It’s no secret that TikTok’s book scene, dubbed BookTok, has become a commanding force in the world of publishing. As one of the most active communities on TikTok with nearly 65 billion views to date, BookTok has become the place for book lovers to share what they’re reading, whether it’s a debut novel or a backlist book. This highly engaged reader community is a powerful one for indie authors to join, as the ability to engage with readers here doesn’t depend on the size of your following.
That being said, it’s important to remember that authors don’t need a full-fledged presence on every social media platform. A 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. And while the BookTok community has expressed interest in a variety of genres, romance and fantasy are among the most popular.
If you’re interested in trying out TikTok but not quite sure where to start, get inspired by this list of 14 indie authors creating unique videos to engage with their readers!
1. Abigail M. Hair – Young Adult Fantasy
Abigail M. Hair invites readers along on her journey to publishing her latest fantasy novel, From the Mouth of Sirens. She shares short videos about both her personal story and her upcoming novel. Her “Self-Publishing Journey” series walks aspiring independent authors through how she’s made it to where she is today!
Self Publishing Journey- Formatting ✏️ #authorsoftiktok #authortok #selfpublishing #selfpublishedauthor #indieauthor #indiebooks #manuscript #writertok #aspiringauthor #writersoftiktok #writingtips #writingvideos #yabooks #yaauthor #yawriter #publishing #iwrite
2. Hannah Parker – Young Adult Fantasy
Author, publisher, and graduate student Hannah Parker shares great advice for other authors looking to publish their own work, especially those wearing a few different hats! She shares her tips using a snappy, list-style format, making them easily digestible on a platform like TikTok.
3. Amelia Ives – Fantasy
In between videos of author (and reader) memes, Amelia Ives previews her new book, The Wayward Thief. She created a video where she posted her original sketch for her book cover, and then shared the completed version her cover designer created.
4. Rebekah Weatherspoon – Contemporary Romance
Rebekah Weatherspoon is an award-winning romance author who uses her TikTok to share her life with her readers. She gives her followers updates on what she’s reading and watching, how her writing is going, and where they can find her books (including when they’re on sale on Chirp)!
5. LK Wilde – Historical Fiction & Women’s Fiction
LK Wilde shares her experiences as an independently published author of historical fiction and women’s fiction. In between giveaways and posts about her books, LK Wilde supports fellow authors by sharing reviews of her favorite recent reads.
6. Elizabeth Stephens – Sci-Fi Romance
Elizabeth Stephens shares updates with her readers on new releases and new formats, like this title she’s published as an audiobook. She gives readers a preview by layering her video with a snippet of the audiobook and, for added fun, some thought bubbles with her reactions!
7. A.E. Valdez – Contemporary Romance
A.E. Valdez writes “love, spice, and happily ever afters.” On her TikTok page, she highlights popular, genre-specific tropes, and then includes a passage from one of her own works that demonstrates that trope. She also includes the featured trope as a tag on her video, so readers that come to TikTok looking for something specific will be able to find it!
8. MJ Woodman – Young Adult Fantasy
MJ Woodman uses her TikTok to share her experiences as a writer, while also giving readers updates on her books! She calls out the trending tropes that her book features to grab the attention of a wider audience.
9. Emily Blackwood – Young Adult Fantasy
Across her TikTok page, Emily Blackwood engages with her audience by answering their questions about everything from her publishing process to her writing setup. She’s open with her audience about sharing the mistakes she’s made and what she wishes she had known when she first started publishing her own novels.
Pt 1. Of mistakes I made self publishing :-)) #indieauthorsoftiktok
10. Jasmine Garner – Contemporary Romance
Jasmine Garner is an author (and reader!) of steamy romance novels — she makes TikTok videos about both the books she’s writing and the ones she’s reading. Here, she makes a funny meme about being excited to get back home to a new book!
11. Ceinwen Langley – Young Adult Fantasy
Ceinwen Langley created a video walking through all of her books and where readers can buy them. She keeps this pinned at the top of her profile, so readers can quickly see the books she’s written and where they’re available for purchase.
Pro Tip: TikTok allows you to pin up to three videos on your profile. Depending on your goal for the platform — building an audience or generating traffic to your books, for example — try pinning timely announcements, your most popular videos, or an introduction to your profile for new followers.
12. Ashley Muñoz – Romance
Ashley Muñoz shares creative previews of the books she’s written. In this clever example, she uses a (steamy!) mock text exchange to put her audience in the perspective of her protagonist flirting with the lead love interest!
📖 The Joker by Ashley Munoz read with #kindleunlimited #reader #romancereader #mafiaromance #romancebooktok #romancebooks #spicybooktok #smuttok #bookrecommendations #ireadsmut #ireadromance #booktokfyp #booktok
13. Eden Beck/Analeigh Ford – New Adult Fantasy & Romance
Eden Beck/Analeigh Ford is an avid reader of the genre she writes in, and she uses this to connect with her potential readers! Here, she compares her novel, A Veil of Truth and Trickery, to a BookTok favorite, A Court of Rose and Thorns, by using a trending sound.
Pro Tip: Trending sounds are songs and audio clips that have gone viral on TikTok. You can find them on TikTok’s “For You” page and add them to your videos from TikTok’s sound library. Using one of these popular sounds can give your video a chance to get in front of a larger audience.
14. Jessica Cage – Fantasy
Jessica Cage is a USA Today bestselling author with over 100,000 followers on TikTok. She creates content that appeals to readers and writers alike. In this example, she shares a relatable writer struggle, while also sharing her beautiful book cover!
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Click to tweet: Need a little inspiration for your TikTok strategy? Here’s how successful indie BookTokers are doing it: https://bit.ly/3PyV163 #authorlife