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Book content creators predict trends for 2024 reads

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With a new semester on the horizon, readings for classes may seem overwhelming, but finding something to read for fun could be as simple as a quick scroll on TikTok. 

Lizzie McLeod Herring, a UNC junior majoring in art history and creative writingsaid she wouldn't have picked up half of the books she read in 2023 without the influence of a book content creator on social media. 

A book blogger who goes by Deanna said creators and their influence could drive 2024's next big trends.

"Romantasy" —  a term coined by the online book community to refer to a combination of romance and fantasy — was one of the biggest subgenres in 2023, fueled in part by the release of Rebecca Yarros' bestseller "Fourth Wing." 

Kimmy Nwokorie, a book content creator who gravitates toward romance, said the subgenre will likely continue to grow in the new year because the new balance between romance and fantasy is very satisfying and catches readers' attention. 

“I think authors are getting comfortable in being able to write what they want to, and with that we’ll probably see the rise of more subgenres,” Nwokorie said

Within the past year, Deanna said she has also seen an uptick in the popularity of young adult horror novels, including those written by Black authors and centering Black characters. She said it has been refreshing to see characters who look like her in popular stories.  

Deanna also said she would like to see a resurgence in the popularity of dystopian fiction.

“There’s a lot going on right now in the world that’s giving off dystopia,” she said. “So I wouldn’t be surprised if people started writing about things that they’re experiencing because dystopian really explores a lot of real world politics in different ways.” 

Azanta Thakur, a book Instagrammer and TikToker, predicted that popular book content creators may become authors themselves and that the publishing industry may try to utilize them — and their built-in followings — to sell more books.

She said she thinks publishers may try to publish books faster with sloppier editing for popular authors and content creators because they know the work will be successful despite the quality. 

“It’s still very exciting to see the worlds collide on my end of social media, where these content creators that I’ve been following for years are now getting these massive book deals, which is such an amazing accomplishment,” Thakur said. 

Herring said she predicts literary fiction will continue to grow in popularity, particularly novels that cater to young women. She said she has seen a rise in a subgenre of literary fiction — which she calls “weird, sad girl” literature — that focuses on womens' inner turmoils.   

Herring said she has also noticed American essayist and novelist Joan Didion —  whose work focused mainly on life in California in the late-20th century — make a comeback online, particularly her novel, "Play It as It Lays." She said that Los Angeles is becoming a center of literary hype and inspiring avant-garde fiction among other modern Los Angeles authors. 

But, for Herring, online popularity can make it difficult when a reader wants to a find a book that exists outside of the current trends.

“The way the algorithm is on the internet, the more popular something is, the more it's going to get pushed and pushed and pushed until you can't find it," Herring said. "It's hard to find what you're looking for anymore." 

Thakur said there are many creators, like herself, who are making their own microtrends in their own corners of social media, such as reading diverse books. In order to change their algorithm, readers have to make an effort to diversify the creators they follow and books they read, she said.

Deanna said she would like for there to be more support for books that don’t fit into every trend at the moment, particularly diverse books. 

“There are brilliant, beautiful, amazing stories and you just have to look," she said. "You don’t have to necessarily identify with every aspect of a story down to what the character looks like to enjoy the story, it doesn’t have to be 100 percent relatable for you to find value and enjoy that piece of work, because marginalized readers, we’ve read stories about people who don’t look like us for all our lives.”


@dthlifestyle | lifestyle@dailytarheel.comw

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