TikTok announces plan to sell books directly to users

TikTok has announced new partnerships with HarperCollinsUK, Bloomsbury and retailers WHSmith and Bookshop.org. As a direct result, book lovers will now be able to buy their favourite books without leaving the TikTok app.

The growth of #BookTok and TikTok’s move towards book sales

In creating these new partnerships, TikTok hopes to build on the success of #BookTok, the social media giant’s thriving reading and literary community. #BookTok has fast become one of the most popular hashtags on the platform, reaching over 90 billion views to date.

TikTok says that #BookTok has consistently driven off-platform sales for publishers and popular titles such as The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. The company also says that #BookTok has propelled a number of emerging authors into the mainstream.

TikTok’s status as a literary hub

The move to sell books directly to customers is the company’s latest attempt to enhance the platform for book lovers. Recently, TikTok has also announced an exclusive new partnership with Hay Festival, to help bring the world’s leading arts and literary festival to new and diverse audiences.

On top of this, TikTok has also worked with household names such as Jamie Oliver and Gordon Ramsay to help engage the BookTok community and sell their new releases via TikTok Shop.

Similarly, as well as creating partnerships with leading publishing houses and retailers, TikTok is also working with a number of established creators on the platform, such as Laurens.Little.Library and A.P Beswick. In partnering with these creators, TikTok is aiming to grow the BookTok community further and encourage more people to find a place for reading in their daily lives.

TikTok’s deals with publishers and retailers – the view from Spike

TikTok’s new partnerships with HarperCollinsUK, WHSmith, Bloomsbury and Bookshop.org mean that users can now buy books directly through TikTok.

At present, any merchant that’s signed up to TikTok Shop can advertise and sell products to users within the app. Over the past year, TikTok Shop has gradually expanded. As well as books, it now covers fashion, consumer electronics, beauty and fresh and frozen goods.

The growth of TikTok Shop shows us that TikTok is attempting to rival Amazon’s dominance in the online marketplace. Over the coming years, we expect to see the number of items available on TikTok Shop expand further. Should TikTok successfully offer a seamless customer experience in-app, they may be able to challenge Amazon in the space.

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