Bolu Babalola, a British-Nigerian author and journalist, has won the Book of the Year award at the first ever TikTok Book Awards for her debut novel Honey & Spice. The romantic comedy follows a young black woman who tries to resist falling in love with a handsome new student. Babalola said that this was the first award she had received for anything she had written and that it meant the world to her.
The TikTok Book Awards were launched to celebrate the books, authors, creators and independent bookshops that are most popular among the #BookTok community, a group of book lovers who use the video-sharing app to discuss and recommend books. The winners were chosen by thousands of TikTok users who voted through the app.
Other winners included Alice Oseman, who won the Best Book I Wish I Could Read Again For The First Time award for her graphic novel Heartstopper: Volume One, which is also a Netflix series. Dolly Alderton, whose memoir Everything I Know About Love was adapted into a BBC TV series, won the Best Book to End A Reading Slump award. Holly Jackson, the author of the Good Girl’s Guide to Murder series, was named the BookTok Author of the Year.
The awards also honoured Jane Austen’s Pride & Prejudice as the Best BookTok Revival and Portobello Bookshop in Edinburgh as the Indie Bookshop of the Year.
James Stafford, the general manager of operations and marketing for TikTok UK & Nordics, said that “the winners truly reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the #BookTok community” and that he was “truly blown away by the response and excitement from everyone who has been involved in this process”. He added that he was “humbled to watch this community of book lovers thrive and find a genuine connection on TikTok”.
The #BookTok community has been credited with boosting book sales around the world and supporting emerging or underrepresented authors and genres. According to TikTok, posts from the #BookTok community have amassed 167 billion views.