Colleen Hoover, the American novelist whose books are out of print thanks to BookTok

American novelist Colleen Hoover is the author of numerous bestsellers. — Photo via Facebook

Thursday, August 18, 2022 05:25 MYT

NEW YORK, August 18 — For several months, the name of Colleen Hoover has been on the lips of influential figures in the book industry. The Texas-based writer has become a stunning example of how to create a following in the “young adult” book category with her love stories that are a hit with teens and young adults. And we can’t talk about its success in bookstores without also talking about social networks and BookTok in particular.

Contrary to what their elders may think, younger generations do read books. Just go to BookTok, the section of TikTok dedicated to literary recommendations, to see the extent of the phenomenon. Teens and young adults are eager to take to the platform to talk about the books they love, like The Song of Achilles Where Slammed. Slammed is a book by Colleen Hoover, written in 2012. The Texas writer chose to self-publish this romance between Layken, an 18-year-old young woman, grieving for her father, and Will, a poet two years her senior. . At the time, it was an immediate success, and Slammed listed on the New York Times list of bestsellers.

Prior to this success, few would have predicted that Colleen Hoover would become an internationally bestselling author. The 42-year-old novelist from Texas held various jobs in social work and teaching before pursuing a career as a writer following the publication of Slammed.

Topping the bestseller charts

The author of over 20 books and stories enjoyed a similar trajectory with the titles that followed his debut novel. Six of them are on Publishers’ Weekly’s bestseller list for the week of August 7. Some of them, like It ends with us, Truth and ugly lovehave also been on the Time charts for several weeks. And this phenomenon goes beyond the borders of the United States since Colleen Hoover has sold 500,000 copies since the beginning of 2022 in Brazil, according to Veja. That’s more than JK Rowling, whom the magazine describes as Brazil’s favorite novelist.

Colleen Hoover’s popularity has especially increased over the past couple of years. The reason? Book Tok. The hashtag #colleenhoover has 1.9 billion views on the social network. The author’s official account has more than a million followers who can preview promotional videos of his latest books and other more anecdotal videos about his life.

This unique approach to public relations helps fuel demand for her literary creations, according to author duo Christina Lauren. “She’s playful, messy, honest and sarcastic – but her sarcasm never carries an edge of meanness or defensiveness,” they said. SHE magazine.

In the way of ‘After’

TikTok’s demographics also work in Colleen Hoover’s favor. Her heroines are often between 18 and 26 years old, like most women using the social network. This age group accounts for nearly 24% of the platform’s total users worldwide, according to the Statista website.

Its young readers tend to identify strongly with the protagonists whose adventures they follow. One of them, known on TikTok under the pseudonym @megreadz_, had fun imagining which actors could embody the characters in Colleen Hoover’s novel, Truth. Others prefer to speculate on the future cast of the adaptation of It ends with us. Wayfarer Entertainment acquired the rights to the film in 2019 and gave a dozen of the novelist’s loyal readers a taste of the film’s script this summer. If the studio has not yet revealed a release date, it’s a safe bet that It ends with us will follow in the footsteps of another successful “young adult” literary series, Anna Todd’s After. BookTok is buzzing. — Studio ETX

About Marcia G. Hussain

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