What is the relationship of social networks with reading? Is that have promoted reading and that currently “everything is based on social networks and digitization”. This is stated by two speakers who will participate in the discussion “The impact of social networks in the publishing industry”, organized by the creators of literary content from Ecuador for the Guayaquil International Book Fair 2022as part of the youth agenda.
“The topic of social networks has greatly promoted the removal of the part in which ‘I don’t want to read’, there is no longer the point ‘oh, I don’t want to, how lazy to read a book’. I think what the current generation is looking for is ‘you know what? I want to read the book before the movie comes out because they already said they were going to release it on Netflix’. People are much more interested in reading it before it comes out…”, assures the Guayaquil native. Eduardo Valarezo33, who shares book reviews through TikTok.
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From her experience, the Venezuelan writer Geraldine Falconette, 21 years old, says that when she was more of a reader than a writer, she came to the works, in her case of juvenile fantasy and science fiction sagas, through the cinema. But now “Social networks are the ones that make you reach those kinds of stories and I find it so cool and so interesting… Many more readers are being included in this world, because there is talk that there is not much reading in Latin America, but social networks have helped literature expand among young people…”, reiterates Falconette, who is currently writing his second book.
Valarezo, who is a Marketing engineer, points out that it is true that many people find out about the sagas when they see a movie or a series and that he is a testimony of this, because he first saw his favorite film, but then he was transported to the book. “And I absolutely loved the book, I read all fifteen books out there and all the ones around for a movie…” he says.
In this sense, the man from Guayaquil, who is a digital strategist for an important company in Ecuador through an agency, indicates that the impact of social networks has “evolved a lot”. “I remember that there were people who started out as booktuber, bookstagramers and finally what they are booktokers, and that happened a lot through the pandemic. More or less around the end of 2020 was when the boom of booktoker on TikTok and the truth is that it became a career, because now anyone on TikTok can be an influencer, a reference or recommend a book, “he says.
“Because it is such a volatile community, they are consuming many more books. A trending book comes out and all the booktokers or all the recommendations lead you to buy this book and not only buy it but read it, after reading they do the review and you know that there are people who take time reading, which means that people who used to say ‘ok, I’m going to read five books in the year’, no, now they want to read 20, 30, 40, 50 and I suppose that also leads to publishers selling much more. So everybody wants to be on the rise, everybody wants to be the first to read the book, to get the review up, and you start a race, not just to review and promote it, but to be the first to read it or have the a book that is a trend, it is like fashion used to be with clothes, now it is with books…”, she adds.
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How should writers work on their content to appeal to the new generations that are now connecting to books through social media?
Valarezo comments that before the authors used to say that their works are science fiction, drama or romance, “they were focused on the label of the book”, but today, citing as an example that when there is a bookkeeper, “feeling” is transmitted on the device. “This book is going to make you laugh, it’s going to make you cry… it sells you the emotion of the book… That’s what the authors should focus on, don’t sell me ‘it’s the typical romance book with a love triangle’, sell me how I am going to feel with the book, what is it going to awaken in the person who reads it…”, he points out.
Falconette agrees with Valarezo, who adds that from his field he works more with bookstagramers, and points out that beyond the genre of the book, what is important is the experience, the perspective. “That’s cool, because as human beings we have different perspectives, they don’t sell you like the label or they don’t sell you the objectivity of what it is, but the subjectivity that for me at the end of the day as a writer is the most important thing, that’s why I I say it is better that you read it and give me your opinion, I like that too”, comments the Venezuelan, who is also dedicated to writing stories, has already published three.
They are some of the young writers who will participate in the Guayaquil International Book Fair 2022
As for the themes that the new generations prefer, Valarezo points out that there is romance, fantasy, as well as those of representation, mainly those of LGBT.
For her part, Falconette, who is in the last cycles of her Film degree, indicates that due to the growth of youth literature, that although science fiction and fantasy are still being read, there is a boom in hybrid genres, erotica and Romance.
The platform through which his followers are reading, Valarezo points out that in the first instance it depends on the prices or accessibility to the books, since not all versions can be obtained in physical or in Spanish. “In my case, when I get a digital book it is because it is much more expensive to get it in Spanish or English, or to bring it here. On TikTok, yes, there are people who read a lot digitally, but success on this social network is having it physically, is to show the book. I would say that there is an uptick in the sale of physical books since all these videos began to be shown on this platform (TikTok) ”, he affirms.
While Falconette, who has been living in Ecuador for five years, indicates that she has seen an important change, she says that before a lot was read in physical form, and there are many factors for which it is being read in digital, mainly because a work in digital It is cheaper, although it does not do much justice to the physique.
Both Valarezo and Falconette mention some advantages and disadvantages of digital and physical books. They indicate that if you do not have a charger nearby, the device can be turned off, while physically you can read it without that inconvenience, but if you want to read at night, instead, you need light.
Valarezo points out that if you are going to dedicate yourself to creating content with books, it is important to have them in physical form, but for convenience and price, digital “wins.” Although the latter is not going to overcome “that little smell of a new book that we all love”.
Books they are reading:
Valarezo: Ballad of songbirds and snakes, by the American writer Suzanne Collins. The play is a prequel to The Hunger Games.
Falconette: Dear Helen, by the writer Juliany Toledo
- María Fernanda González, from La Madriguera, will participate in the conversation together with Falconette and Valarezo.
- It will be held on Saturday, September 24, at 2:00 p.m., in the Baquerizo Moreno room, in the Guayaquil Convention Center.
- Costs: $3 for adults, $1.50 for seniors and people with disabilities. Free admission for children up to 12 years of age.
- Passes can be purchased in person on-line through https://www.expoplaza.ec/event/feria-del-libro/. (YO)