Colleen Hoover is well on the way to selling more books in 2022 than Stephen King, James Patterson, and John Grisham. The numbers are staggering: according to NPD BookScan, this year alone her books will have sold about 12.5 million copies. Her latest, It Starts with Us, was published by Atria in October and sold more than 809,000 copies in its first week, making it, Simon & Schuster reported, the fastest-selling fiction book in company history.
How does a former social worker and mother of three living in the small Texas town of Saltillo become the top-selling novelist in the nation? Thanks in part to TikTok. Hoover’s It Ends with Us, published in 2016, began gaining traction on the app in late 2020, mostly via word of mouth among teens and young women. By the following summer, It Ends with Us, along with several of Hoover’s other 24 books, had exploded in popularity—and in sales. To date, It Ends with Us is her top title, with 3.4 million copies sold since its release. And though Atria is the publisher of some of Hoover’s biggest books, Grand Central published Verity (nearly 1.9 million copies sold this year), while Reminders of Him (1.1 million copies sold) was released by Amazon Publishing’s Montlake imprint.
Hoover has become one of TikTok’s most remarkable publishing success stories, partly because she was an early adopter of the platform. Today, many authors have only just begun to debate the merits of joining TikTok to promote their books, but Hoover has been on the app since early 2020 and has amassed 1.1 million followers. Her humble background and online presence make her uniquely accessible. As of this writing, TikTok videos with the hashtag #ColleenHoover have accrued more than 2.9 billion views.
Many a profile and think piece have tried to get to the heart of Hoover’s star power. The sales figures are one thing, but the rabid devotion of her fans, who call themselves “CoHorts,” can’t be boiled down so easily. For a large swath of readers, Hoover is a master of writing Big Feelings: heartrending, tear-jerking tales of love and loss. (Many TikToks of readers crying while reading Hoover’s books have gone viral.)
Lucky for CoHorts, more Big Feelings are on the way: Heart Bones will be published by Atria in January 2023. And fans can keep an eye out for three additional new Hoover suspense novels coming from Grand Central, which will also republish her self-published suspense title, Too Late—though no pub dates have been announced yet.