With built-in editing features and music, it's simple to film a video clip and post it but not all of us know what to use it for yet. Are you an author looking to join in on Tiktok but don't know where to start? Perhaps you've already started but have run out of ideas. If that's the case, then this post is for you!
TikTok presents a new opportunity to expand our reach as authors. It allows us to connect with thousands of people instantaneously and has been known to bump novels into the best-sellers category once they catch on trend. TikTok presents a new opportunity to expand our reach as authors. It allows us to connect with thousands of people instantaneously and has been known to bump novels into the best-sellers category once they catch on trend.
10 BookTok Ideas To Help Authors Grow Their Readership & Book Sales
1. Wrap Packages/Book Deliveries
Personalizing book packages is so much fun! Not only is it a chance to be crafty but it's also an opportunity to bring your readership behind-the-scenes in a casual yet still-related-to-your-book way. Create a cute little montage video of your ideas and showcase it on TikTok. Being that this is a visual media app, clips like this do well because it tells a story and gives ideas to other authors. Everyone loves receiving personalized mail and your readers will anticipate the arrival of your novel even more if they can see the goodies you've included before-hand. Show your hand-written "thank you" notes and get creative with how you bind your packages (using ribbon or jute rope for example), adding in little extras like paper art, faux flowers, or bookmarks. You can customize wrapping paper, include maps, and add extras like a signed piece of character art.
2. Share Your Author & Publishing Tips
As a new or aspiring author, you may be feeling like you have nothing of value to share- after all, you're still learning as you go. This is a misconception based on fear. It may be true that you're not an expert and when you compare yourself to big names like Sarah J. Maas or Leigh Bardugo the task ahead becomes even more daunting. You feel small and like no one will ever listen to what you have to say. But that's simply not true. You have more knowledge than the audience who follows you. You may be able to teach those who know less what you didn't know a year ago. You can lead without having all the answers by using a method known as "What works for YOU". You teach by sharing experiences and your personal methods, not from the standpoint of being the best.
3. DIY For Authors
Another way to gain thousands of views and "saves" in a short amount of time is by creating DIY Tiktoks geared towards authors. You can apply this to a multitude of topics such as staying organized as a writer, how to make your writing space cozy, how to make a bookmark, how to draw maps, what courses you've taken (that work), how to write a synopsis, how to query an agent- any aspect of the writing/author process can be broken down into digestible steps. It's an opportunity to connect with authors and readers by being informative and fun!
4. Create A Duet Challenge
If you don't know what a duet challenge is, it's a specific feature that TikTok has that allows you to film alongside a preexisting video clip. It's used for reaction videos, for challenges where you mimic the original or for collaboration. They're popular because they include others in the fun and that's what you're aiming to do. By teaming up with other authors and opening up the potential for others to join in you increase the amount of exposure you'll receive in return. Need ideas? Create a video showing off your writing space and tag other writers to share theirs. Challenge others to a book stack challenge showcasing the books that most inspired you to become a writer. Start a trend of three facts about your main character and encourage others to share theirs!
5. Focus On Engagement
Just because TikTok is a visual app doesn't mean it's not a social community. Rather than flip endlessly through video clips, remember to take the time to engage with those behind the content. Like and follow those you're interested in connecting with. Leave comments and interact with others. Reach out and get to know them on a more personal level. Once you get to know people better you can use your networking to facilitate collaborations and put together other marketing opportunities such as group giveaways. Remember, networking sells books too!
6. Give Regular Updates
Remember to post frequently and provide regular updates on your writing. It's important for your audience to understand when to expect new content from you. Make it clear from the beginning and always follow through on your promises. This will help build trust and boost your author reputation in the eyes of your readers. It may be hard to believe but your followers want to know more about you and your process! They're interested in hearing all your latest bookish news. They want to support you and learn about updates for your books. Give them what they came for. Share how much you've written, what your writing goals are, when you plan to go through the editing and publishing phases. Announce when you're searching for betas/ARC readers early to give potential reviewers time to respond. You can even have them help you pick the book's title or book cover by presenting multiple options.
7. Answer The Most-Asked Questions
Have a community you've been interacting with for a while? It's time to find out what questions you most commonly get asked as an author and answer them! Even if you present and answer five general author questions, you can interact and connect with your fans on a personal level. To do this you'll want to stand casually, smile softly, and point to the left for the question (in text) and then to the right for the answer. Use the text box option to line up your questions and answers to where you're pointing. Add a trending song to the mix and you'll see results!
8. Share Character Bios & Profiles
Your characters present a unique selling point for videos. Use visual aesthetics to represent your main and supporting characters. Introduce your characters using visuals, setting, and snippets of dialogue. Make sure you include captions for any words used for those who are hearing impaired (though many don't use the sound when watching regardless). Reveal some funny or dramatic scenes from your story to up the entertainment factor and leave your readers curious to learn more.
9. Create Mood Boards & Aesthetic Montages
Similar to character bios, be creative with the general mood and theme of your novel. Create a series of images that represent your book's vibe and pair it with moody music. Booktok loves falling in love with these types of montages. Get one step ahead and share a scene before you've even written it to get readers excited!
10. Organize A Giveaway
Have a book or multiple books out already? Give your audience something to be excited about by planing and executing a giveaway. You can use Tiktok to specify the rules and requires and explain what the winner will receive and when they'll be announced. If you go this route make it worth the buzz by pairing multiple books together with character art and other bookish merchandise.
Keep going author! You're doing great!