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  • Book Tok: Hype or a Great Marketing Tool?

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    Books - Perfect Bound

    Wondering what Book Tok is? One of our favorite pastimes is pulling up a video to watch and the topics we can choose from cover every possible interest and topic imaginable. And while mindlessly scrolling through videos on platforms like TikTok offers us a quick brain break or a place to settle in and search for engaging content we love to discover, it also provides a place for creatives like authors to connect with readers.

    What is Book Tok?

    The social media platform TikTok allows users to create short videos on anything and everything. Some of the most popular creators have millions of followers while others have only a few that opt into their content, creating a unique feed for users to scroll through. Book Tik Tok, or Book Tok as it is called, is the category of creators and followers that focus on books, writers, writing, and genre-specific content. Authors from all genres and experience levels use this social media in creative and memorable ways, resulting in a new connection between the writing world and fans.

    Readers Love It

    When MTV burst onto the 80s music scene and fans and critics alike pondered whether the video would be the demise of the radio stars, music lovers jumped on the video bandwagon without abandoning music scene staples like concerts, albums, and radio to follow their favorite artists. Instead, the onset of video enhanced what was largely an audio experience for most users who listened to music on the radio or played back an album at home.

    Book Tok has similarly created a visual medium for readers to connect with authors and genres they know and love as well as a way to learn about new books, writers, or even unfamiliar genres in a memorable way. And unlike MTV spinning the videos they wanted you to view, a TikTok user’s algorithm and therefore what types of videos pop up in their feed is based on what type of content a user likes, comments on, or follows.

    This niche of TikTok has exploded in recent years as authors and readers alike have discovered this fun corner of the social media platform that seemed to be at least initially dominated by mindless or meaningless content that was designed mainly for a few laughs or to shock users in some way. Instead, Book Tok is a great place for readers to learn more about a genre, connect with authors and creators within the literary world and find out about a few books and authors they want to put on their must-read lists.

    1. Create an account as an author.

    While using your book’s title when developing your user account might be tempting, make it easier for readers to find you using your pen name. Any future books you publish will always be grouped into a single account, simplifying your connection with your audience and potential readers from the start.

    2. Look around on Book Tok and see what users watch in your genre.

    Use the search function to check out other authors, book titles, and genre keywords to see what your potential reader is viewing now. Use hashtags to find content and then interact with videos by liking or commenting on them to alter your algorithm to increase the number of similar creators in your feed. Just remember that every time you do, you leave a digital trail that reflects on you as an author since comments and likes are generally public. Make sure that everything that you say or like will shape the image of your personal author brand and how potential readers will view you as a writer and creator.

    3. Use hashtags correctly.

    Hashtags are used to help cluster similar content together so users can search for related videos as well as similar creators. When you create a video, use hashtags in your description that include your name, your book name, and your book’s genre.

    4. Decide on the content you want to create.

    Most videos on Book Tok are made with a simple phone camera and an amateur videographer, so don’t feel intimidated by the bigger creators who use elaborate setups, backdrops, or features to make their videos appear professional. Play around with your phone video settings to prepare for creating videos and then consider the best type of videos to create for your brand. Some of the most basic content can still be engaging to the Book Tok audience and will help you get your name out to potential readers.

    Author Introduction on Book Tok: These are great videos for new authors to make because they let readers get to know you in a more personal way than a photo and a short descriptive paragraph on a book jacket. Whether you are comfortable speaking directly into the camera for the full video or you choose to integrate some photos or video of other places, people or content that contribute to understanding who you are as an author, an author intro video helps readers connect with you on a personal level.

    Consider inviting users to ask you a question in the comments so you can interact with potential readers right away. Using hashtags including your genre, popular themes in your writing as well as your book or series title will help the right users find your video, especially if it is your very first one on Book Tok. Readers love to feel like they are learning something new or unique about an author.

    Invite users to take a peek behind the scenes of your writing technique, how you come up with your character’s worlds, or some other aspect of your writing in a video that you star in or narrate to create interest about your process with your Book Tok followers.

    Book Presentation: To help build excitement around an upcoming book or to introduce a previously published book, consider creating a video dedicated to that publication. Many authors present the book themselves, speaking directly to the camera holding a copy of the book. If your book is still at the printer, include the artist rendering of the cover to ramp up anticipation about your forthcoming book, being sure to include the date readers will be able to buy your book.

    Don’t forget to communicate how readers can find your book by including a link to your author site or listing retailers that will be carrying your book. One way to get readers hyped about your book is to read a key passage or the opening lines to show genre enthusiasts how your book might be something they would love to read, especially if you are a new or not-yet-well-known writer.

    Book Review: Often authors will support the literary community by offering book reviews because avid readers turn to Book Tok to find suggestions for their next book. You can create content that will help readers of a specific genre find books by reviewing lesser-read books or work by up-and-coming authors and suggesting books to read in the “if you like this type of book” category.

    Readers will respond to your authenticity and literary authority when they see you review quality books, and they may be more likely to give your writing a try when they see you acknowledging solid writing by other writers in your genre or subgenre. Be careful always to present truthful reviews, however, even if a book could be considered your competition. Any negative content you produce will be remembered and will contribute to how users view your brand as an author.

    Genre or Topic Discussion: Use your familiarity with the ins and outs of what readers love about your chosen genre to present video content that will enhance their genre, topic, or theme knowledge. Create content that will generate interactions by including a question or asking for specific feedback or comments on your video. Consider tagging (using “@” + username) of another author or expert to draw them into the discussion or search and use hashtags that will connect your content with users interested in this content and potentially your book.

    Selection Reading: Many authors on Book Tok create short videos of personally reading a selection from their work. Different from a book presentation, a selection reading usually is a section of your book that will leave the viewer wanting more and encourage them to snag a copy of your book to see how the story turns out.

    You might find a dramatic cliffhanger point or a key character introduction or even a quick section that presents the main conflict within the book. Spoiler alert: readers don’t like learning “spoilers” for a book without fair warning, so if your selection reading includes one, be sure to give users plenty of warning so they can skip ahead or save your video for later once they have read that part of the book.

    Sneak Peek: When your book is in progress or you have some tantalizing news about the next installment in your series, you might want to create a Sneak Peek video for users to hear the news straight from you. A short video filling users in on an upcoming title or the direction your characters will go in your next book can be a great way to encourage new readers to check out your writing.

    Book Tok Can Help You Market a Beautifully Printed Book

    As an author, you may never have imagined that creating videos would be a proven strategy for you to connect with potential readers, build your brand as an author and get your books into the hands of readers.

    But book marketing and building your brand as a writer on platforms like Book Tok are a growing part of the literary community today, so working with a trusted printer like Dazzle Printing should be a priority so you can make sure that when your Book Tok followers pick up a copy of your book, they will love the way it looks and feels just as much as the awesome story and author they discovered scrolling on their Book Tok feed.


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