In 2022, “BookTok” on the TikTok video-sharing platform drove large gains in trade book sales gains for adult fiction. A recent BookScan analysis, however, shows the BookTok effect could be waning.

in July, according to BookScan, sales for the roughly 180 BookTok authors it follows fell 4.5 percent over the prior year.

“BookScan analyst Kristen McLean estimates that monthly BookTok author sales comps for the rest of 2023 will be at or below 2022 levels, and that final sales will be close to the 2022 totals, when the BookTok authors tracked by BookScan sold about 47 million copies,” reports Andrew AlbanesePublishers Weekly executive editor.

“it’s also worth noting that total adult fiction unit sales have fallen every week since late June,” he tells me.

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BookTok remains the industry’s most important platform for discovering new writers, McLean says. Among this year’s breakouts are Rebecca Yarros, whose Fourth Wing has sold almost 400,000 copies since its release in May, and Carley Fortune, whose Meet Me at the Lake has sold more than 230,000 copies since it was published in May.

“Just not as many new authors are making the type of splash that new authors did in 2021 and 2022, although new stars are still being made,” Albanese comments.


Author: Christopher Kenneally

Christopher Kenneally hosts CCC's Velocity of Content podcast series, which debuted in 2006 and is the longest continuously running podcast covering the publishing industry. As CCC's Senior Director, Marketing, he is responsible for organizing and hosting programs that address the business needs of all stakeholders in publishing and research. His reporting has appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, Los Angeles Times, The Independent (London), WBUR-FM, NPR, and WGBH-TV.
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