Science fiction romance novel Ice Planet Barbarians by Ruby Dixon, which was originally self-published in 2015, will be published in print by Berkley on November 30, with new exclusive content, after its viral success. The book saw an influx of purchasers and new fans after TikTok user Emma Carter posted on May 22 of this year about the book, using hashtags such as #smuttok and #spicybooktok about the book (BookTok is the term used by those who post about books on TikTok).
CNN write in June that in the weeks following Carter’s initial post, “IPB books started popping up on Amazon’s
Carter said in a statement of the response to her viral post, “I was tagged in at least ten videos an hour for over a week. The sheer number of people reading and reviewing these books was astonishing. A few of my friends on BookTok made videos too and when I saw the likes and views they were getting I was blown away. When the first book hit #1 on e-book bestseller lists, I realized the power BookTok has.”
Ice Planet Barbarians is the first in an ongoing series, which currently has 22 titles such as Barbarian’s Prize and Having the Barbarian’s Baby, as well as two spinoff series and eight novellas. Of the new print edition, on her website, Dixon wrote, “This cover (and the special bonus epilogue) will only be available in the print edition. Also included in the print edition – Georgie & Vektal’s honeymoon novella. It’s like an extra-complete version and I can’t wait for everyone to see it.” In January, Berkley will also publish a print edition of Dixon’s Barbarian Alien.
In a statement, Dixon said, “It was amazing to see how the organic word of mouth lead so many new readers to my books. I knew a publisher partner could help me satisfy the existing reader desire for physical books and allow me to introduce the series to a whole new audience of print readers. I immediately thought of Berkley as the right partner.”
Of the print partnership, Cindy Hwang, Berkley Vice President adn Editorial Director, said in a statement, “I’ve followed this addictively entertaining series for some time and when Ruby approached us about partnering with her, I was thrilled at the opportunity to bring these books to an even broader audience.”
Of the success of the series, Carter told CNN in June, “There’s no shame when you read. Some people may look at the shirtless men on the covers and think this is the most outlandish, disgusting thing you can read. But all it took was one person, saying with their whole chest, ‘I like these books.’ And then all of a sudden, other people are reading it. They’re liking it. They’re saying, ‘Oh, this is really good,’ too.”
Dixon noted to CNN the communal nature of the discussions on TikTok that helped foster sales, saying, “[TikTok] is a totally different vibe than the traditional reviews that books get. Readers love making fan art. They love discussing books and getting their friends to read things. It’s such a strong, creative community.”