March 23, 2021

TikTok proves it can put books on best-seller lists


A recent New York Times piece opens with author E. Lockhart seeing her 2014 book We Were Liars hitting the best-seller list over the summer of 2020. Baffled but pleased, she quickly learned that it was the teens of TikTok who were responsible.

It’s a nice lede, and one that probably gets publishers a little too excited about the implications for their under-loved backlist, so I feel professionally obligated to reveal what that We Were Liars was not exactly a slouch in the sales department before TikTok got ahold of it.

Nevertheless, let’s explore just how influential these TikTokers are. And how they promote books.



Athena Bryan is an editor at Melville House.