For hundreds of years, stories were constrained by the limited fire power of someone reading a text then offering a measured appreciation that could make or break sales of said book. Now, there is a new way: 1) Pile BookTok creators in a house and feed new titles in through the mail slot, 2) let them post a stirring GIF-level critique like “this fucking book” to TikTok’s “mirror ball girlies,” and 3) watch the money roll in.
That’s the approach Simon & Schuster UK are taking in a collaboration with the marketing agency Rocket this summer in Brighton, per The Bookseller, who reported:
There will be exclusive reveals of the company’s biggest upcoming romance titles, including The Long Game by Elena Armas and Wildfire by Hannah Grace, as well as scavenger hunt activity featuring three local bookshops: Waterstones, W H Smith and City Books.
Imagine trapping James Wood, Lauren Oyler, and Laura Miller in a house for a summer, watching as they get a tan on, eat late-night pies, and debate Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. IMAGINE IT. Who would be responsible for the the first human cutout in the wall as they exit the house? I think Wood.
This is in fact not the first BookTok creator house; sci-fi and fantasy imprint Harper Voyager hosted eight BookTokkers in Hay-on-Wye in 2022. Around the same time, some friends and I convened a “hype house” in which we shared around a copy of The Palace Papers and talked about our thyroids. Who can take credit for it?
[h/t The Bookseller]