The UK reported a record £6.7bn revenue from book sales, both print, and e-books in 2021, which makes for a 5 percent jump in revenue compared to the preceding year, The Guardian reported. While that is a good thing, much of which can be attributed to the pandemic, the other really surprising aspect here is the manner the social media platform TikTok is contributing to the sales boost.
As the Publishers Association chief executive Stephen Lotinga said, the role of TikTok in increasing book sales is that it is creating awareness among its userbase, particularly the young community about a book.
“A huge amount of what is being driven by TikTok is in print sales, and we are finding a lot of young adults are discovering books they love, sharing them with friends, and driving sales and new interest, and that can only be a good thing,” said Lotinga. He also termed it as sort of an “organic interactions” which can be equated to the usual promotion method used by the publishers where they would verbally suggest the next book that they believe their clients will love reading.
However, while the pandemic and the ensuing country-wide lockdown put paid to such interactions, it is here that social media platform like TikTok has pitched in to fill the role. Take for instance the murder mystery puzzle Cain’s Jawbone brilliantly written by Edward Powys Mathers who used the pen-name Torquemada. The interesting thing here is that the book has been written way back in 1934 but became a surprise hit before last Christmas thanks to TikTok user Sarah Scannell who had posted a few videos on TikTok trying to solve the puzzle.
Similarly, the book We Were Liars by E Lockhart too suddenly became a hit after it was discussed on the social media site. The book that was first published in 2014 went on to record four to five times the sales in 2021 than it had had in 2020. That makes two examples of books written decades apart that went on to catch the fancy of readers last year, all thanks to TikTok.
Coming to the sales stats, of the £6.7bn worth of book sales in 2021, £2.7bn of it has been from sales in the UK while £3.8bn has been from exports. Both accounted for a rise of 7 percent and 2 percent respectively.
Further, while print and e-book sales both recorded a rise of 5 percent, consumer books sales went up by 4 percent while sales of fiction books increased by 7 percent. Children’s fiction books too increased by the same 7 percent. Then there is the audiobook segment which continued with its exemplary performance to record positive growth of 14 percent, something that stood at £151m in value terms.
With a keen interest in tech, I make it a point to keep myself updated on the latest developments in technology and gadgets. That includes smartphones or tablet devices but stretches to even AI and self-driven automobiles, the latter being my latest fad.