BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

You wrote a book. That’s a lot of work. But your work doesn’t stop when your book is finished. Now, you need to sell your book.

So you have to promote them! (I know all about this from my experience as a TV producer and being the author of Listful Thinking and Listful Living).

And there’s a tool authors can use to promote their books that is especially effective: TikTok.

I spoke with publishing consultant, diverse kid lit reviewer, kids fiction podcaster and BookTok expert, Miral Sattar, on my live-streaming show Inside Scoop. She’s got a huge TikTok following and had a ton of great tips to share.

Here are Miral’s tips for understanding and using TikTok to promote your books.



1) Understanding TikTok.

You can’t use something to its full potential without knowing how it works right? Of course not. Understanding how TikTok works and how it’s different from other social media apps like Instagram is super important.

“When you first start using TikTok, it doesn’t matter how many followers you have. The app always shows your content to a small sample of people. And if enough people finish watching it, they show it to more people,” Miral said.

Because of this, every video on TikTok has a chance to go viral.

(Don’t worry. You don’t have to dance to go viral.)

“To hone in on your specific audience, there are things you can do to fine tune the algorithms based on what you post and what you watch,” Miral added.

And for authors, honing in on your audience means understanding #BookTok.

2) Using the power of #BookTok.

BookTok is kind of a subculture within TikTok where people make videos about books.

“When I first did a Tok in July, the hashtag had about 60 billion views. And I checked it right before we spoke today and the BookTok hashtag has 80 billion views right now,” Miral explained.

I’ve talked about how TV doesn’t sell books. I’ve seen it as a producer and experienced it as an author. It’s exciting to be on big TV shows like The Today Show, but it’s not great for sales. But BookTok is great for book sales.

For example, Colleen Hoover actually outsold the Bible.


“Colleen Hoover has been around for a few years. She traditionally published multiple books. Maybe they did well, but they never did this well. Until she joined TikTok and made videos about her books.,” Miral added.

And it’s not just online sales. It’s impacting in-person bookstores as well.

“I take my kids to Barnes and Nobles all the time. And there’s a BookTok table. And 99% of the time, if it’s on the BookTok table, it’s good and I’ll pick it up,” she said.

Like podcasts, BookTok is an incredibly powerful tool, if you know how to use the hashtag.



3) Getting started on BookTok.

Now that you know how powerful BookTok can be for your book. Let’s talk about using it to promote your own content.

“In the beginning when I was doing my Toks, I would get ten views, 20 views. Because I was posting all the wrong things. I didn’t realize the algorithm needs to be trained. You train the algorithm to show you what you look at,” Miral said.

For example, if you start looking at non-fiction book related topics, that’s what TikTok will show you.

“Just start following readers there, engaging with authors, and then TikTok will start showing you that,” she added.

And then you can see techniques that do and do not work and adapt similar methods for your own content. Another great way to use TikTok to your advantage is using their analytics.



4) TikTok Video Tips.

Obviously, like any social media platform that uses video, you need to be comfortable on camera. But in addition to that, here are some tips to help your video creation.

“TikTok’s analytics tells you the best posting times, how many people watched your video. For me, I found the magic number was seven to nine seconds,” Miral said.

That’s not a lot of time to get your point across.

“A lot of people on TikTok will be like, ‘Hi, I’m me.’ Or ‘Hey guys, what’s going on?’ And then you’ve already lost them. You need to hook them in right away with an engaging picture or a question or something really interesting,” she explained.

And make sure to include a way for your audience to engage.

“You need to have a call-to-action. I put all the books I recommend in the comments. I pin it and say how to find it. For every podcast episode I’m promoting, I pin in the comments and include how to find it,” Miral said.

Here’s a successful example of one of Miral’s most popular videos that used all these tips.

“I joined TikTok to push out my fairy tales podcast for children, Bearily Bear, and also to promote inclusive children’s books. We imagine traditional fairy tales, rewritten for modern times,” she said.

Miral’s podcast is free and can be found here. To check out more TikTok Tips for Authors, watch our entire conversation here.

BONUS FREEBIE: Your message deserves the media’s attention. So how do you get out there in a bigger way? I’ve got you covered. CLICK HERE to grab my free “Checklist to Become a Go-To Media Expert.”

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