Book bloggers, who are the book influencers?

Slowly, but readership in Italy has picked up again. Word from Istat, which records a slight recovery that bodes well.

Among other interesting data, the fact that the group of “strong” readers (i.e., people who have read at least 12 books in the last year) is between 18 and 20 years old confirms the trend that children and young people are the most voracious readers. It also emerges how, at any age, women read more books than men. In 2019, in fact, the percentage of female readers was 44.3 percent, and that of male readers stands at 35.5 percent.

The community of readers has, therefore, very specific characteristics that lead straight to the world of social media and, in particular, to those most beloved among young people. With this in mind, we cannot be surprised by the success, stable over the years, of book bloggers, book tubers, book influencers, and even TikTok.

People of all ages who have been able, by talking about books online, to build real and passionate communities, so much so that they have changed reading preferences and towed real publishing cases.

Book bloggers, booktubers, book influencers: who are they?

In 2019, Il Sole 24 Ore, which first looked into the phenomenon, ranked “reading influencers.” These are ordinary people who, thanks to social media, are able to shift people’s habits of choice and consumption. At the top of the ranking we find Ilenia Zodiaco, more than 96,000 subscribers on her YouTube channel, more than 68,000 followers on Instagram, a blog, a podcast and a real job based precisely on the ability to tell about books.

Also in the top 10 is Giuseppe Quattrociocche, known as @gatsbybooks, who builds his success through photographs posted on Instagram. Stefania Soma aka @petuniaollister who created the trending hashtag #bookbreakfast. And 23-year-old Julie Demar booktuber who, from her channel, talks about books, shows off her bookshelf, but also chats about fashion, beauty and art.

Ilenia Zodiaco (@conamoreesquallore) • Foto e video di Instagram

Passionate and prepared to build human communities

Talking about books online, exposing yourself in the first person, is not easy. It takes some knowledge of the subject, the nerdiest of readers can recognize who is talking trash about a novel or essay. It is necessary to keep up to date, to know the classics, to develop one’s own language, but also to read a lot.

If we consider that a reader is considered “strong” if he or she exceeds 12 volumes per year, we understand that with only a dozen books read in 12 months, no influencer could truly build a successful community and comparison. It takes time, expertise and dedication, and that is what is striking about the book influencer phenomenon. These are people who win followers with their expertise and, in fact, with their brains, cultivating responsive, compact and active communities. Every social media manager’s dream.


Interesting element, before we delve into how book-related creators work and mention some of the (in our opinion) most interesting names, is to point out that there are many influencers and creators who are involved in books even if this is not their main field. One headline case is definitely Camilla Boniardi, aka @camihawke. She is the ‘author of the book “For all the rest of my mistakes” long topping the sales charts.

The case is interesting not only because of its ability to get real feedback in the publishing market, but also because together with another popular influencer, Giulia Valentina, she has created a surprise long-distance book club. The two creators exchange a surprise book, read it (and invite the community to do the same). Organizing a live stream on Instagram to discuss it together.

This is not the only case of characters who do not specifically deal with books sharing impressions and advice on social. And this happens because books, online, generate debate and sharing. They are driving and active topics that make, after all, hopeful about the health of reading in Italy. The important thing is perhaps to avoid a snobbish approach whereby only intellectuals or people officially entitled to do so can speak about literature. The beauty of reading is precisely its democratic nature, which is also expressed in the spread of thematic chatter online.

How do the book influencers work?

Giuseppe Quattrocchi (@gatsby_books) • Foto e video di Instagram

Most book influencers are affiliated with Amazon or IBS. This is, according to the Alkemy Observatory, the main mode of business for online book influencers. Lots of followers, however, also tempt brands and companies that deal with other things. Here, then, we also see locales, gifts, jewelry and other products resulting from sponsorships and collaborations with all kinds of brands appearing among the pages.

It is, of course, each influencer who chooses to what extent to move away from the bookish world, knowing that his or her authority also depends on the quality of the collaborations proposed to followers. And such a loyal community can also lead away from the web, allowing different influencers to carry out very interesting projects always with an editorial theme.

From Snapchat to translations, long life to Francesca Crescentini aka @tegamini

Francesca Crescentini (@tegamini) • Foto e video di Instagram

It’s not everyone who goes from winning Best Snapchatter at the MIA Awards in 2016, to surviving the collapse of the first social to launch stories. Also winning Best Literary Site at the 2018 edition of the same award. The feat succeeded to Francesca Crescentini, a translator from Piacenza who lives in Milan (with a Love of the Heart, a Minicuore and a cat named Ottone) and is known on the web as, simply, Tegamini.

Francesca is not new to the world of publishing, so much so that even before the Internet she worked in a major publishing house, but it is with Snapchat that she started a micro column that has made her known to more and more people. Let’s talk about #librinitegamini. The mechanism was simple: users asked for a book recommendation by giving some pointers, and Francesca draws from her library explaining why she suggests that very reading. Thus a veritable archive of recommendations and mini-reviews was formed, inspiring dozens and dozens of followers.

Today the #librinitegamini continue in private messages, but Francesca-who also does editorial translation-continues to recount the books she has read (and listened to) with passion and expertise. The secret to her success is enthusiasm and sincerity. Both when talking about the books and when telling about the lightsaber lessons or the wacky paraphernalia they gave her. As well as the fact that one talks about books only after having read them in order to compare and reflect, without becoming unpackers of publishing novelties, advertised in good faith but often uncritically. After all, authenticity is known to make a difference.

Giulia Ciarapica is a book blogger, journalist, and now a writer

Giulia Ciarapica (@giulia_ciarapix) • Foto e video di Instagram

Also curious is the story of Giulia Ciarapica. Born in 1989 in the Marche region of Italy, she started out as a book blogger, but soon established herself as a cultural editor as well, working with several online publications. Today she also writes for Il Messaggero and Il Foglio and was the first to define what skills characterize people who deal with books on the Internet.

Book blogger. Writing about books online: how, where, why” is her first essay, published by Franco Cesati Editorie. An opportunity to reflect on a young profession that speaks to the young and very young, capable of making a difference in the cultural sphere. Finally, Giulia, who “dreams of a man who will look at her the way she looks at a book”-as stated on her blog, has also written a novel. It is entitled “Once is Enough,” which opens a trilogy and is published by Rizzoli.

A path only seemingly unimaginable, for a young emerging writer, made possible precisely by the strength of the relationship that Giulia has, over the years, established with other fans and online followers. An audience that is also part of a community, where we rejoice together over achievements. All the more so if they lead to a new book to read!

In the #bookeaterclub by Camilla Ronzullo aka Zelda Was a Writer

Camilla Ronzullo (@zeldawasawriter) • Foto e video di Instagram

The third and final experience of influencers who have created something literatio offline from an online editorial storytelling journey is the #bookeaterclub of Zelda Was a Writer, born Camilla Ronzullo, also the author of the original “The Measure of Everything” (Salani, 2018).

“Creative and book eater,” Camilla introduces herself this way and on her Instagram account, followed by more than 50,000 people, she alternates poetic details, reflections and books. A passion that she cultivated before only on the blog, and it was from here that the idea of getting out of the virtual to confront in reality as well was born. Thus was created the #bookeaterclub, a real reading group that met in Milan (before the pandemic), once a month to comment aloud, a book read by everyone, in the silence of their homes.

Ca va sans dire, the meetings are never boring. People, then, like to read, even more than statistics can reveal!

#mattonirussi and classics between Instagram and TikTok with Ilenia Zodiaco, @conamoreesquallore

We have already mentioned Ilenia Zodiaco because she was mentioned by Il Sole 24 Ore as one of the most influential figures talking about books on the web. @conamoreesquallore, this is her nickname on Instagram, has the peculiarity of addressing and sharing readings following her own personal path of insight that comes out of the publishing news of the moment or fashions. One of his most followed hashtags is #mattonirussi, which identifies a series of readings related to Russian authors of the 19th century. Certainly not nimble volumes, but of absolute literary value. What is striking is Ilenia’s ability to get her community passionate about the classics as well and thus create a space for conversation about original literature.

At the same time, Ilenia is a must-see for those looking for creators who can move fluently from one platform to another. From YouTube to Instagram and now Twitch. She is one of the first people to bring books to the streaming platform starting with a now devoted community that is interested in what she is proposing whether it is in the form of videos, live, stories or podcasts.

@boomfiction, the dedicated account of Chiara Cecilia Santamaria

Chiara Cecilia Santamaria is an “old school” blogger. Hard to associate with a niche, but able to build a deep and unprejudiced dialogue with her community. Author of two books, “What Moms Don’t Say” and “Somewhere in the World,” in addition to her personal channels she has opened an Instagram account entirely dedicated to reading and TV series. Called @boomfiction, it has about 14,000 followers and is distinguished by a curated aesthetic and rich, in-depth reviews. Especially compared to Instagram caption standards.

Also rich in debate and open discussion with a small, but very active community sensitive to the insights Chiara offers. So much so that even in this case a virtual book club was born!

Matteo Fumagalli, “trash” books, but not only!

It is known that online it is very difficult to expose oneself against something. On the other hand, critiques are part of the history of literature and any other art. And it is precisely thanks to video reviews (positive and negative, but unabashedly so) that Matteo Fumagalli has made a name for himself, over 130,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel, which he maintains with perseverance and passion.

He sifts through books of all kinds, from Dostoevsky to Flavia Vento, via publishing cases written by fellow creators. All observed with the same attentive gaze, ready to be surprised at small hidden masterpieces or acclaimed successes that, in his opinion, are nothing more than giant flops. The secret of her success is precisely frankness, and perhaps also the fact that she reads those books that pique curiosity.

Carolina Capria tells us about books with @lhascrittounafemmina

We close our hit parade discovering the multiplicity of voices and faces that tell, in a personal way, about books on Instagram with Carolina Capria’s @lhascrittounafemmina project. An author of children’s books and texts for television, she opened this page with the aim of raising awareness about gender equality in literature.

In fact, therefore, she is dedicated to telling and reviewing books written by female authors who, for various reasons, do not have the prominence and visibility that, in her opinion, they deserve. It is a discourse of equality, made from the texts and the realization that women’s texts are often less read, less rewarded and less visible. Capria counters this action, and the numbers seem to indicate that she has answered a need. Over 140,000 followers on Instagram who, again, make up an active, interested and responsive community.

Around the publishing world move emotions and passions that thanks to social can grow and feed to create strong, authentic and therefore naturally successful relationships!

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