia uses her platform to combine her interests in photography, videography, books, and pop culture. She’s most known for her bookish photography series, where she takes self-portraits dressed up as a demigod from Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson, Alina Starkov from Leigh Bardugo’s Shadow and Bone, or a troublemaking teen in Netflix’s Stranger Things.
Her creative and comforting content appeals to both BookTok’s nostalgia and its sense of adventure. Her Percy Jackson & the Olympians content especially appeals to the Gen Z and Millennial masses. The middle-grade fantasy series famously had two failed book-to-movie adaptations, leaving those kids-turned-adults who grew up with the books very few visualizations of their favorite characters. When her audience sees Sophia running around the forest in a Camp Half-Blood t-shirt, they see a young woman living out their own childhood dreams.
Sophia’s skill at capturing the essence of a book into a living, breathing video or photo is what makes her content incredibly loved by her 41.6k followers.
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Lancali has taken BookTok and its sub-genre, WriterTok, by storm as a BookToker-turned-author. She recently used TikTok to promote her recently published book I Fell in Love with Hope which, after going semi-viral, sold out 12,000 copies in two weeks.
Lancali uses her BookTok account to continue promoting her book. She’s most known for her series of videos where her readers send in pictures of them crying – the book is a tragedy, and she markets it as just that. Readers also send in quotes that made them cry, such as, “Just because the stars fell doesn’t mean they weren’t worth wishing on.” Lancali’s haunting words remain steadfast on the screen as the images behind them flash by quickly, portraying the ambiance of the book in just a few seconds.
She describes her book as “five friends coming to terms with their impending deaths.” The novel is based on Lancali’s experiences with chronic illness, hospitalization, and other events in her life, including her time with a beloved friend who has since passed away. Her social media surrounding the book – from promotions to writing tips to time lapses of her signing dozens of copies – is a heartbreaking love letter to her readers and fans.
Looking for more content by LGBT creators? Here are NeoReach’s Top LGBT Creators.