TikTok – how it can help authors sell more books

Published by Jonathan Ford on

It’s hard to keep up with everything that’s happening in the World of social media technology. One platform that’s risen to prominence over the last few years is TikTok. TikTok has become famous for young people posting short videos – often lip syncing, dancing or doing stunts.  It’s also becoming difficult to ignore it as an author.  Like many social media platforms users can follow topics of interest via hashtags and the #booktok topic has now clocked up an incredible 3.8 billion views. Although the videos are usually quite short they are having a huge impact on sales of some books.

According to the New York Times “The Song of Achilles is selling about 10,000 copies a week, roughly nine times as much as when it won the prestigious Orange Prize. It is third on the New York Times best-seller list for paperback fiction.” A revival totally due to trending on the TikTok platform.

Getting something to go viral on a platform is never an easy task though. Instead publishers and authors are looking to cultivate relations with established influencers with free books and, I’m sure, paid sponsorship.

For more information on how you could use TikTok as part of your promotional activity I’d suggest a read of Penguin’s recent article “Using TikTok to Cultivate New Audiences”.

Top tips seem to be:

  • lots of crying on screen is good
  • targeting a niche you know well
  • video featuring lists (more crying)
  • jumping on the bandwagon of other trending stuff – like songs
  • build a rapport with some influencers who can promote your books

You can get more information about using TikTok for business purposes here.

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