Did it come to this?
TikTok is a social media platform I’ve always believed was for Gen Zers, that no-one my age should ever be on, let alone posting content on. I can barely keep my official Facebook and Twitter accounts afloat, and I long swore that I’d never have anything to do with this infernal app… but here we are.
(And yes, until I commission the art for whatever book of mine comes next, the Legion That Was cover still is, and still will continue to be the wallpaper for all my devices don’t @ me).
In all seriousness though, given more and more people my age and younger are living their lives on this app now, TikTok is not something I can particularly afford to turn my nose up at as a marketing platform. The phenomenon of BookTok, in particular – and to a much lesser extent, AuthorTok – that has seen so many self-published, unknown or simply overlooked books propelled into the digital limelight is not something you can overlook. On my last trip to Blackwell’s, I noted a huge display at the front of the shop devoted solely to BookTok books.
The self-published novel Divine, by twentysomething author, Classicist and TikToker MJ Woodman, details a Hunger Gamesesque look at a parallel world where the Roman Empire never fell, and instead survived and evolved into the 20th Century. This novel took the online world by storm last year after Woodman’s (quite determined and put-together) TikTok videos went viral on the platform, opening Divine up to a whole platform of new readers. This was reflected in the wealth of other publicity that came on the heels, and the level of sales and attention that would be nigh-on unheard of for a first time, self-published writer of any fiction, let alone the very niche genre of Ancient historical fiction.
So all things considered, it’s time for me to take the plunge and see what all the fuss is about.
So there we go. Not off to a flying start just yet, but it’s better than nothing. I’ve just about worked out how to browse through videos that are trending in the world, as well as ones put out by the people you follow. I suspect it’ll be a good while before I get tech-savvy enough to learn how to post my own content – and good, good while longer before I get brave enough to even try doing it – but look out, Gen Zers. I’m a-coming.
And on that revolutionary note, I will see out April and welcome in the summer.