TikTok can be a great place for authors to both promote their books and build community — the app has nearly 100 million monthly active users in the United States alone, and it boasts a burgeoning community of readers, dubbed BookTok. The BookTok hashtag currently stands at 12.2 billion views, with videos featuring books old and new.
BookTok has helped revitalize backlist books and sent debut authors to bestseller lists — it’s a valuable resource for both traditionally published and independent authors alike. The growing community has expressed interest in all sorts of genres, from romance to fantasy to young adult and beyond! However, the vast majority of TikTok users in the United States are under the age of 30, so authors who write for younger age markets may find more success on the platform than others.
If you want to experiment with TikTok to see if it can help you reach your audience, it can be overwhelming to think up what kinds of videos to create. For inspiration, we’ve compiled a list of authors who are creating TikToks to connect with their audiences and even boost sales. These authors vary in their publishing paths and genres. We encourage you to scroll through both their feeds and the BookTok hashtag to see the wide variety of content that readers and authors are sharing and consuming. We hope this helps you find some inspiration if you decide to give TikTok a whirl!
1. Victoria Aveyard – Traditionally Published
Victoria Aveyard offers readers intriguing previews of what’s to come in her latest fantasy titles, while also sharing snippets of her day to day life. She often uses trending sounds and a variety of hashtags on each of her TikToks to expand her reach. Trending sounds are songs and audio clips that a lot of TikTok users use in the backgrounds of their videos, which you can easily browse while creating videos. These sounds tend to trend because of a dance, challenge, or meme, and using one of these sounds could get your video in front of a larger audience.
2. Ayana Gray – Traditionally Published
Ayana Gray’s TikTok provides an authentic look into her life as she releases her first book, Beasts of Prey. She shares her excitement about the process by sharing vlog-style updates and reaction videos. These kinds of videos have broad appeal, reaching readers and writers alike.
3. Chloe Gong – Traditionally Published
As Chloe Gong works on her The Violent Delights series, she provides updates on her books, such as receiving ARCs or hitting a bestseller list, and shares relatable commentary about being both a young author and a fellow fantasy lover. She also uses a variety of content styles, including the green screen filter, sharing messages with text instead of providing a voice-over, and responses to Q&A submissions.
4. A. L. Knorr – Independently Published
L. Knorr shares tips for independent authors that are informed by her ten years of marketing experience. She also posts her experiences as her books launch, as well as reader, author, and lifestyle memes.
5. Katie Zhao – Traditionally Published
Katie Zhao posts life and work updates and hosts giveaways on her TikTok account. To enter, viewers must like the video, follow her, and tag a friend in the comments, which can expand how many people see the book on their “For You” pages. The “For You” page, or “fyp”, is the landing page a TikTok user sees when they open the app. The videos on this page are curated specifically for the user based on what videos they engage with, among other factors.
6. M.J. Kuhn – Traditionally Published
In addition to author life memes and inspirational content, M.J. Kuhn runs a reading recommendation series on her TikTok, which is a great way to support fellow authors. Her recommendation series have unique themes like the one below, which compares books to video games.
7. Colleen Hoover – Hybrid
Colleen Hoover frequently engages with her fans by answering questions they leave on her videos (you can either reply to comments with threaded text or with a video). The questions she chooses to answer range from fun and silly to personal and inspirational, like the video below.
Reply to @julkaa03 Answering your writing questions, part 19
8. Jennifer Millikin – Independently Published
Jennifer Millikin makes teasers for her books, which she shares on TikTok, alongside videos about her life as an author. In the teasers, she pretends to be the main character in her book, and talks directly to the camera, just as someone would if they were making a personal vlog.
9. Fiona Lucas – Traditionally Published
Fiona Lucas helps walk aspiring authors through the process of writing and publishing their first book. Amidst these tips, she shares the inspiration behind her own books, author memes, and life updates.
10. Amelie Wen Zhao – Traditionally Published
Amelie Wen Zhao posts writing tips, book news, and reader memes. She also often uses trending sounds to make videos that poke fun at the tropes of the genre she writes in.
11. Elise Kova – Independently Published
Elise Kova shares teasers, special announcements, and new covers on her TikTok. She also selects a cover image for each TikTok that makes it easy to tell what each video is, so that excited fans can find what they’re looking for.
12. Aiden Thomas – Traditionally Published
Aiden Thomas makes content that appeals to their existing readers and new ones by posting author Q&As amidst personal vlogs and giveaways. They give viewers a glimpse into their day-to-day life and what they’re working on to drum up excitement for forthcoming titles.
13. Angela Henry – Hybrid
Angela Henry is a hybrid author who gives viewers advice based on her experiences both traditionally and independently publishing her books. On her page, viewers will also find giveaways, book recommendations, and memes!
14. Ben Alderson – Independently Published
Ben Alderson makes TikToks that connect his work to other trending media, so fans of all sorts of content can find his work. In the example below, he’s stitched another TikTok creator who’s excited about the Young Royals series on Netflix and shared some of his books that might appeal to fans of the show.
15. Caroline George – Traditionally Published
Caroline George shares vlogs about her most recent book releases and travel plans. Recently, she made a simple teaser, referencing two pieces of trending media. This trailer made its way onto many readers’ “For You” page, and she was able to see a tangible impact on her sales!
16. Sabaa Tahir – Traditionally Published
Sabaa Tahir posts funny author life TikToks that range in topic from her own writing process to relatable struggles that all writers face (ever excitedly finish a first draft, only to be faced with endless edits?). She adds an author-ly spin to existing TikTok sounds and trends.
17. Emma St. Clair – Independently Published
Emma St. Clair connects with readers on TikTok by sharing popular romance tropes and poking fun at the day-to-day life of a self-published author. She likes to keep things lighthearted, and draws viewers in by previewing video topics in her cover images.
@emma_stclair The uptight business man. Usually marries this: @emma_stclair #romcombooks #romcomauthor #bookboyfriend #adamcarlsen #booktok #readersoftiktok ♬ Wildest Dreams (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift
18. J. Elle – Traditionally Published
Elle uses her TikTok to promote her book Wings of Ebony and to share updates about her life. She also connects with fans by using the duet feature to share videos readers have made about her book.
19. Kendra Merritt – Independently Published
Kendra Merritt, who writes retellings of fairytales with main characters who have disabilities, lifts up other diverse authors by recommending their (as well as her own) books for her fans’ TBR lists. Other videos take her readers behind the scenes of her life as an independent author and her processes for writing, editing, and preparing new shipments of her books for festivals and conventions.
20. Darling Davenport – Independently Published
Darling Davenport posts videos about her upcoming projects, while also sharing updates from her life. She also encourages readers to engage by participating in trending challenges and directly asking her audience questions, which they can reply to in the comments section.
21. Will Smith – Traditionally Published
Even Will Smith is getting in on the BookTok action! His TikTok page highlights completed and ongoing projects. He used a trending sound to make a funny video encouraging people to read his newly released book, Will.
Have you started a TikTok channel to connect with readers? Let us know how you like it so far in the comments below!