Photo sourced from Bolu Babalola’s Instagram @boluberry.

The winners of the first ever TikTok Book Awards for UK and Ireland have just been announced. British-Nigerian author Bolu Babalola has won the BookTok Book of the Year award for her debut novel Honey & Spice.

The TikTok Book Awards celebrate the books, independent book shops, authors and creators loved by the #BookTok community. The winners were decided by the people themselves and the BookTok community rose to the occasion.

Thousands of readers voted on TikTok for their favorite authors, books and bookshops from a shortlist. The shortlist was curated by big names in the UK literary industry such as authors Candice Braithwaite and Elizabeth Day, as well as representatives from publishers Bloomsbury and Bonnier.

We are so thrilled that Babalola’s Honey & Spice received this prestigious inaugural TikTok award! The novel explores modern love in an Afro-Caribbean society in a British university, where a fake relationship transforms into true love. Read our book feature here.

According to TikTok, the #BookTok community is responsible for over 167 billion views and their reviews and recommendations have been “driving record book sales, helping to support independent book shops and launch careers of up-and-coming or previously underrepresented authors and genres.”

James Stafford, general manager of operations and marketing at TikTok UK & Nordics, remarked that he is awestruck by the passionate readers in the BookTok community as well as the brilliance of the winning writers:

The winners of the inaugural TikTok Book Awards have finally been revealed and we would like to take this opportunity to not only congratulate the winners, but every single nominee. From Jane Austen to Bolu Babalola, the winners truly reflect the diversity and vibrancy of the #BookTok community. We have been truly blown away by the response and excitement from everyone who has been involved in this process.

Finally we would like to thank the whole BookTok community and everyone who voted. We have been humbled to watch this community of book lovers thrive and find a genuine connection on TikTok. Your unapologetic love of reading has truly made this community what it is and we cannot wait to see what the future has in store.

Babalola was thrilled about her win and gave a shoutout to her Black femme TikTok voters on Instagram:

We won Inaugural Tiktok Book Awards. Actually the first award I’ve won for my writing and I am so honoured that it is directly from readers with a tangible passion for books and also romance!! You guys have really held me down and inspired me, especially the young Black femme Tiktokers!! S/o to @katiepacker my editor and @julietpicks my agent and everyone of you who voted!!! And s/o to all of you who told me how much you thirsted for Malakai lmao. Grateful to God. Now to party because I paused drinking my marg and dancing to post this real quick

Congratulations to Babalola! See her celebratory photos at the award ceremony below.


All photos sourced from Babalola’s Instagram @boluberry.