Who is Hoover?

Colleen Hoover’s Rise to Fame 


Claire Arneson, Section Editor

If you are an avid reader such as me, or even if you dabble in books, I am sure you have heard of Colleen Hoover. This author has stolen hearts, cut them out, and shoved them down her reader’s throats through her works. Some of her notable titles are, Ugly Love, Verity, and her most famous, It Ends With Us. Whether you read romance, psychological thrillers, realistic fiction, or young adult, she has something for you. Recently the New York Times released an article titled, “How Colleen Hoover Rose to Rule the Best-Seller List,” by Alexander Alter centered around Hoover herself. In this article, they talk about her amazing success. They start the article by saying “Colleen Hoover has sold more books this year than Dr. Seuss. She has sold more books than James Patterson and John Grisham — combined.” How did she do this? What was her master plan? Did she even have one?   

Colleen Hoover was born on December 11th, 1979 in Sulphur Springs, Texas, which makes her a Sagittarius. After graduating from college with a degree in social work, she worked in the field and held teaching jobs before pursuing her writing career. She wrote a book called Slammed, which is based on a teenage girl finding slam poetry. Hoover states on her personal website, that she never expected anything to come from it. She self-published this book and the sequel, and slowly but surely, she started to gain a following. As Alter notes, Slammed made it to their best-seller list seven months after publication. Many publishers were going after Hoover, wanting to get a piece of her writing. Ultimately, Atria Books, which is a division of Simon & Schuster, picked up these books and republished them.   

Hoover continued to write and create stories for her readers, but one of her most notable works is the popular book, It Ends With Us. This book follows a tale of a young woman named Lilly who falls in love with Ryle. It showcases their love and how it leads to domestic violence in their relationship. The book was released in 2016 but gained popularity through BookTok in 2019, which are the book nerds of TikTok i.e. me . This led to the novel being number one on the New York Times best-seller list in January 2022. The immense fame and love for this novel made moves toward the sequel which was just released. It Starts With Us hit the shelves in October and according to Atria Books (a subdivision of Simon & Schuster) has already had 800,000 sales, including preorders. Altogether, Hoover claims she has sold more than 20 million books.   

If you recall an earlier article I wrote titled, “What is BookTok,” you will understand what I am talking about when I say that advertising through TikTok has completely altered the publishing industry. Many readers and I get all of our book recommendations through our 30-second book recommendation videos. Hoover used this to her advantage early on in the game. By creating a TikTok before she was well-known, she was able to gain a following early on in the game. When the pandemic hit and we were all being confined to our homes, we turned to media to help us ignore what was happening outside our doors. Hoover’s books soared to the top of the charts because it is what readers needed at the time: a distraction. Something else to focus on rather than the news or the fact that the world would never go back to normal. 

Many have said that her writing is not that good. Many believe her books are overrated and are not as good as others. and she feels the same way. In her NYT interview, she says, “I read other people’s books, and I am so envious. I am thinking, ‘Oh my God, these are so much better, so why are mine selling the way they are?’” She answers her own question in her following statement where she says, “ it is not me,” she continued. “The readers are controlling what is selling right now.” We crave her books. They helped us through a tough and ongoing pandemic, and they hold both hope and a way for us to get in a few minutes alone, just us and a book.   

Whether you are reading this article and have never heard the name Collen Hoover or if you are CoHort like myself, she is an author worth checking out. Whether you are thinking of reading something thrilling like Verity, or something that will totally destroy you such as It Ends With Us, she has got a book for you. She defies the limits of what a writer can write and inspires readers across the world to not give up on their passions and never sell themselves short. What do you think about her, well, that starts with you?   


Claire Arneson is a Dakota Student Editor. She can be reached at [email protected].


Works Cited  

Alter, A. (2022, October 10). How colleen hoover rose to rule the best-seller list. The New York Times. Retrieved November 10, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2022/10/09/books/colleen-hoover.html