SwiftTok and BookTok put their detective caps in collaboration to come up with a theory that Taylor Swift’s memoir will drop July 9. (Yes, that’s just two days after Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) comes out.) But here’s where things get interesting — they’re not the only fandom to have speculated about this July 9 nonfiction release. Sleuths in the BTS ARMY also believed that their own favorite artists would be the ones to put out the book that has everyone talking, and now, thanks to confirmation from the publisher on May 11, we finally know who was right.
This goes back to a TikTok posted by the owner of Good Neighbor Bookstore, an independent bookstore in New York. He posted a video where he speculated about a top secret book release. Apparently, there’s a major drop coming in July and booksellers would have had to wait until June 13 to know the title (that is, until the publisher moved the announcement up to May 11).
Here’s the evidence the owner presented as to why he believed the book would be Swift’s memoir:
- The book is 544 pages long. If you add 5 + 5 + 4 that equals 13, which is Swift’s lucky number.
- The book has been described as “fun and “apolitical” with a “global appeal” that “skews towards a younger audience.”
- In her announcement for Speak Now (Taylor’s Version), Swift wrote “Dear Reader,” a seemingly out of place reference to her Midnights track. But it could actually be an Easter egg.
If you were convinced, then you could have headed over to the Good Neighbor Bookstore’s website because they actually had a link to place a pre-order on the mystery book.
But then, at the request of the book’s publisher (!), the link and the original TikTok, where the owner posits that Swift is going to reveal a memoir, were taken down. But, not before Swifties and BookTok stitched it and ran with the theory, according to Cosmopolitan.
The publisher is Flatiron Books, a divison of Macmillan, and they expect over one million copies to be sold (and quickly), according to details sent out to booksellers. The publisher clearly expects the book to top the charts with almost no promo and to sell plenty of copies. Also, it’s been 13 years since Speak Now dropped, so wouldn’t the 544 pages (including 40 full-color photographs) be a cute nod to her favorite number?
While BookTok and SwiftTok stew over their conspiracies, BTS’ ARMY realized that the book could actually be one from the K-pop band rather than Swift.
Here’s fans’ evidence for a BTS book release instead:
- June 13, the date of the title and author drop, is BTS’ anniversary date. Not to mention, the year they debuted was 2013, so 13 is also a special number for the group, like it is for Swift (plus, their 10-year anniversary seems like a milestone that would warrant a book release).
- July 9, the release date, is ARMY Day, a day dedicated to the group’s fandom.
- “Global appeal” clearly applies to BTS as well as Swift.
- Swift is in the middle of a tour and will soon be busy promoting Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). Does it really make sense for her to be releasing a book right now?
Well, we finally know the answer. Flatiron Books finally set the record straight on May 11, announcing that the much-anticipated July 9 book would, in fact, be BTS’ and not Swift’s, according to The New York Times. The official title is Beyond the Story: 10-Year Record of BTS, and the book is an oral history written by journalist Myeongseok Kang and the BTS members themselves. The English translation was done by Anton Hur, Clare Richards, and Slin Jung.
The book will reportedly be priced around $45 and it’ll be a couple months before fans can get their hands on it. So, sorry, Swifties, but it looks like ARMYs won this round. In the meantime… what exactly is Swift planning for July 9, if not a book release? Time to put the detective hats back on.
This article was originally published on 5/8/23. It was updated on 5/11/23.