Tik Tok is turning the publishing world upside down


The Tik Tok platform for short videos is one of the most famous social media platforms in the world. The Tik Tok platform appeals to the young audience, however, it is not necessarily a website where you can expect the presence of educated people and lovers of reading, but under the hashtag #Buktok, you can find a group of book lovers, and they have created a distinguished position for themselves on this social networking platform.

Some users display their bookshelves by arrangement and color, while others share their favorite books, discuss what they have read in the previous month, focus on a specific topic, review the 3 best books on women's issues, or show the book they must-read. Based on the astrological signs of the participants.

Perhaps it is safest to say that a lot of information can be found under the heading #Puktok.

Far from the dry world of literary criticism, we see that many TikTok users are girls who reject complex analyzes and prefer emotional expressions or use music to communicate in their videos. Saskia Papin's videos are a clear example of this trend.

Known on the TikTok platform as Pastel Pages, she works as a bookseller in the German city of Kleve, and she finds new ways every day to share with her followers the books she's reading. For example, one day, she broadcast a crying video, presenting the most heartbreaking book she has read, while on another day she encouraged her followers to read a book within a day as part of the “One Book, One Day” challenge initiative.

Working remotely through the Internet differs from working from inside a bookstore, according to 22-year-old Babin, and explains that “on the Tik Tok platform, everything is faster, and things are more related to visuals. The cover is attractive or the book has special features such as maps or color models, that will be an important factor that pushes someone to buy it.”

In the store, the consultations between the seller and the customer about the book on display tend to focus more on the content.

Babin explains, “I can rarely leave a positive impression on my customers in the store, by showing them books in a way that uses visuals, and during discussions, I am face to face with the customer, which is not available, of course, on Tik Tok.”

Both approaches help drive sales, so publishers are scrambling to feature their books on TikTok. In Germany, children's and youth literature publisher Loewe Verlag was among the first to adapt to this youth platform.

“Innovative videos designed specifically for TikTok, as well as engagements with video creators on the platform, are already part of our marketing strategy,” says Nikolai Lindner, head of digital marketing and public relations at Verlag Publishing.

Since the opportunities for participants in displaying books on Tik Tok to reach the audience are lower compared to the influencers who appear regularly on the platform, we find that individual recommendations to buy books rarely lead to a significant increase in sales, according to Lindner, who adds, “However, recommendations that Coming at the same time from different bookstores, it can definitely generate a lot of attention and attention, especially for new releases.”

Babin says publishers call her and ask her to work with them, although it doesn't happen often.

However, publishers in the United States are moving in this direction at a more rapid pace.

And many stores affiliated with the American Barnes and Noble Publishing House have put up display tables for books on the Tik Tok platform, offering books that spread at lightning speed on this platform.

An example of this is a book that has enjoyed a significant increase in sales thanks to the Bucktok hashtag, although it has been years since its release, the novel “The Song of Achilles” by American writer Madeleine Miller, which deals with the Greek myth of Patroclus and Achilles and turns it into a love story.

The group of female readers participating on the platform recommended the purchase of this book, and the hashtag #Achilles_song spread rapidly, attracting more than 26 million views.

And sales of the novel have now increased at much higher rates than when it was first published in 2012, according to the New York Times.

He notes that the group of Poktok participants on the platform is growing in Europe.

Babin says that new followers join her every day, and from time to time she convinces others to join this group.

Penguin Publishing has joined the app, and a Penguin spokeswoman says that Penguin sees TikTok as increasingly suitable for a marketing campaign and that it has a lot of potential in terms of reaching the youth market.

The spokeswoman adds that although Penguin has not seen an immediate increase in sales yet, it has generally received a good response from users.

On the other hand, with the entry of publishers to the Tik Tok platform, the group of book lovers and readers on the platform called “Booktokers”, along with other enthusiasts using the Tik Tok platform, contribute to the heart of the publishing world upside down.


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