Trying out BookTok for 30 Days | Grow Audience on TikTok for Authors | Can I Go TikTok Viral?

Everyone in the bookish world is talking about TikTok. So I set out to challenge myself. 30 days on booktok. And over the next year, you’ll see me doing a lot more of these book marketing challenges for you guys so be sure to subscribe so you can catch them all.

The Challenge:
Started on Nov 4
Post every single day for 30 days

Week 1: 787 followers
Week 2: 1,000 followers
Week 3: 1,001 followers
Week 4: 1,000 followers
End of challenge (Dec 4): 1,007

All my learnings:
BookTok v AuthorTok
Intentionally trying to make the account about books and booktok not about my author life and authortok. Obviously I mix things in, but I didn’t want my posts to only be served to other authors. Yes, authors are readers, but I wanted my posts to get out to greater booktok
The big thing I‘ve learned is you need to hook the viewer in 1-2 seconds to get them to watch your video. So this is a great challenge for how to get promote your book. We all struggle with it, but it made me think really critically about how to grab someone’s attention. It can’t just be the cover. It can’t just be the hard work you put into it. It is not a meritocracy, its all about that really engaging and grabbing content on that platform.

Original Content
Reposting content from other platforms: way lower on performance. Shared an IG story and a Tweet (before I stoppe dusing that platform) and both did poorly.

How many views is a lot of views?
Around day 10 I started to see my videos were getting below 100 views. Like all the engagement dropped. So that was frustrating.
Apparently getting 100-200 views on a post is considered bare minimum. Like it’s not good in terms of tapping into this massive potential reach.

Learning from others
So I looked at what posts I was seeing that had a high number of views, likes, shares, etc.

Shelby @writers.poets and shelby leigh poetry has so many great marketing pointers. She gives a lot of advice for free on her TikTok channel but also have really inexpensive guides you can purchase as well.

What sells
See a lot of spicy romance and fantasy books on the videos in BooKTok. When I did posts about my vampire short story it got way more engagement than my sci fi posts.

The hype
But the hype around BooKTok is a double-edged sword. We know the TikToka algorithm makes it so anyone, truly anyone could go viral. And it’s like a gold rush. Everyone is hoping for that, but not entirely sure how to do that. And some authors said they had videos go viral, but it was nothing at all about writing or their books so didn’t move the needle on sales.

The end result
I didn’t go viral. My fiction sales did just about what they did the previous month. Now in this time, I did cut off posting on Twitter for… reasons. So maybe starting the TikTok account helped to counteract that.

What questions do you have about BookTok? Are you thinking of starting an account? Are you on BookTok, definitely follow me so we can be buddies! What other book marketing tactics are you hearing a lot of hype about that you want me to try out? Let me know in the comments below!

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