60: I Made A TikTok
Updated: Aug 24
Howdy! This past week, during the DOJvPRH trial, they admitted that no matter how high the advance, there is no guarantee of an author receiving marketing and publicity. On the heels of that confirmation, publishing representatives on Twitter announced that Barnes & Noble no longer guarantees shelf space for debuts, even those published by the Big 5. Most of their stock is backlist titles, proven to sell. Do you know what section they've added in the last couple of years though? A Booktok section. So, I finally gave in and made a TikTok. The handle is @JessLynnStudio, same as for everywhere else.
Saturday, I went through videos I've accumulated and played around, adding music to them, before uploading a bunch to TikTok. My videos tend to be animal/nature/nutcracker related so far, though I expect my feed with diversify over time. The whole point of the TikTok is to advertise my books, and while I'm at it, my art. This doesn't mean I necessarily intend to self publish, but even if I publish traditionally, I'm on my own to get my books seen, and on brick and mortar shelves. If you're curious as to how my videos are doing so far, one of my deer videos had over 70 views after 1 day. The other deer video and a lizard video had over 20 views. My spider videos have under 10. My many dogs videos have a combined 0. So, if this is something you're looking into, the dog entertainment market seems over saturated. I suspect a gimmick is in order, such as adding costumes, or doing more advanced film editing than simply placing music over videos of them living their cute little lives.
Update on Views: It's now Wednesday, and I've had a TikTok since Friday night. That's 5 days worth. In that time I've uploaded 37 videos. I've gained 15 followers. You probably shouldn't upload so many videos at once. Overloading your followers feeds is frowned upon on every social media, but I want to get all my practice out in the beginning. In other words, I don't mind if these fifteen followers bail, so long as I'm learning and improving. More will come ~eventually.~ Like yeah, I'll notice when people I know and like in real life head out, but I'll try not to take it personally. Anyway, of the 37 videos, one of the dear vids have 99 views, so deer seem to appeal to people. My video of a blue jumping spider is at 90 views. The dog videos are hit or miss, hitting 3 or 70+ views. Nature TikTok is pretty generous with views and likes for minimal effort. A tiny plain moth set to music, with zero further editing, got 59 views over night. Earning likes seems to improve a video's chances of being seen, so its like how interactions spread tweets further over twitter. A video with a stagnant view number will suddenly jump in views after getting a like. I had about 15 likes before going to bed Friday night and now I'm at 125.
I've started collecting bits of video of my dogs and nutcrackers opening and closing their mouths so I can time those clips with trending speech/song sounds. Getting the mouths to match the speech is difficult and I've found that the audio matching tools in TikTok are lackluster. Also, while video editing, the video stops loading at-speed if there are too many clips. It seems to be impossible to reverse part of, as opposed to all of, the footage. I have not experimented with using my own audio yet, as everything I've read/heard said the TikTok has a better chance of going viral if it uses a trending sound.
I haven't tried commenting yet and I have no interest in duets at the moment. I'm still looking for users to follow, beginning with people I know in real life. My husband isn't thrilled to have a corporation spying on our wifi through an app, but I already have Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. What's one more, right? Anyway, I hope any of this was helpful for you! If you have any suggestions for who I should follow, feel free to let me know in the comments. I drop a new blog post every Monday. Thanks for stopping by!