How to start BookTok

Long gone are the days when TikTok was just a lip-syncing app for teens, and seniors like me assumed we’d never get involved. TikTok is here to stay, and as in most corners of the internet, the world of books has made its own place out there. Authors, libraries, and book authors each own accounts and The publishing industry is increasingly taking notice Take advantage of the power of the bookstore platform and spread enthusiasm about reading.

So how do you get started in BookTok?

The platform has a steeper learning curve than some, but it’s accessible if you break it down into manageable steps.

1. Download the app and create an account

You can do this through any number of ways, including linking to a Facebook, Twitter, or Gmail address. (Important tip: choose a good username. I assumed I would never use my own, so I missed this crucial step).

2. Edit your profile

Note that you will not be able to add this important link in your bio until you reach 1,000 followers. (You can also create a business account to access soon, but I don’t recommend that, as it comes with limitations.)

Screenshot of the blog writer's TikTok, showing how to edit a TikTok profile.

3. Go to the home button

Where TikTok differs from many, if not all, other social media platforms is that you don’t have to follow anyone to get a stream of content. When you press the home button, you will be taken to what is known as FYP – your page for you. At first, this will be a mess of content that probably won’t interest you much – the algorithm guesses what you want based on what it can collect about you from the internet. But as you engage by watching, liking, and commenting, you’ll start to tune in to what serves you.

If you’re serious about owning a BookTok specifically, instead of just having a fun TikTok account that also has books (and there’s nothing wrong with that!), you’ll want to avoid interacting with anything that isn’t my book. One quick way to train the algorithm is to find some BookTokers to follow.

4. Follow some BookTokers

Riot book has some good listings From People are advised to follow; You may also want to search for your favorite local independent bookstore, a podcast dedicated to books, or even a bookseller or bookstore – the possibilities are there. From their accounts, you can see who they follow, click around and see if anyone is interested. But there is no need to follow too many people – and TikTok will flag you as a spammer if you follow too much too fast. What you’re doing here is training the algorithm. At the top of the page, you will see that you can switch between FYP and continue. Hit Continue and spend some time there, interacting with the accounts of the books you just followed. It usually won’t take long for the algorithm to start your service if the book’s content is not exclusively on your page afterwards.

A TikTok screencap by Laura Hankin, with the For You and Follow tabs highlighted at the top of the homepage feed.

It will also give you an idea of ​​the trends and voices people are using to post about books. If you come across a sound you like and want to try it, tap the circular icon at the bottom of the screen and then ‘Add to Favorites’. This way, when you go to add your own audio to a video, it will be one of the audio available to you. It’s a great way to get directions and also to get ideas for what to post.

5. Make your first video

There are plenty of tricks and tips to learn – more than I can cover in this single post – and it’s best to look up the YouTube tutorials if you want to dig deeper. But here are the basics:

  • Tap the + sign at the bottom of the screen.
  • Add audio at the top.
  • Hit the big red button to record yourself talking, dancing, or lip syncing (yes, that’s still a thing).
  • Click “Next”.
  • Add a comment and a hashtag or two (opinions vary and trends come and go as to whether #booktok is the best to use; it can’t hurt to use something more targeted, #romancereaders love).
  • Click “Select Cover” to choose the most satisfying freeze renown, because that’s what will appear on your network.
TikTok screenshot of post author, showing different options for freezing frames when posting TikTok.
  • At the bottom of the screen, there’s also a way to add text (which is also a useful way to cover up your face if, like me, you sometimes find that none of the freeze frames isn’t all that flattering, actually).
  • Click Save, then click Publish at the bottom.
  • congratulations! You just posted your first BookTok video!

If you really want to do some serious work, especially in the very early stages, I’d recommend taking a look at the new account through Bookshop.org. They joined in April, and posted with consistent aesthetics using current trends mostly three times a day every day until they hit 1,000 followers ten days later.

Bookshop.org is, of course, a recognized brand, so I don’t want to promise you that you’ll get the same result if you’re an unknown author or book influencer. But if you have the time and bandwidth, I highly recommend trying their technique – and maybe even give yourself some time to learn even an act You have that bandwidth as well as a bank of drafts to use so you can start making a fuss.

Above all, don’t get stuck on numbers – BookTok is a great place to meet like-minded friends, expand your reading horizons, and get some great recommendations. enjoy it!