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Upskilling Tips for BookTok

By Misha Manani and Tanvi Jaiswal

TikTok has become the social media platform that everyone is raving about, and it has fostered a strong publishing community in recent years known as BookTok. This involves book recommendations and reviews, which has meant that publishers are building relationships with influencers on TikTok as another means of promoting books in the public sphere. Consequently, there has been an increase in sales among young people and greater visits to bookshops and libraries. In this article, we have explored the top accounts for you to follow, our advice for using TikTok, as well as courses for you to complete from the comfort of your own home.

Top BookTok Accounts to Follow

  • amyjordanj: With a mass following of 254.8k, Amy Jennings is a debut author and has over 7.5 million ‘likes’ on her videos. While her writing focuses on children's fiction, her account has recommendations mainly for adult fiction. She covers everything from romance to non-fiction and reviews of new titles. Following Amy will keep you updated with the latest reads.

  • Bloomsburybooks: Keeping up with the social media marketing requirements, they regularly update every new detail about the books coming each season. Through the medium of videos, the page has interactive options and suggestions for every book or publishing enthusiast.

  • hotkeybooks: An imprint of Bonnier Books UK, Hot Key Books specialise in Young Adult and Teen Fiction with 48.4k followers. The account uses the latest trends and techniques to grab more attention from people within the industry as well as readers. Aside from reading suggestions, the account also has videos on tips from people within the company, proving to be useful for anyone on the platform.

Advice from the Upskilling Team

  • Follow the accounts listed above: These are some of the most relatable and innovative BookTok accounts on which you will discover an incredible selection of books. See which videos have higher views than others and figure out their strengths and strategies.

  • Understand your personal feed: The TikTok algorithm has curated a list of content for you to consume based on the type of videos you watch. The more publishing or book-related clips you view, the more personalised your feed will become.

  • Know the key differences between TikTok and other social media: Instagram is largely for photos and Twitter is for the written word. TikTok consists of short videos up to 60 seconds long and it is also used on mobile phones. The content on your feed does not depend on your following network but what you watch, which makes it different from Instagram.

  • Understand the business aspect in publishing: If you are interested in pursuing a career in Marketing, Sales or Communications, it is critical to understand how publishers market new books on TikTok. They distribute books to influencers who will promote the book or mention it in their book recommendations. Other publishers have a list of ‘BookTokers’ to whom they will automatically post their books because they have been maintaining and forming relationships with this online community. An important consideration for many publishers is consistency, as if the user does not post frequently, they are less likely to be included in this method of marketing.

  • What makes a great TikTok video: The videos that have gone viral tend to have the following features: voiceovers or verbal communication, music, titles/text with minimal words, short drama sketches, jump-cuts, face/faces, personality, shots of the book cover/spine and white or black font.

Free Online Courses

  • Personal Branding on TikTok: Taught by Shelby Leimgruber and Ed Lawrence, this course is packed with strategies on how to grow your online presence. With 10 modules, you’ll be taken through each crucial step of social media marketing and taught everything from the basics to the complex ways of working with major companies in publishing.

  • TikTok Marketing: This teaches you how to use the trendiest app on the market to expand your brand and promote your company or BookTok account while maximising its reach to an audience. From learning how to create a dedicated base of followers to how to maintain a large engagement rate, it will guide you to find the latest trends in your niche genre and how to use them to generate traffic.

  • TikTok for Business: Hosted by Taylor Loren, this course takes you through everything you need in order to expand your independent business. From learning how to create videos to increase views and likes to make the most of the ‘For You’ page, i.e. TikTok's algorithm, Taylor takes you through the essentials of how to reach new audiences with ads and grow your user engagement.

Thanks for reading Issue 43, the fourth article in our social media series! Join us again for Issue 44, where we will be covering Upskilling Tips for BookTube.


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