TikTok for Authors: Using TikTok to Promote Your Book

TikTok for Authors Using TikTok to promote your book Guest Post By Helen Power

TikTok for Authors

Using TikTok to Promote Your Book

Guest Post By Helen Power

Should you make an author TikTok?

The Ghosts of Thorwald Place by Helen Power

Everyone knows that being an author is not just about writing a book and sending it off to the presses. Authors are also expected to self-promote and market their books before and after the pubdate. Social media is the bane or the beauty of the author’s existence. You either love it, or you hate it. You may adore some platforms, and despise others. I myself am on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, and they each have their ups and downs. A little over a month ago, I started posting to TikTok after a friend’s incessant nagging got to me, and I surprisingly love it.

TikTok is one of the fastest growing social media platforms, and it seems like everyone and their grandma is checking out the app. There is something for everyone. #BookTok (TikTok for book lovers) is booming. Readers share their favourite books with one another, giving recommendations depending on genre, subject matter, and mood. Authors share their writing journeys with each other on #AuthorTok. But TikTok is also a fabulous place for authors to connect, not just with other authors (which is prominent on Twitter), but with potential readers.

I’d been lurking on TikTok (I had an account, but I never posted) for a few months before finally taking the plunge and making my first post. And now I’m never looking back.

But why should you try out TikTok?

Self-marketing is allowed and encouraged. This is a major benefit of this platform. Unlike Facebook, which suppresses page posts in order to force small businesses to pay for ads, TikTok’s algorithm is far less limiting. Videos on TikTok accrue more views over time, unlike Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, where older posts rarely get seen. I have a couple of popular videos I posted weeks ago that are still getting views and likes.

On TikTok, not knowing what you’re doing is a good thing. Aside from the rule that shorter videos tend to be more popular, there really are no rules to TikTok. It’s not like Instagram where your pictures have to be perfect, and the slightly unbalanced placement of a single flower beside your book cover could cost you likes.

With TikTok, imperfection is encouraged. It inspires the silly, and a video with a make-up-less reader wearing a sweatshirt covered in cat hair, ranting about their favourite fantasy book can garner thousands of views and likes.

You can connect with different generations. I knew going onto TikTok that this is the platform of choice for Gen Z. Even knowing this, I was surprised by how many younger book lovers I’ve come across. These are potential readers and fans that I wouldn’t reach if I’d stuck to promoting just through Twitter and Instagram. Even more so, I was surprised by the diversity in age groups represented on this platform. It’s not just for young people, but there are many older authors and readers there too.

What if you’re shy about showing your face? I’m not going to take this the wrong way, but my most popular videos don’t even have me in them. If you’re not comfortable showing your face, there are ways to share and come across as authentic without requiring a close up of your pores. If you try lurking on TikTok first, you’ll see the variety of types of videos that come up, particularly in the #BookTok world. Plus, there are tons of filters that you can use should you decide to give your face a debut.

But I’m not tech savvy enough to edit a video! It’s not at all necessary to be able to edit videos. Honestly, you could just point and click and record a video and upload it. If you want to try something fancier, particularly using sounds or effects that are trending on the app so that your post will get more views, there are plenty of tutorials online. But that’s not necessary in the beginning, and I would suggest just trying out the app first to get used to it.

How should I start?  Do what I did. Start off as a lurker. Make an account, write a brief bio so no one assumes you’re a serial killer, and familiarize yourself with the app. Find and follow accounts that you like. I’ve had hundreds of booklovers with zero videos of their own follow and engage with me, and it’s understood that not everyone feels comfortable posting videos.

Remember: Unlike other social media platforms, TikTok embraces authenticity. An imperfect video where you have wild hair and fumble over your words is not going to get you shunned. I encourage you to give TikTok a shot. If it’s not for you, then at least you’ll know. But given time, the benefits of TikTok may surprise you.

Helen Power is obsessed with ghosts. She spends her free time watching paranormal investigation TV shows, hanging out in cemeteries, and telling anyone who’ll listen about her paranormal experiences. She is a librarian living in Saskatoon, Canada, and has several short story publications, including ones in Suspense Magazine and Dark Helix Press’s Canada 150 anthology, “Futuristic Canada”. The Ghosts of Thorwald Place is her first novel.

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guest post TikTok for Authors Using TikTok to promote your book by Helen Power


  1. Hmmm interesting! I am not currently on TikTok myself and haven't been tempted. But you make very good points! I knew none of this! LOL thanks!

    1. Thank you! It's a whole different world on TikTok, with lots of different readers and writers to engage with!


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