Still believe that TikTok is just for teens who share videos of crazy dance routines and challenges to climb on piles of crates and slap their teachers? Think again. The memeful social media platform has evolved and now has a serious side – a big one. Businesses, coaches, and yes, authors, are finding now taking the TikTok more seriously.
The question for many writers who want to try TikTok out is, “Erm, and what do I do once I’m on there? Dance? Act crazy?” The answer, thankfully, is no. There are so many ways to create content that is engaging and helps you build your author platforms, sell more books, and make a connection with our readers.
We found 21 authors who offer the rest of us not-so-TikTok-savvy writers, clues on how to use this medium successfully. Cue your phones and get ready for an education…
(Note 1: This is in absolutely random order. Note 2: See also how badass these Tiktokers are; their numbers have shot up, by thousands in many cases, since we did the screenshots a few days ago. By the time you read this, they will probably be up again; Three reference points for you. You’re welcome.)
104K Followers | 1.3M Likes
USA Today bestselling author, Jessica Cage, writes fantasy novels featuring strong characters of color: “My dream is to write the stories I grew up loving with characters who look like me. I can remember as a little girl wondering why there were no black vampires, werewolves, and fairies in the stories I read.”
Her TikTok is a celebration of her breakthrough journey and includes updates on her books, insights into how she deals with distractions, and interactions with readers. She also recommended this hand massager which helps her recover from hours of typing.
Quotable: “I didn’t want a man saving her day because I grew up with women who were doing it for themselves.” [watch it]
@jcageauthor##greenscreenvideo I do it because I love it. ##booktok ##djinnrebellion ##Djinn ##fantasybookseries ##kindleunlimited♬ Legends Are Made – Sam Tinnesz
50.6K Followers | 1.3M Likes
“Speaking of dialogue, how do you make it sound authentic? My dialogue always sounds fake?” asks one follower on Ankenman’s TikTok. She responds with a video advising the use of screenwriting and playwriting craft books as they are heavy on dialogue. The video prompts another one of her followers to comment, “I honestly have not seen anyone on this platform so honest and helpful as you are!!! You are awesome!” Ankenman posts a mix of such responses to questions, behind the scenes takes on her writing life, writing tips, and humorous takes on life.
Quotable: “I know I’m a romance author, but I have a love affair with horror movies.” [watch it]
@mariahankenman##duet with @isaacbramirez hero material! ##ThirstTrap ##Smuttok ##BookBoyfriendsDoItBetter ##SteamyRomance♬ Come & Get It – Selena Gomez
71.1K Followers | 750.5K Likes
Christy calls herself a “creative introvert.” Her funny, sometimes goofy, appearances on BookTok would suggest otherwise. She does a lot of audio meme videos – or is that audio mime? She doesn’t often talk about books or writing and uses her TikTok to have fun.
She says of herself; “My novels encourage healthy family dynamics that upend cycles of dysfunction. I am a committed fiction writer who uses my craft to create relatable storylines and genuine characters. I use prose to guide my readers through life’s complexities in a light-hearted way. I’m not a therapist, but I play one in my books. ”
Quotable: “People are always going through something and just a little bit of kindness can make all the difference in someone’s day.” [watch it]
Quotable 2: “Hey, just a friendly reminder; this is TikTok. Ok?” [watch it]
@writerlady1Please tell me it’s not just me. 🤷🏽♀️ ##aginggracefully ##forgetful♬ original sound – Cam Peoples
83.3K Followers | 2.9M Likes
For someone who has acknowledged that “it is dumb… the things you have to do to be successful on TikTok and Instagram these days,” Sara, does pretty well on social media, including TikTok. The New York Times best-selling author of the YA fantasy trilogy Snow Like Ashes and the YA fantasy duology Stream Raiders (She has sold close to half a million books) posts candid videos of her thoughts on writing, TV shows she’s watching, and advice on writing. She also answers questions from readers and other writers. Does she think social media helps sell books? “The hard and fast answer is no social media platform will sell your books…” She says and goes on to explain that she is referring to selling enough books to drive a career.
Quotable: “You know in a book when you’re writing the book, and your characters have a plan, and you know it isn’t going to work out, but your characters don’t know that, and they have to believe that this plan will work out and the plan has to make sense, because for all intents and purposes it has to maybe work out, even though you know it’s not going to work out…” [watch it]
@sara_raasch Organization amiright 🙃 #authorsoftiktok #booktok #books #characters #writingabook #writersoftiktok ♬ original sound – Sara Raasch
1188 Followers | 10.3K Likes
Chhibber writes comic books for Marvel, YA Fiction, and is a speaker and podcaster. She has worked as a publishing professional, so we’re always happy to hear her advice. Her debut original middle-grade book, “Orientation (Marvel’s Avenger’s Assembly #1)” came out in August 2020 and her first picture book, “A Jedi You Will Be” was recently released by Disney. She is also featured in the YA and Adult anthologies “Battle of the Bands” and “Stone Sword Table” (Random House, 2022).
On TikTok Chhibber gives us a lot of behind-the-scenes takes and goofs around a lot, which is great entertainment. When she talks in her videos, she is often sharing great news about her work or answering questions from fans, who include a lot of writers who want to get into comic books.
Quotable: “I don’t usually get on here and talk, but I’m writing Zatana. That’s my name, eight there. Look how pretty she is…”
@runwithskizzersReply to @steelalchemist reposting a previous answer bc I don’t know how to reply to a comment with an old video (😫) but here you go!♬ original sound – Preeti Chhibber
9614 Followers | 78.4K Likes
Spann writes under a number of different pen names across different genres and publishes under her Immortal Imprints imprint. She talks about her writing process, e.g. trying to use less paper, about stuff happening in her life, and updates her readers about books she’s writing, setbacks, and victories. She also has nuggets of inspiration for other writers.
Quotable: “And now it’s more than just coffee getting hot…” [watch it]
@shewriteseverythingWho is out here asking for these reboots! ##booktok ##OneSliceChallenge ##fyp ##entertainment ##mystory ##livelaughlove♬ original sound – Jada
16K Followers | 373.5 Likes
We love Lipinski’s really practical, down-to-earth advice. She speaks from over 25 years of experience in public relations and from the perspective of one who has undergone the fiery baptism of publishing three novels. This is one mystery author who leaves lots of clues for other writers.
@lynnlipinskiIndie authors gonna know what I mean. ##indieauthor ##indieauthorsoftiktok ##indieauthors♬ original sound – Lynn Lipinski – Mystery Author