KJ Matthews is a newbie at TikTok. She joined in the belief that’s where young adult authors found their market. By the time this is released, she’ll have been on TikTok for a month (give or take a day). We asked her, her opinions of the platform for someone who had never used it before (not even for her personal use).
How did you get started on TikTok?
KJ: I created a business account and then started watching booktok videos and liking them.
What was that for?
KJ: To train the account so that I only got book readers as followers.
Was that successful?
KJ: Partly, many authors are readers as well. I probably have about 50% of my followers as author/readers and 50% as readers.
What sort of videos do you put up?
KJ: Mostly book trailers and character profiles. Doing character profiles has really helped me get into the head of some of the other characters in my first book. I am now planning to give these characters their own voice through a newsletter.
Cool. You’ll have to let us know when that comes out. What has been your most successful video?
KJ: I haven’t had a viral video yet. Apparently, you need a viral video to really sell books, and I want my book trailers and character profiles to be successful, but unfortunately, the video with the most views, likes, and comments is one I stitched together from a repost of someone else’s video. It got me so many followers, but most of them are indie authors like me, so not my target.
Did that surprise you?
KJ: Yes, and whilst I want my followers to grow, I feel bad that it is growing off someone else’s work.
Have you noticed an increase in sales?
KJ: No. I was hoping that I would get lots of pre-orders for Captive, (Book 2 The Odyssey of the Seven) but I haven’t seen, and I have had a small uptick in Alone sales, but you’ve been advertising there as well, so I don’t know if that’s from TikTok or C L Canon’s BookFair.
True. Amazon, as a platform, doesn’t tell us where the sales come from. What do you like about Tiktok.
KJ: I discovered the other day that I could use the same video and remove the voice and sounds, and replace them easily. That was fun. I still haven’t worked out how to use a sound I saved.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
KJ: I’d love to chat again when I’ve been using the platform for longer. There is so much about it that I don’t know, and I am shy. I don’t want to put my face up there. I have a life-sized stuffed Koala that features in some videos. TikTok, as an algorithm likes my Koala.
Thanks for your time KJ. We’ll definitely catch up in the New Year to see how your TikTok account is going. Your second book will be out by then as well.