With a shortlist curated by expert judges and the final prizes determined by the public, TikTok have finally weighed in on #BookTok's popularity for its own annual prize.
Move over Booker, take a seat Nobels, the real arbiter of what’s happening in the literary scene has introduced a new prize on the scene. Social media platform TikTok has announced the inaugural TikTok Book Awards for UK and Ireland.
In recent years #BookTok – the trend where TikTok users post reviews, discussions and recommendations of their favourite books – has completely blown up. Books that trend in the BookTok community have seen massive increases in sales as bookshops rush to keep up, often putting up stands specifically featuring the online community’s latest highlights.
The #BookTok hashtag has grown more than 160% to over 138 billion views in just the past year as book-influencers have gained massive followings. Trends within the community like the Dark Academia aesthetic pushed new books like Rebecca F Kuang’s 2022 campus novel ‘Babel’ into the spotlight, while also bringing a new audience to modern classics like Donna Tartt’s superb 1992 novel ‘The Secret History’.
We reported on the BookTok trend and featured the top recommendations from influencers. Now, TikTok itself wants to weigh in on the growing conversation by creating a people’s choice award.
The awards will be split into nine categories including:
- BookTok Creator Of The Year
- BookTok Book Of The Year
- BookTok Author Of The Year
- Best BookTok Revival
- Indie Book Shop Of The Year
- Best Book to End A Reading Slump
- Best Book I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time
- BookTok Cover of The Year
- BookTok Livestreamer of The Year
To create the shortlist for the awards, a longlist has been compiled by BookTok data on who influencers and users are talking about most. Then, the longlist will be whittled down to a shortlist by a panel of expert judges including authors Candice Brathwaite, Annie Mac, and Elizabeth Day, as well as industry heads such as Bonnier Books CEO Perminder Mann.
“As an author, there’s nothing better than to see people discussing and debating your book. I love going to TikTok to find unfiltered reviews and recommendations, so it’s great to be giving this community the chance to have their say through the TikTok Book Awards for UK and Ireland,” says judge Candice Brathwaite.
“When it comes to judging, for me it's about celebrating the books people just can’t forget, the books that give you a whole new perspective, the books you immediately want to buy for all of your friends, I cannot wait to see who the winners will be.”
In keeping with the social media platform’s nature, the winners will be picked from that shortlist by a public vote held between 17th and 28th of July. Finally, winners will be announced via an in-app event.
James Stafford, General Manager, Operations & Marketing, TikTok UK & Nordics says: “Every day, billions of people come to TikTok to share recommendations, discover new reads and connect through their love of literature. We have seen the #BookTok community impact book sales and even bring new customers to local book shops, so we thought it was about time they got a vote too!”
“The TikTok Book Awards is not just about the ‘best new books’, but also celebrating the unapologetic love of reading that we see shared on TikTok; from the content makers to the rediscovered classics,” he adds.