“Shut Up and Read This Book!” The BookTok Accounts Changing the Industry

“Shut up and read this book.” Speaking in a 57-second video posted on TikTok, these words catapulted a book onto the New York Bestsellers List.

Print and social media collide beautifully in the rapidly growing Book Tok niche of TikTok. In fact, Publishers Weekly credits Book Tok for its 48.8% increase in Young Adult unit sales last year.

What is Book Tok? Who is driving sales to books such as Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles and Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us? 

Meet the influencers of Book Tok.

What Is BookTok?

Book Tok or Booktok is the name of the niche on Tik-Tok, where users post book recommendations and discuss books, literary tropes, and all things book-related. It has quickly become a driving influence on publishing and literary sales.

“Booktok-ers” create TikTok posts where bookworms share book recommendations, their favorite books, books they bought, and other book-related content.

Are You on BookTok? These Ten BookTok Influencers Are the Most Popular Influencer Accounts.

A new study reveals that Ayman Chaudhary is Book Tok’s most popular influencer.

The study, conducted by the writing app ProWritingAid, analyzed the number of followers and likes of more than 30 bookish accounts on TikTok to discover which one of the influencers of booktok is the most popular.

Who Is Aymansbooks

@aymansbooks, managed by 21-year-old Ayman Chaudhary, gained traction for the first time in late 2020 when Ayman published a 57-second-long video where she recommended a book she read by saying: “stop what you’re doing, shut up and read this book!”.

Thanks to this short video, thousands of people went to buy The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, making it a New York Times Best Seller within weeks.

Since then, Ayman has continued to grow thanks to her book recommendations, book hauls, tips to diversify your bookshelf, and funny sketches on stories she just finished. In just over a year, all this added up to almost 750 thousand followers and nearly 70 million likes, making her the most popular Book Tok influencer.

Pauline Juan, the owner of @thebooksiveloved, comes in second with 538,600 followers and almost 24 million likes. Regardless of her own mighty library, Pauline advocates for affordable reading, understanding the struggle some people might go through when it comes to buying hard copy books, so she also focuses on suggesting eBooks and alternative ways to enjoy great stories.

The top three closes with @abbysbooks, run by 22-year-old Brit Abby Parker, who joined the community and gained massive popularity during the early weeks of the pandemic.

Her account, up until today, has 429,200 followers and almost 30 million likes. Abby’s content spans from light-hearted sketches on being a book nerd to fantasy recommendations and book re-enactments.

Jaysen Headley and Jenna Starkey’s accounts come in fourth and fifth place, with 499,500 followers and 20.7 million likes, 370,900 followers, and 13.3 likes.

Top 10 Most Popular Book Tok Influencer Accounts

Rank Name Username Followers Likes Score
1 Ayman Chaudhary aymansbooks 748,100 68,700,000 20.00
2 Pauline Juan thebookiveloved 538,600 23,700,000 10.65
3 Abby Parker abbysbooks 429,200 29,800,000 10.07
4 Jaysen Headley ezeekat 499,500 20,700,000 9.69
5 Jenna Starkey jennajustreads 370,900 13,300,000 6.89
6 Munny (Kelsey) munnyreads 351,800 14,100,000 6.75
7 Cait caitsbooks 279,900 14,600,000 5.87
8 Selene moongirlreads_ 223,100 18,500,000 5.68
9 Amy Jordan amyjordanj 275,300 8,300,000 4.89
10 Penguin Books penguin_teen 262,500 8,300,000 4.72

How Is TikTok Changing the Book Industry

A spokesperson from ProWritingAid commented on the findings: “Books have always been a massive part in most people’s lives, and their memories are filled with the stories their parents would read before sleep or the first book they’ve ever learn to read.

“Book Tok’s goal is to reminisce what it feels like to fall in love with a book and to remind people the feeling of a story that is largely created by your imagination. It combines a classic medium and a modern medium together well enough that it’s accessible to a larger demographic via TikTok.

It is interesting to see that the list is full of young people in a society that assumes youth no longer has the attention span for reading books.

“It is also fascinating to witness the real power that Book Tok holds, as thanks to the platform, many books have regained popularity after many years or ended up being NY Times best-sellers, from Madeline Miller’s The Song of Achilles to Colleen Hoover’s It Ends With Us.

Additionally, unlike similar trends on other social media platforms, publishing experts say because BookTok postings are more authentic and connect emotionally, they offer longer staying power – like Addie LaRue hanging on for 37 weeks and other books performing similarly well. 

A Booktok post going viral often is correlated with a spike in print books or digital copies (where readers download books on their Kindles and other e-readers. Barnes and Noble often have displays in their store where they display books recommended by BookTokers.

They sometimes use the phrase: “BookTok made me read it,” which has become a meme phrase to use about books recommended by BookTok.

It should come as no surprise that I love books. So when I am not recommending books for people to try, I like to get book recommendations for myself. One of the best ways to get new book recommendations and reviews is to head over to Book Tok!

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Hi! I am a millennial mom with a passion for personal finance. I have always been “into” personal finance but got inspired to start my blog after a period of extended unemployment. That experience really changed the way I viewed my relationship with money and the importance of accessible personal finance education.