For writers, publishers, and book marketers, BookTok is easily one of the best aspects that came out of TikTok. Since its growth spurt and the uncharacteristically high results of books rising to bestseller status, BookTok has been a topic of conversation.
Writers flock to this social media app to build their platform, engage with readers, build their fan base, and yes, promote their books. The New York Times says, “Now one of the commanding forces in adult fiction, BookTok has helped authors sell 20 million printed books in 2021, according to BookScan.”
To date, this is the only type of social media that has had this astronomical type of impact on book sales. As writers, we know that book sales are a crucial part of a career with longevity. Anyone can write a book, but it takes sales to keep a writer in business.
In this article, we discuss some of the best BookTok accounts and the five unique ways users make the most of their TikTok platform:
- The user who started BookTok
- How To Find Your Niché
- Use Specific Genres To Connect With Readers
- A New Kind Of Storytelling
- How To Reader Across A Continent
As you can see, not every writer uses BookTok the same way, and for good reason. This social media platform is swarming with users, so it’s important to build your own unique profile and reach the people that you are best equipped to.
Whether you choose to find an extremely specific niché as you’ll see one reader does, want to connect with your readers through your favorite genre, create a new form of storytelling, or educate others, you can do so.
The platform is open for your creative freedom to take over and build an account that best helps your writing career take off. Let’s start with Cait, known for starting BookTok.
#1 – Cait: One Of The First BookTokers
Cait Jacobs’ is known for being the originator of BookTok. In fact, her TikTok bio says “birth giver of BookTok” which is quite a feat, considering the rise of BookTok. Cait has nearly 300k followers and over 15 million likes.
However, part of the power of her BookTok account is the fact that she uses her presence there to influence other projects. She started the Bookington Book Club, a personal blog, and has a significant presence on Instagram as well.
Her use of BookTok is significant, and is definitely an account to follow if you want to learn from a BookTok creator, how to use BookTok. Cait Jacobs is a user to engage with.
#2 – Sydney: Find Your BookTok Niché
While many BookTok users use the platform for book reviews or to recommend their favorite novels, Sydney takes her presence a step further. In fact, Sydney has created a very specific purpose for her BookTok and uses her influence on the platform to share reading tips.
Just like writers get writer’s block, readers can find themselves with reader’s block. If you want to read more but feel stuck, Sydney uses her account to share reading tips and help you get back into reading.
Sydney also created a book club which further engages her audience but also brings in revenue. This TikTok user is a great example of how to uniquely use the platform, reach readers with specific needs, and turn the free app into a side hustle as well.
#3 – Kendra: Connect With Readers Who Love Romance
This TikTok user goes all in on her beloved genre—Romance. Have you ever wanted a book boyfriend? Kendra devotes a good portion of her BookTok to this topic, and has seen quite a bit of success. CBS News even featured her.
In an article on their interview with Kendra, CBS says, “Her biggest goal is highlighting books that center women and people of color, something Keeter-Gray is incredibly passionate about.”
Kendra’s account is unique because she does not only share a genre she loves, Romance, but she saw a need and decided to become part of the solution. When she recognized that books with people of color were not as represented on the app, she did something about it.
She has purpose behind her use of BookTok, and it’s more than just growing her followers. She says, “Maybe one day the books where I am represented will become just as popular as the books where I’m not — that’s all I want.”
#4 – Abby: Storytelling At Its Finest
Have you ever wished you could be a character from your favorite book? Maybe you were meeting a new colleague and wanted to share an exciting story that would capture their attention and keep them interested in conversation with you.
Well, Abby has taken the idea of living out characters’ lives to a whole new level. This TikTok user not only shares stories on the video platform, she shares stories as if they are from her real life. It’s not until after she shares these edge-of-your-seat stories that she reveals it’s not a story from her life—but from a character’s life.
This is such a unique way to take an idea of how the platform has been used, add a brief twist to it, and create an entirely new way of storytelling. With 2.2 million likes, the way she uses BookTok definitely seems to connect with readers.
#5 – Lee: Read Across A Continent
If you’ve ever wanted a more well-rounded reading experience, following Lee’s account is a great place to start. Or, if you want to simply grow your book list through one TikTok user, check out Lee’s content.
She is reading a book from every independent country on the continent in 2022. Her dedication is admirable, and her way of educating herself, and others, simply by reading through a continent, is a fabulous way to engage readers.
Books open up so many doors of opportunity, learning, and growth. If you don’t have the time or resources to physically travel across Africa, you can read across it with Lee!
What’s Right For Your BookTok?
Now that you have a list of ideas from what other writers use BookTok for, use it to draw inspiration for your own account. As you read through the list, what particularly resonated with you, made you stop to write down an idea, or piqued your interest?
Don’t forget that while social media is a powerful way to connect with large portions of readers, ultimately you are reaching individuals as many times as you have followers. For example:
- 1000 followers on TikTok
- 1000 individuals you have potential to reach
When you can pinpoint your target individual, you can curate your content to meet their needs, wants, and interests. Be careful to remember it’s a human on the other side of the screen, not just a possibility for another book sale.
Once you determine the best way for you to use BookTok, it’s time to commit to creating content and consistently posting. Just like other social media platforms, consistency is key. So as you go off to create your account, or enhance what you already have, remember these key steps:
- Define your niché
- Create content
- Post consistently
And last but not least, don’t forget to engage with others on the platform!
If you are struggling with book promotion we recomend you to read this article: PR for Authors – Unlock the Power of PR for Your Book