Today in Books

How Emily Henry Made Hits Without TikTok or Touring

This content contains affiliate links. When you buy through these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Rebecca Joines Schinsky

Chief of Staff

Rebecca Joines Schinsky is the executive director of product and ecommerce at Riot New Media Group. She co-hosts All the Books! and the Book Riot Podcast. Follow her on Twitter: @rebeccaschinsky.

Welcome to Today in Books, where we report on literary headlines at the intersection of politics, culture, media, and more.

🚀 Liftoff for Authors Against Book Bans

Authors Against Book Bans, a new organization boasting 1500 members from all 50 states and Washington D.C., officially launched earlier this week. Per its mission statement, AABB exists to oppose “the deeply unconstitutional movement to limit the freedom to read,” and to defend and encourage “the children, families, educators, librarians, and communities who suffer when the freedom to read is challenged and taken away.” At present, AABB has 22 chapters and aims to expand to a chapter in every state. Members will engage in organizing and strategic action at both the state and national levels, develop partnerships with similarly aligned organizations, and provide support to educators, librarians, parents, and students who are fighting book bans in their communities. Click here to get involved. May their efforts succeed!

0 Tours. 0 TikTok. 7 Million Books Sold.

Emily Henry’s books may be all over the internet, but she isn’t. The reigning queen of the rom-com, whose first hit, Beach Read, came out in 2020 during the early days of the pandemic, told The New York Times in a rare profile that she has no desire to be a “writer slash mini-celebrity.” Despite her publisher’s urging and in defiance of the widespread belief that authors must have a Platform and actively engage with fans, Henry has never been on tour and has no plans to get on TikTok. As Times reporter Elisabeth Egan notes, “It’s an uncommon, maybe even gutsy, approach in the era of the all-access pass, when readers of popular fiction expect a level of quasi intimacy with favorite writers.”

But you can’t argue with results, especially to the tune of 7 million copies sold in the U.S. alone and 4 adaptation development deals. Henry may be the exception that proves the rule, but her success can also be read as a reminder that there are many ways for a book to break out, and most of them are outside an author or publisher’s control.

Yay Books!

I have seen a lot of lists of books for people who love books in my 15+ years in publishing, so I mean it when I say I know what to expect, and I love to have my expectations subverted. Writing for The Atlantic, Elisa Gabbert highlights five books that “focus on the many connections we can form with what we read,” and reader: I was surprised by them all. I’ll be picking up Madness, Rack, and Honey post-haste.

What are your favorite under-the-radar books about books? Share them in the comments.

The Hottest Club in Town

Goodreads keeps stats on all kinds of things, including which books users are reading for their book clubs. Here are the most popular book club books of June, according to Goodreads.

The comments section is moderated according to our community guidelines. Please check them out so we can maintain a safe and supportive community of readers!

Leave a comment

Become an All Access subscriber to add comments.