In the world of social media, if a hashtag generates 62 billion views it is time to take notice. Enter, #Booktok, the growing sub-community of book lovers on TikTok that posts book reviews and recommendations to followers. So, how might BookTok be important for self-published authors? Read on to learn all about BookTok for authors, and why you should explore this exciting online community.
What is BookTok?
To understand BookTok, you first need to get a feel for its “parent,” TikTok. TikTok is a digital social media platform that features short-form videos. Content creators have a huge range of visual effects, sounds, filters, and text options to make engaging videos and gather followers.
BookTok is the community of book lovers within the larger TikTok landscape that has managed to completely revitalize interest in print books. Independent booksellers have been especially thrilled to see a resurgence of enthusiasm for paperback books in recent months, driven by BookTok influencers. BookTok is especially valuable for authors in the genres of romance, fantasy, and young adult fiction.
The Rise of BookTok
The BookTok phenomenon began its surge during the COVID-19 lockdown era in 2020. With little to do during that bleak period but read, this budding community of book lovers started posting innovative videos to showcase their favorite books.
Since that time, BookTok has morphed into an enormous organic word-of-mouth marketing machine. BookTok’s powerhouse of influencers can catapult a book from obscurity to stardom in no time flat and have been credited with millions of book sales.
Top BookTok influencers include:
- Sue @Suethebookie
- Danielle Rollins @daniellevalentinebook
- Kristen @myfriendsarefiction
- James Trevino @james_trevino
- Fiction and Tea @fictionandtea
BookTok for Authors: Getting Started
While true that BookTok allows book readers to post reviews on their TikTok profiles, let’s switch gears now and learn how self-published authors can benefit directly from engaging with this community. Authors, follow these helpful tips for success on BookTok:
Set Your Goals
Consider first what you wish to gain from creating a profile on BookTok. What do you hope to achieve? Jot down your purpose for jumping into BookTok territory, and set some realistic goals to refer back to now and again as you pursue your BookTok journey.
Creating an Author Brand
When you set up your TikTok account, do so with BookTok in mind. This means creating an author brand by uploading an author logo as your profile picture. Also, include details about your books and your writing background in the TikTok bio. Make every effort not to mix personal content with your author content.
Get Ideas from Other Creators
There are multiple tools available to inspire your creative side. If you get stuck, check out the videos of other popular author accounts for some ideas. Also, keep an eye out for any relevant trends or sound effects you can use in your posts to grab more views.
Set a Posting Schedule
The TikTok algorithm favors consistency, so aim to post at least one new video a day, at least for the first month. After your account has gained traction, create a posting schedule, such as posting content every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, to keep your profile growing.
BookTok for Authors: Top Tips for Success
To truly benefit from the BookTok community, authors should follow these best practices:
Create Compelling Content
Let your creative juices flow using techniques like “stitching” and “duetting” to combine your own content with other creator’s videos. Keep in mind that you have only three seconds to grab someone’s attention on BookTok, so make your short video content intentional and catchy. Hook Booktokers with scenes from your writing routine, quotes from your book, illustrations, or your cover design.
Engage with Viewers in Comments
Form connections with other BookTokers by responding to comments on your content, and engage with potential readers by commenting on theirs. Remember that you are forging connections, so never attempt to sell your book in these comments.
Share Your Other Social Media
Don’t be shy about directing followers to your other social feeds or your author website in your videos. The more exposure you can garner, the better your sales.
Partner with Other Creators
To increase your engagement with other BookTokers, zero in on those in your genre and look for influencers with moderate followings. Those with huge followings will likely not have the time to engage with you. Once you establish a rapport with another creator, suggest they consider promoting your book.
Hop on Trends
Integrating BookTok trends into your content is a great way to increase views and grow your following. Stay on top of the trending hashtags and audio/video effects and incorporate them into your content.
Even if social media is not your strong suit, you should still consider giving BookTok a trial run to see if it helps expand your reach. You have nothing to lose (it’s free) and a whole lot to gain if you happen to resonate on this increasingly influential book lovers platform.
Still Need to Publish Your Book? Gatekeeper Press Can Help
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