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Africa’s Bookstagrammers Are Carving Out a Space for the Continent’s Authors

Regardless of how you feel about social media, it affords an unprecedented amount of exposure, which can catapult some to fame and others to obscurity. One of the unexpected winners in this space has been African authors, whose works have been celebrated by influential “bookstagrammers,” whose nods have afforded expanded readership across the continent and well beyond. For publicity of their literature, many African authors are unable to access the kind of major publicity/marketing pipeline available to western authors on publication: Late-night show and podcast appearances, magazine cover features, reviews in major publications, bestseller lists, nationwide tours, listicles etc. In the wake of the pandemic, this situation has gotten even worse. The few literary festivals that happen on the continent have had to move online because of travel restrictions and for safety. A few Bookstagrammers are already beginning to take advantage of newer platforms like Tiktok, as well as utilizing the newer features on Instagram, such as reels that are optimized for a wider reach. The #BookTokAfrica hashtag currently has over 16 thousand views.