The company has already radically changed the way books are discovered online. And while ByteDance has said little publicly about its publishing plans, which are at an early stage, it is clear the company has the potential to sell a vast quantity of books. Exposure on the platform has catapulted many authors — Colleen Hoover first among them — to the best-seller list. Posts tagged #ColleenHoover have been viewed more than 4.2 billion times, and her books have sold more than 24 million copies.
ByteDance declined to confirm details about their publishing and retail operations, including which genres it plans to publish, when their first titles will appear and whether their books will be sold in traditional stores.
Despite how little is known about their intentions, ByteDance’s presence in the field has already raised concerns. By tapping into TikTok’s ability to drive attention to books and its vast trove of user data, ByteDance could boost its own authors at the expense of others and make BookTok less organic and user-driven, a prospect that worries many TikTok users and authors.