News Update


BookTok: Heartstopper and Bolu Babalola win TikTok Book Awards

The winners at the inaugural ceremony were voted for by thousands of TikTok users through the video-sharing app.

Book lovers use the platform to discuss books and make recommendations, as part of a community nicknamed #BookTok.

Dolly Alderton’s memoir about love and loss, which was adapted as a BBC TV series, was also among the winners.

Babalola’s Honey & Spice was named book of the year. The British-Nigerian author’s debut novel follows a young black woman whose determination not to fall in love is challenged when she meets a handsome new student.

The author said: “This is actually the first award I’ve received for anything I’ve written. It means the world to me, especially because it’s from people who read, who have a passion for books, and actually for love as well.

“I feel so supported by the BookTok community, creators… they galvanise me.”

Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love was named best book to end a reading slump. The memoir sees the Sunday Times columnist recount her chaotic early twenties and share the lessons she learned about romance, friendship and loss.

Elsewhere, author of the year went to Holly Jackson, well known for Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series.

The first book in that collection, published in 2019, focuses on a schoolgirl who investigates a local murder which is more complex than it seems as part of her final year project.

Jackson said: “I can’t say how much BookTok has changed my life. The support you’ve shown for The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series has been overwhelming, sometimes a little scary! Thank you so much for voting for me, wow I’ve got a trophy!”

The shortlist was chosen by figures from the world of literature, publishing and #BookTok, including authors Candice Braithwaite and Elizabeth Day and representatives from publishers Bloomsbury and Bonnier.

The awards were launched to celebrate the books, independent book shops, authors and creators that are most revered by the #BookTok community.

TikTok says posts from the #BookTok community have racked up 167 billion views. The Publisher’s Association has previously said the platform has helped drive up book sales around the world.

The company has said the community has helped support independent bookshops and launch careers of up-and-coming or previously underrepresented authors and genres.

James Stafford, general manager of operations and marketing for TikTok UK & Nordics said: “From Jane Austen to Bolu Babalola, the winners truly reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the #BookTok community.”

“We have been humbled to watch this community of book lovers thrive and find a genuine connection on TikTok. Your unapologetic love of reading has truly made this community what it is and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store.”

The 2023 TikTok Book Awards winners:

Book of the year – Honey & Spice by Bolu Babalola

Author of the year – Holly Jackson

Creator of the year – Eden Victoria (@edenvictorria)

Indie bookshop of the year – Portobello Bookshop, Edinburgh

Best BookTok revival – Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Best book to end a reading slump – Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton

Best book I wish I could read again for the first time – Heartstopper: Volume One by Alice Oseman


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