TikTok can be a great place for authors to both promote their books and build community — the app has 150 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 over 175 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 on TikTok who are making funny and creative videos 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. Tessa Bailey — Hybrid
BookTokers love Tessa Bailey’s wry sense of humor in her videos about writing updates, funny book tour experiences, and reader requests for books to write next. Tessa often acts out scenes from her books as a way to promote milestones like new releases and book birthdays.
2. Talia Hibbert — Traditionally Published
When Talia Hibbert posts about her experiences with TikTok and as an author, she speaks directly to the #BookTok community as if chatting with friends. In other videos, she often uses sounds and music to act out tropes from her books, to recommend other books, and to share funny (and relatable!) moments from her life.
No there was nothing on my e-reader I lost the charger #taliahibbert
3. 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.
4. Ambrosia R. Harris — Independently Published
Ambrosia R. Harris’s TikTok page strikes a great balance between entertaining and promotional. In addition to trending sounds, she uses trending CapCut templates to create memes about her books’ characters, and she makes hilarious videos acting out situations her characters might find themselves in. She also creates videos simply showing her books’ covers with excerpts in the text.
5. Jenny Han — Traditionally Published
As an executive producer on the TV adaptations of her books, The Summer I Turned Pretty and XO, Kitty, Jenny Han shares lots of behind-the-scenes footage of the shows on her TikTok. She finds fun ways to connect her fans with the real-life characters of her books.
Mother has no favorites!!!! I love all my characters equally! 😂😂😂😂 ps we’re back on july 14th! #thesummeriturnedpretty
6. Lila Dubois — Hybrid
Lila Dubois is known on TikTok for her snarky #CharacterProtectiveServices series, in which she pretends to run a hotline responding to her readers’ “reports” of character mistreatment in popular books. Creating an episodic series like this is a great way to keep followers coming back to your videos without having to rely on TikTok’s algorithm surfacing them. Lila also uses TikTok to respond to fan questions and share life updates.
7. Tiffany D. Jackson — Independently Published
Tiffany D. Jackson uses TikTok’s popular Stitch and Duet features to post funny reactions to trending videos. We also get glimpses into her home life, travels, and playtime with her beloved dog!
8. Chloe Gong – Traditionally Published
Chloe Gong 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.
9. 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 recommendations have unique themes like the one below, which compares books to video games.
10. Ann Patchett – Traditionally Published
Each Friday at her bookstore, Parnassus Books, Ann Patchett posts an installment of “New to You,” a series of her book recommendations. She also posts short interviews with other authors she invites into her store to talk about their books and what they’re reading!
In today’s installment of “New to You,” Ann recommends a tiny book about a tiny snail. Do you know what a snail’s favorite food is? Listen to the video to find out and hear why Ann loves this tiny novel. #newtoyou #patchetttok #newreads #readmore #parnassusbooks #bookstoresoftiktok
11. 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.
12. 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.
13. 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.
14. Angela Henry – Hybrid
Angela Henry 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 exciting author news.
15. 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.
16. Caroline George – Traditionally Published
Caroline George shares vlogs about her most recent book releases and travel plans. In this simple teaser, she referenced 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!
17. 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 authorly spin to existing TikTok sounds and trends.
18. 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
19. J. Elle – Traditionally Published
J. Elle shares updates about her life and her experiences as an author in “POV” videos, a type of social media post that describes relatable situations. She also connects with fans by using the duet feature to share videos readers have made about her book.
20. 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.
21. Darling Davenport – Independently Published
Darling Davenport posts videos about her upcoming projects, while also sharing inspirational life advice. She also encourages readers to engage by participating in trending challenges and directly asking her audience questions to answer in the comments.
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This post was updated with new examples on September 14, 2023.