Here's Why You should be Using TikTok to Market your Book

Check out my experience with TikTok as an inexperienced social media user!

Michelle Massie

6/9/20234 min read

Everybody know what TikTok is? Well, I didn’t. Not really, anyway. After paying people to set up ads for my novel on Facebook with no results, I finally did some of my own research. And guess what? Facebook is old school. No teens and young adults, who are my key demographics. Boo. Where were my key demographics all hanging out? You guessed it. TikTok.

For a woman who hates social media, trying to market a self-published novel is no picnic. And paying people to set up ads and make videos was getting very tiresome (not to mention expensive) so my husband brought up a very good point. Why don’t you just do it yourself?


Yeah, I could do that. Didn’t want to, and was terrified to mess up, but didn’t have much choice at the moment! Incidentally, I saw a Facebook post for Shelby Leigh’s new e-book/course for mastering TikTok. (This is not an affiliate link. I just really like her product.) It was $27 at the time I bought it, and I figured that was cheaper than paying a freelancer to put videos on their own TikTok. Time to make my own! (FYI--BookTok is not an individual site. It's just TikTok--but people who love books. Great hashtag to use!)

I followed Shelby’s advice to the letter and set up my own TikTok. Now was the frightening part. Time to make a video. The first time I recorded myself was awful. So was the second time. And the third and the fourth. But it did get easier. And truthfully, I have gotten to the point where I can just hit ‘Record’ and whip out my video, no biggie!

Now--my first dummy mistake. Record your video on your phone, and edit it on your phone. Do not use your computer or laptop, like I initially tried to. I do everything on my computer—Pinterest, Amazon ads, FB, etc—I automatically assumed I would do that with TikTok as well. Uh, no. The phone is much easier.

And of course, there’s the always-needed interaction with the program that you have to contribute, in addition to just making videos. You need to follow people, “like” videos, comment on others' videos, share videos, etc. Now this is the part where I usually groan and roll my eyes. But over the last week or so, it has become much more of a habit. I have gotten some great tips, interacted with potential customers, and gotten great advice from other self-published authors on TikTok!

The best news of all? Just last night, TikTok left me an alert that someone had tagged me in a post. WHAT? That’s right—a young woman actually made a video of her opening an Amazon package—and pulling out my debut novel, A Magic Evermore. IT WAS AWESOME. After less than a week on TikTok--videos, editing, sharing——someone already found my book and showed the world. (Okay, she showed her 1,047 followers. But then I shared it like a zillion times too.)

I have also commented on other people's TikToks who are asking for books to read—young women who want to be influencers! I had no idea the reach you could find on TikTok, and I highly recommend it if you are looking to branch out and get some attention to your book—TikTok (BookTok) is HUGE. And not difficult to master.

I had assumed that TikTok was only going to be the younger crowd, but let me tell you that is not the truth. There are TONS of people on this site, in all age ranges! As of March 27, 2023, TikTok had One Billion users. So, if you're like me and need to reach the younger crowd, TikTok is a great place to do it. Or if you want an additional site to market your book, no matter the age, TikTok is the place to go again!

Before I part, I’ll let you know in on some of the ideas I’ve used to promote my book, in an attempt to not seem too pushy or salesman-like.

  • My first was an inspirational video, showing my new book, and pushing others who want to write a book to go for it.

  • I did one video introducing the book.

  • Asking for advice on magical creatures.

  • Asking teens and young adults where they preferred to purchase ebooks.

  • A video of Magical Swear Words in my book. (Come on, it was funny!)

  • Another inspirational video for self-published authors.

    And even more! I want all of you self-published authors to try it! Don’t want to put yourself on video? No prob! Use Canva (they have TikTok video templates!) and do a voice-over! The possibilities are endless!

    So remember these things if you are thinking about starting your own TikTok.

  • It's not hard to do, even for a millennial who hates social media. I have not spent much time setting up and recording videos, and I still have gotten attention to my book.

  • It's not hard to get a LOT of followers if you interact with others.

  • It has an AMAZING reach and soooo many people on BookTok who LOVE to read.

  • It's FREE to start your own TikTok!

Give it a try! I haven't regretted it one bit!

Happy Writing!


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