TikTok: Highlight Something That Happens in Your Book


FOR NONFICTION AUTHORS: A lot of what I describe in this post is more for fiction authors, but if your book is nonfiction, don’t skip this tip. It can still be applicable to you. Think of the different points you make in your book; can you break some of those down into teaser videos? For the viewers who find that information valuable, they may follow you and/or engage with the video. This all helps subtly promote the book.

Previously we covered the synopsis teaser, or teasing viewers with the synopsis of your book. You can also tease them with something that happens in your book. This is different from the higher level what the book is about and dives in more to the storyline. Here I called it a “highlight”—highlight something that happens in the book. Something that will grab their attention and make them want to go find out more about the book.

There’s a video by Victoria Aveyard (@victoriaaveyard) that is a perfect example of this. In the video she stages a dialogue between two people (both played by her) talking about her book.

The first character asks (text on screen) “What part are you at?”

The other responds, “Uh close to the end?”

The first looks at the camera and raises her eyebrows with a little smirk.

The other, looking at the book, suddenly screams.

The caption of the video says, “I wish I could’ve been there for every reading of Ch. 26.”

In a video of only about 10 seconds, Victoria tells the viewer that her book is suspenseful and that there’s a surprise ending. It captures our attention and piques our interest.

Although not my own books, I’ve done several videos like this about books I read:

  1. Using the same TikTok Trend as Victoria Aveyard described above, I did this with The Wedding Girl by Madeleine Wickham. With the same music in the background, I showed myself reading the book. The text on the screen read:

“Milly is about to get married,

But she has a secret that might derail everything.

Her sister, Isobel, also has a secret…

Which gets revealed at the end of chapter 13.”

Queue the scream in the song Kesha song.

  • If you haven’t read We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, I won’t give it away, but there is a pretty big shock that happens toward the end of the book. I did a video where I was holding the book and lip syncing to a song that said something along the lines of: I didn’t understand where this came from, I thought we were fine. And the text on the screen said, “When you get to Part Five.”
  • Another book that shocked me a bit was Verity by Colleen Hoover. After reading it, I did a video where I was filling up a mug at the sink. The background sound is muffled and the text on the screen reads:

“When you’re still thinking about everything that happened in the book you just finished.”

The sound becomes unmuffled as if I’m waking up from my daydream and I jump to see the water overflowing out of the mug.

Each of these videos tells a story about something in the book. It gives viewers an idea of what to expect without saying much or giving the story away. Again, these weren’t my books, but this may give you some ideas around how to highlight something that happens in your book–maybe something suspenseful or surprising, maybe something romantic or funny. Think about the scenes in your book and what you may be able to pull out to give viewers a taste of what’s inside.

For more tips, see this post on 19 ways to promote a book on TikTok.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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