Honors Program

Honors in English

Date of Award


Thesis Professor(s)

Mark Baumgartner

Thesis Professor Department

<--College of Arts and Sciences-->

Thesis Reader(s)

Lisa Perry, Scott Honeycutt


Thanks to the BookTok community, adult romance author Colleen Hoover has taken the world by storm. Anyone that has had access to TikTok within the past year has probably had a Colleen Hoover book appear in video on their “For You Page,” the page on TikTok where users can scroll through content that follows an algorithm which learns about the user’s specific interests. However, Hoover has been writing and publishing novels since 2012. She had already published more than a dozen novels by 2020, yet her popularity has only grown since she made her appearance on social media. Her book entitled It Ends with Us has exponentially went up in sales in 2021, five years after its initial release. By the end of the book’s first month on the market, it had sold 21,000 copies. The author noticed a bump in sales in the last quarter of 2020, and by 2021, that bump in sales became an exponential growth in sales: 308,000 copies sold in only one year. Many critics believe that this growth in sales can contribute its success to TikTok, and specifically BookTok. Now, in 2022, over four million copies of It Ends with Us have been sold, and 20 million of Hoover’s books have been sold across the globe.

This research will take a look at how social media has a direct effect on the publishing industry and the consumption of literature, specifically looking into the phenomenon of Colleen Hoover. She has learned how to use her presence on social media platforms for marketing, while also simultaneously having her books marketed by her within the different social media communities. Social media is not going away anytime soon, so also having authors learn to use social media to their advantage can also help them to accelerate their rate of sales of their novels as well. Learning to analyze behaviors of social media platforms, learning current trends to make the author’s books more relevant to their markets, and interacting with audiences and fans can be quite beneficial to all authors. Colleen Hoover has made her social media presence quite prevalent, so taking a look into the tactics she uses, the posts she makes, and the events she holds to interact with her fans can be fascinating to study and learn how to use for other authors as well.


East Tennessee State University

Document Type

Honors Thesis - Open Access

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Copyright by the authors.