Bookstagrammers Demand Publishers Pay Up

From Book and Film Globe:

Last month, The New York Times published a glowing story about BookTok, TikTok’s book community, and its impact on the publishing industry. If you’re not familiar, picture 10-second book trailers, and videos of women crying as they throw a copy of a tragic romance across the room. And it works—the Times piece reported that sales for one such tragic romance, Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles, is currently selling about 10,000 copies per week, a nine-time increase from its best sales in 2012, when the novel won the Orange Prize.

“Many Barnes & Noble locations around the United States have set up BookTok tables displaying titles like ‘They Both Die at the End,’ ‘The Cruel Prince,’ ‘A Little Life’ and others that have gone viral,” wrote Elizabeth A. Harris. “There is no corresponding Instagram or Twitter table, however, because no other social media platform seems to move copies the way TikTok does.”

Bibliophiles on other social media platforms had a thorny response to that last bit. Bookstagrammers, which is what people who run book-focused Instagram accounts call themselves, spoke out the loudest.  “Don’t erase bookstagrammers and BIPOC literary creators because we’ve been here doing the work,” said one of my favorite bookstagrammers, @booksteahenny, in an Instagram story.

. . . .

Last month, The New York Times published a glowing story about BookTok, TikTok’s book community, and its impact on the publishing industry. If you’re not familiar, picture 10-second book trailers, and videos of women crying as they throw a copy of a tragic romance across the room. And it works—the Times piece reported that sales for one such tragic romance, Madeline Miller’s Song of Achilles, is currently selling about 10,000 copies per week, a nine-time increase from its best sales in 2012, when the novel won the Orange Prize.

“Many Barnes & Noble locations around the United States have set up BookTok tables displaying titles like ‘They Both Die at the End,’ ‘The Cruel Prince,’ ‘A Little Life’ and others that have gone viral,” wrote Elizabeth A. Harris. “There is no corresponding Instagram or Twitter table, however, because no other social media platform seems to move copies the way TikTok does.”

Bibliophiles on other social media platforms had a thorny response to that last bit. Bookstagrammers, which is what people who run book-focused Instagram accounts call themselves, spoke out the loudest.  “Don’t erase bookstagrammers and BIPOC literary creators because we’ve been here doing the work,” said one of my favorite bookstagrammers, @booksteahenny, in an Instagram story.

Link to the rest at Book and Film Globe

PG notes that you no longer need to be a traditionally-published author for publishers to profit by your work without paying you much.