ByteDance, the parent company of TikTok, is starting its own publishing company: 8th Note Press. It’s already reached out to some authors, mostly self-published romance authors, looking to buy the rights to distribute their books. The appeal for authors looks to be less about the advance and more the marketing services ByteDance offers. One romance author, Tricia O’Malley, was offered just $3,500 each for two of her books — less than the authors reports makes from them monthly as a self-published author.

TikTok is well known to sell a lot of books — just browse any Barnes and Noble and you’re sure to bump into an “As Seen On TikTok” table. This is the selling point of their upcoming publishing arm, of course, but this new development has some users of BookTok (the bookish side of TikTok) worried. TikTok has a “heating” button that can make any video go viral. Could videos about 8th Note Press titles drown out all the organic book discussion on TikTok?

There’s very little information available publicly about 8th Note Press at this time, but it seems to be focused on romance ebooks.

Read more about this story at the New York Times.

Find more news and stories of interest from the book world in Breaking in Books.


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