My TikTok Author Adventure by Wendy H. Jones


I'm sure there are few who cannot have heard of TikTok but for those who have not, it is a video centric social media platform. WIth over a billion users worldwide it is racketing up the charts and is either fifth or seventh in the charts on whether you count messenger and WhatsApp as social media apps. So, why am I talking about TikTok here today? Join me on my TikTok adventure.

In a fit of enthusiasm I joined TikTok about seven or eight months ago in a slow period during lockdown. Then, I saw all those youngsters dancing and lip synching and nearly lost the will to live. I literally had no clue what I was doing, or why I was doing it. I did a small video of my writing space, chucked on the hashtag #booktok and left it to fall as it would. I followed one person, had one follower, got a number of views and likes but nothing more. It was like astronauts drifting in space with no clue what space actually was, where they were supposed to be heading and hadn't even heard of the moon. And did I mention all those dancing teenagers. I decided TikTok was definitely not for someone like me.

Fast forwards to about the days ago when I took up a TikTok challenge. This was part of the Self Publishing Formula community and I was invited to give it a go. It was five days, five short videos, the first two of which were what is TikTok and how to set up your account. So, I was slightly ahead of the game. By day five we were asked to post a short 15 second video of what book inspired me to be a writer. And I did it. Posting this video six days ago was the start of my love to TikTok. It is what changed my mind about TikTok and let me know how brilliant it is for authors and readers. What changed for me in that time that has completely shifted my thinking?

1. It takes about 48 hours to train the algorithm. Yes, you have to put up with the dancing youngsters until TikTok gets to know what you like. The way you train it is to look at hashtags such as #BookTok and #AuthorTok. You do this by searching for the hashtags and following some of the users and liking and commenting on their posts. 

2. You can't expect people to follow you without following them first. TikTok users are great and they usually follow back.

3. Views and likes are as important as followers. The more views and likes you get the more your videos will be shown. Views only count if someone watches your whole video.

4. There are 3 lengths of videos you can do - 15 seconds, 1 minute, three minutes. Shorter videos work better. 

5. Post regularly. The more you post the more you will be shown. The TikTok algorithm likes consistency.

6. You can edit your videos in app. Before you go, no way, I'm not tech, it really is simple. Or it can be a simple as you like.

7. Don't get discouraged by the fabulous videos other booktokers do. You'll be there before you know it.

8. It's great fun.

9. It's also a time suck as it's designed to be highly addictive. Limit your time.

10. Try it and immerse yourself in it. You'll be posting videos like a pro before you know it. 

You can access the first video I did a year ago here.

I would like to encourage you to set up an account and see what it is all about. If you are already on there I would like to challenge you to take it further. If you would like to follow me I am @wendyhjonesauthor I will follow back. Good luck with your TikTok adventure. By the way, if you are wondering what my follower count is 6 days after my first proper video - it's 606. Did I say I'm loving it?

About the Author

Wendy H. Jones is an award-winning, international best-selling author who writes adult crime books, young adult mysteries, children's picture books and non-fiction books for writers. She is also a writing and marketing coach, runs the Writing Matters Online School and is the CEO of Authorpreneur Accelerator Academy, The president of the Scottish Association of Writers and hosts The Writing and Marketing Show podcast. She is currently writing a series of historical fiction novels based around the life of a 19th Century Surgeon in the Royal Navy. 


Amazon Author Page


Ruth Leigh said…
Also on the TikTok journey Wendy! This is super helpful, thank you. Another world to conquer
Wendy H. Jones said…
I’m loving it. Although it does take time.
Peter Leyland said…
You make it sound very tempting Wendy but I might just save it for another day...
Wendy H. Jones said…
Go on, Peter, you know you want to ��
Reb MacRath said…
I dunno, Wendy. I'm resistant, like Peter, but may give this a try. Sounds more fun than typing or working on a second draft.
Wendy H. Jones said…
Come in, Reb, join me. You’d be grand on TikTok
It is truly another world to conquer as Ruth said. I will bite the apple another day. OR if I have an Adam to stand with me step by step all the way...

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