• Jason Schmitt
  • 27.11.2023

How TikTok is Revolutionizing the Book Market

There's quite a shift happening: whereas Germany's Spiegel bestseller list used to set the tone in the book market, now there's a new channel to attract customers: TikTok. This social network primarily reaches a young audience – it's time for companies to learn to think differently. And this is how it can be done.

In the music industry, TikTok has long been indispensable. It's estimated that last year, about a quarter of all chart positions wouldn't have been conceivable without TikTok. Marketing songs on the platform is now the most important skill in any music publishing house. Some artists even write their songs to be particularly suitable for TikTok – with funny parts upfront, perfect for comedy or dance routines.

And we see that there's a similar upheaval in another industry: TikTok was one of the main sponsors of the Frankfurt Book Fair, and we've already arrived in this new business.

The Beginnings and Successes of "BookTok"

"In one video I think about a lot, she was using potato chips as a bookmark." - Kendra Keeter-Gray, about Colleen Hoover

"BookTok" is a play on "BookTube" and "Bookstagram", describing a movement of book enthusiasts exchanging ideas on the social platform. It's not organized but rather a grassroots movement, though professionals can certainly use it to their advantage. Videos are tagged with the eponymous hashtag. Creators have built reach that overshadows similar platforms.

Mainly, you'll find book recommendations on TikTok, often with hundreds of thousands of clicks, significantly influencing the users' buying behavior. Some community members have built accounts with over a million followers and have become full-time advertising faces for major publishers, especially in the USA. TikTok itself fuels these developments with changes to its algorithm, promotional activities, and a self-curated bestseller list.

Authors like Colleen Hoover also benefit from TikTok. She started a channel years ago where she transparently talks about her job, books, and writing, building an enormous reach. In 2022, six of her books made it into the top-10 bestseller list in the USA, even holding the top-3 spots. In many bookstores, like Barnes & Noble, "BookTok Recommendations" are prominently displayed on stands. There, you'll often find Hoover's books, drawing buyers' attention. Thalia's online store in some countries also lists these recommendations in a separate category.

TikTok, the New Sponsor of the Frankfurt Book Fair

Hardly any book fair is as internationally renowned as Frankfurt's. Alongside traditional sponsors, the Chinese company joined and awarded its own "BookTok Prizes" for the first time.

Prominently at the fair, books were marked not only as "Spiegel Bestsellers" but also as "BookTok Recommendations". In the USA, the impact of such titles is evident in subsequent sales explosions, and it will be interesting to see how this will change the German market!

Clearly, TikTok is increasingly shaking up entire industries. At robotspaceship, we always ensure that innovation never passes our partners by. What TikTok specifically means for your company, we can now clarify!

TikTok's Tremendous Marketing Potential

If you think books and TikTok don't match, think again: history shows that almost any product can go viral on the platform with enough creativity and the right concept. TikTok is all about ease and authenticity. The days when only digital products had digital value are over. To reach new target groups today, you need to be creative – and TikTok is one of the most important channels for that, even for books.

Especially fashion brands achieve great success by detailing their new collections and telling the stories they want to convey with each piece. Some brands, like "Trikko", gained international popularity in just a few years because they shared their story authentically and creatively on TikTok.

Even brick-and-mortar stores, restaurants, and retailers benefit from TikTok. Many of them show insights into their daily routine in videos, interact with customers in live streams, and thus manage to attract fans from all over Germany to their stores throughout the day.

Even companies like Ryanair share funny videos on the platform and market their discount campaigns there. This quickly made them one of the largest companies on TikTok with 2.1 million followers. That's a reach most can only dream of.

As you can see, TikTok's benefits aren't industry-specific; it can be useful for any company if approached correctly.

That's where we at robotspaceship come in, ready to develop the right strategy for you. If you want to learn more, feel free to contact us via email at We look forward to hearing from you and your company!

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About the Author

Jason M. Schmitt is a versatile professional with expertise in digital marketing, sales, social media, and content creation.

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