Official Hashtags for Books


This is a great idea. You may have noticed how TV has finally started to get to grips with hashtags. My favourites include #bbcqt, #hignfy and #laterjools, which are shown in the opening credits to BBC Question Time, Have I Got News for You and Later with Jools Holland. These are shows that people often live-tweet along to, and this helps make sure they use the right hashtag to follow the Twitter-based conversation and commentary taking place. It’s a bit like an event organizer pre-announcing an official hashtag for a conference.

So why not do the same for books? This is a question recently posed on Twitter by Ian Greenleigh (@be3d).

I'd like to see more books w/ official hashtags so readers can discuss while reading. Not just SM books.
Ian Greenleigh

The idea is to have an official hashtags for each book, printed on the flyleaf, on the cover – even at the top of each page – to encourage discussion of the book on Twitter.

Ian had a positive response and wrote a blog post about it. Seth Godin picked up on the idea, and mailed his list with a link to Ian’s post and a list of official hashtags for his books. From Ian’s blog:

Readers would have access to a sort of whenever-you-care-to-contribute book club, where they could discuss the content, share related links and recommendations, and–perhaps the most appealing feature to me–add people with similar interest graphs to their social networks. Because the niche community would form on Twitter, an existing social network, it would be far likelier to reach the activity level at which online communities become sustainable and vibrant, unlike siloed, built-from-scratch communities like private forums, where the barriers to entry deter many from joining what they see as “yet another” social network.

Authors would stand to gain even more. By facilitating the foundation and growth of these hashtag communities, authors would be tapping into a goldmine of word of mouth, reader loyalty, consumer data, actionable feedback, jacket-worthy praise, and of course, book sales from new readers who learn of an author’s work through related activity on Twitter. A fan base like that can’t be bought, and can rarely be built.

Read Ian Greenleigh’s full post at:

It’s a simple idea but, as Twitter becomes more and more mainstream, one that could help book promotion by giving readers the tools to do it for you.

Find more book marketing ideas in The Publishing Talk Guide to Twitter – which has the official hashtag #ptgtwitter!

About Author

Jon Reed is an author, screenwriter and social media consultant. He is the author of Get Up to Speed With Online Marketing (2nd edition, Pearson, 2013) and the the founder of social media consultancy Reed Media, which offers social media training, consultancy and web design. Jon started Publishing Talk in 2007 following a 10-year career in publishing, including as publishing director for McGraw-Hill. More...


  1. Super! Committing to book clubs; finding people who want to read that same titles as you and having to read at the same pace make going along to book clubs tricky sometimes. Who needs BookClubs when we have Twitter!

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