K-pop phenomenon BTS is set to release an oral history of their group in South Korea and the United States on July 9.
Flatiron Books, their US publisher, announced the release of Beyond The Story: 10-Year Record of BTS, a book written by journalist Myeongseok Kang and members of the group.
The South Korean release will be handled by Big Hit Music.
Speculation Over Release of Nonfiction Title
The announcement came after days of intense speculation from the group’s passionate fans.
Booksellers in the United States noticed last weekend that a mystery title with a July 9 release date was coming.
The rumor spread quickly, and fans searched for clues about the mystery author.
Initial rumors centered on Taylor Swift, citing her frequent use of the number 13 as evidence.
However, the book’s original announcement was slated for June 13, which is significant to the BTS community.
The group debuted on June 13, and their fanbase, Army, was founded on July 9. The book’s release will coincide with the fan group’s 10th anniversary.
Preorders Drive the Book to Best-Seller Lists
As speculation mounted, preorders drove the still-untitled book up best-seller lists at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
The English translation of the book was led by Anton Hur in collaboration with Clare Richards and Slin Jung.
The US edition will be 544 pages and contain exclusive photographs, according to Flatiron, and will have a first printing of one million copies.
BTS’s powerful online fandom has become famous worldwide, known for supporting the group by buying multiple versions of each physical release and running intricately coordinated social media campaigns.
Devotees also assist each other by translating BTS content into English and other languages and providing robust fan communities.
The group’s influence extends far beyond music. In 2020, the seven members visited the White House to speak against anti-Asian American hate crimes.
Since 2013, BTS has released nine albums and six EPs, helping K-pop become a dominant global force.
In 2018, they became the first K-pop act to hit No. 1 on Billboard’s album chart with Love Yourself: Tear, repeating the feat twice in 2019 with Love Yourself: Answer and Map of the Soul: Persona. \
They matched a record set by the Beatles.
In June 2022, after yet another No. 1 album – the three-disc compilation Proof – BTS released a video on social media announcing their hiatus so the members could focus on solo creative projects.
“I should be writing about what I’m feeling and the stories I want to tell,” said member Suga, “but I’m just forcefully squeezing out words because I need to satisfy someone.”
The clip drew more than 16 million views in two days.
In October of the same year, the group’s label confirmed that its members would enlist in South Korea’s military as required by law.
Some of them have already done so. The hiatus was devastating news not only for BTS’s fervent fan base but also for the entertainment business.
The day after the news broke, the stock price for Hybe, the South Korean entertainment company behind the group, dropped 28 percent, shaving $1.7 billion off its market value.
As the group’s popularity has grown, it has become a pillar of South Korea’s economy. According to the Hyundai Research Institute, BTS contributes $3.5 billion annually to the country’s economy. Many fans are drawn to BTS’s music