As you may have noticed, I’ve become obsessed with TikTok lately! It seems like people either love TikTok or they hate it. If you’re one of the latter, that’s fine. To each his own. But if you’re enjoying TikTok or haven’t explored it yet, there’s definitely an opportunity there to promote your book!
There are currently 1 BILLION active users on TikTok, and of those users, there are tons of book lovers and authors who are doing really cool things on the platform.
This recent New York Times article tells a fascinating story of an author who experienced an uptick in her book sales last summer (6 years after its publication). She came to realize that the new sales were a result of readers posting about the book on TikTok! Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Videos made mostly by women in their teens and 20s have come to dominate a growing niche under the hashtag #BookTok, where users recommend books, record time lapses of themselves reading, or sob openly into the camera after an emotionally crushing ending.
These videos are starting to sell a lot of books, and many of the creators are just as surprised as everyone else.
In case you’d like to give it a try, I’ve compiled this list for you…
19 ways to promote your book on TikTok:
- First of all, you need to know what other authors are doing on TikTok. Start actively looking for authors and people in the reading community. You’ll want to follow them so you can watch their videos, but also be sure to engage with their videos—like them, comment on them, share them, etc. Engagement on this platform is very different from other platforms. It’s more individual-centric which is hard to explain, but you’ll need to be proactive about connecting with similar people to grow your community.
- Post an unboxing video. Have someone take a video of you opening a box of your books when they arrive. Here’s an example of a really simple unboxing video by romance author @brookekfox.
- Post a cover reveal video. Here’s an example by @authorsavrmiller. Want to find more examples? Just search “cover reveal” on TikTok.
- Summarize the synopsis of your book. Here’s a great example by @jenevarosebooks. I got hooked on this one at first because I thought it was her own personal story. Then I loved the book drop at the end.
- Ask a book reviewer who’s on TikTok to read your book, post a review, and share it on TikTok. Here are some hashtags you can search on TikTok to find some of these folks: #BookTok, #BookReview, #TikTokBookClub.
- Take advantage of TikTok trends. You have to spend some time on TikTok to understand this. Once you watch TikTok videos for a while, you’ll start to notice that people post videos that are similar—similar sounds or similar themes. These are trends or “challenges.” Look for ways you might be able to take advantage of those themes to promote your book. There are endless opportunities here!
- Get strategic with your link. You have to have a certain number of followers on TikTok in order to include a link in your bio. I don’t know what that number is because I’m not there yet, but once you have that, you have one link, so use it wisely. For example, you could set up a LinkTr.ee so viewers would click one link to get to a page with all of your relevant links. Or, set up a specific page on your website with all of the information/links you want your potential readers to have access to.
- Use your bio space wisely. You only have a few lines/characters for your bio, so use this space wisely. The beauty of limited space or options is that it requires you to get concise and creative. Tell viewers who you are and about your book(s) in as little space as possible. Check out what other authors are doing to get some inspiration.
- Reveal your writing space. What’s special about your writing space that viewers might find interesting? Do you have trinkets on your desk or an amazing view or any pets around you?
- Post videos showing your face and the cover of your book(s) in creative ways. You want to be sure your videos have a lot of variety. In other words, you shouldn’t just promote your book in every single video (see next tip), but you can still create lots of videos that promote the book as long as you’re doing it in clever, expressive ways! I love this one by @rachel_writes_books.
- Attract your target audience in other ways. You don’t have to always plug your book. If you know your target audience well (which, hopefully, you do!), you can post other videos that help them discover you. If they like what they see, more than likely they will visit your profile and poke around to see some of your other videos. They may even follow you which means they will then see the videos you post in the future.
- Tell viewers about your writing process and/or publishing experience. You can turn this into a daily or weekly update on your writing progress. Or provide tips for aspiring authors. You’ve been there! What do you know that would be helpful to them?
- Duet your readers. Here’s an example by @brookekfox. You can also duet other TikTokers when their videos are relevant to you or your audience (or just to have fun!).
- Share quotes from your book. You’ll have to get creative with this one. This isn’t a platform where you can just post a quote. You’ll have to come up with interesting and engaging ways to do this.
- Create videos to share any events you participate in—a book signing, an award ceremony, a reading at your local coffee shop, etc.
- Run a giveaway for your book. Look for examples of how other TikTokers are doing this to get ideas (search: #bookgiveaway).
- Stitch my video. I recently posted a video calling all authors to #StitchThis and tell the TikTok world about their book. Do it!
- Post regularly. This is how you will build a following on TikTok. Aim to post a video every day or two if you can.
- Use hashtags to help people discover your videos. Do your hashtag research! You will have limited space so choose wisely (and doublecheck your spelling!).
There you have it – 19 ways to promote your book on TikTok! I’m sure I’ll discover more and I’ll add those to the list when I do.
What about you? Can you think of anything I missed? If so, please share it in the comments below.