Minority Authors Who Found Fame With BookTok: 5 Meaningful Insights



Today, we will delve into the fascinating stories of five minority authors who significantly boosted their success through BookTok.

Booktok has proven to be a powerful force in the publishing world. Propelling books into bestseller lists and reviving interest in titles that have remained under the radar.

Each minority authors journey with BookTok described in this article highlights the unique strategies and insights they used to succeed on the platform

This information is invaluable for minority authors trying to learn how to best promote there work. Here’s an in-depth look at their experiences.

Angie Thomas

The Hate U Give


Angie Thomas’s debut novel centers around Starr Carter. A teenager who navigates life between her predominantly black neighbourhood and her mostly white prep school.

This delicate balance is shattered when she witnesses the police shooting of her unarmed friend, Khalil.

Why It Resonated with BookTok:

BookTokkers rallied around the raw and real depiction of racial injustice and police violence, sparking deep conversations.

The book’s authentic voice and compelling narrative offer a mirror to today’s societal issues. Making it a rallying cry for change and understanding within the BookTok community.

the hate you give angie thomas


Angie Thomas’s approach to the marketing of  The Hate U Give is a masterclass in leveraging one’s niche. Her strategy was rooted in a deep understanding of her target audience and the societal context in which her book was released. 

Rather than attempting to universalise her message to cater to a broader but less engaged audience. Thomas honed in on those who would find the most value and resonance in her work. 

This demographic primarily consisted of young readers and individuals who are directly impacted by issues of racial injustice and police violence.

Furthermore Thomas’s narrative, rich in themes related to racial identity, systemic oppression, and the quest for justice, naturally appealed to this audience.

Thomas’s acknowledged the controversies surrounding her book. Including criticisms for its explicit engagement with critical race theory and calls for its ban was not met with defensiveness. In contrast she transformed this pushback into a strategic advantage.

Thomas openly discussed the attempts to ban her book and framed these attempts as a form of censorship. Doing this Thomas managed to galvanise her base and increase her support within her niche.

She effectively weaponised the controversy. Using it to underline the importance of her book’s message and to appeal even more strongly to her core demographic.

This tactic solidified her existing audience’s loyalty. Additionally it also attracted those who stand in opposition to censorship and support the freedom of expression on critical societal issues.

image of Angie Thomas content
Angie Thomas discussing her book being banned from schools to her audience on Tiktok.


Angie Thomas shows us crucial marketing insight for minority authors: the significance of understanding who your audience is not.

In a landscape where polarisation around social issues is prevalent, attempts to please everyone can dilute a message’s impact.

By focusing on those who would naturally gravitate towards her book’s message, Thomas was able to foster a strong, engaged community of readers. 

Tomi Adeyemi

Children Of Blood And Bone


This fantasy novel introduces readers to a world where magic is outlawed, and the maji are oppressed.

Zélie Adebola embarks on a quest to bring back magic and challenge the oppressive monarchy. This tale draws on West African mythology to weave a tale of rebellion, hope, and power.

Why It Resonated With BookTok:

Adeyemi’s rich world-building and the infusion of West African culture into her fantasy setting struck a chord with BookTokkers.

The thrilling plot and the fight against oppression mirrored real-world struggles, making it a hit among readers.

children of blood and bone book image


Tomi Adeyemi’s innovative strategy came through her use of playlists to document her writing process and the behind-the-scenes creation of her book.

This serves as a significant case study in personal branding and engagement strategy.

Adeyemi curated video content that took viewers on a journey through the stages of her creative process, from her writing process to the final touches before publication. 

This therefore offered a unique window into the life of a writer. This transparency not only demystified the writing process but also cultivated a deeper connection with her audience.

Viewers could witness the challenges and triumphs involved in bringing a book to life. Which in turn made the eventual release of her work a shared celebration among her and her followers.

A critical lesson from Adeyemi’s approach is the power of storytelling beyond the pages of a book and community building.

Her playlists functioned as a narrative arc in themselves, engaging viewers with the highs and lows of creative work. 

Adeyemi remained open in sharing the not-so-glamorous parts of book creation. Including things such as writer’s block and moments of self-doubt. These moments humanised Adeyemi and made her journey relatable.

It underscored the reality that success is not an overnight phenomenon but a result of persistence, resilience, and hard work.

Moreover, by showcasing her creative process in a structured and accessible way through playlists Adeyemi tapped into the curiosity of her audience.

The result of this meant that her fans were allowed to become part of her creative journey. 

This is a great method of engagement for minority authors to replicate as it can turn passive viewers into active supporters.

The anticipation built through these behind-the-scenes glimpses made the book’s release more impactful.

This was because her audience had a vested interest in seeing the project they had followed come to fruition.

screenshot of Tomi Adeyemi TikTok


The insight gleaned from Adeyemi’s use of playlists is the effectiveness of leveraging the basics of a social platform.

Through understanding TikTok  Adeyemi was able to use the platform for promotion and for storytelling.

Adeyemi understood that her potential readers were interested in the finished product but also in the journey that led to it.

By sharing her process in an organised and engaging manner she piqued interest in her work. While also educating her audience on the complexities of writing and publishing. 

This approach highlights the importance of transparency and engagement in building a loyal following. 

Furthermore, Adeyemi’s strategy exemplifies the significance of content organization on social media platforms.

By categorizing her videos into playlists, she made it easy for her audience to follow her journey in a sequential and coherent manner.

This ease of access is crucial in retaining the attention of viewers and ensuring that they remain engaged over time. 

This innovative innovative use of playlists to document her writing process and book creation teaches us a valuable lesson in branding.

Elizabeth Acevedo

The Poet X

What The Poet X Is About:

This novel follows Xiomara Batista, a young Afro-Latina girl in Harlem discovering her voice through slam poetry.

As she grapples with her family’s expectations and her burgeoning identity, Xiomara finds solace and power in her words.

Why It Resonated with BookTok:

Acevedo’s lyrical prose and the poignant exploration of identity, family, and self-expression connected with BookTokkers on a personal level.

Xiomara’s journey and the universal quest for self-acceptance made The Poet X a beloved read among.

Those seeking stories that reflect their own experiences and struggles immediately fell in love with this book.

elizabeth acevedo poet x


The success of Poet X on TikTok serves as a compelling case study on the dynamics of organic social media traction and its impact for minority authors.

Despite the author not actively cultivating a presence on the platform. Poet X gained significant attention and praise from the BookTok community.

This phenomenon underscores a valuable lesson in the power of organic growth. Which is that social media platforms have the ability to amplify literary works based solely on their merit.

The Poet X illustrates that while having a personal presence on platforms like BookTok is advantageous for minority authors, it is not a prerequisite for success.

The organic traction that Poet X garnered highlights the capacity of content to stand on its own. Yet still be able to attract an audience with genuine enthusiasm. This organic spread of interest showcases how the quality and relatability of content can drive its popularity. 

Furthermore this emphasises the importance of focusing on creating impactful meaningful work. As this authenticity speaks directly to the experiences and interests of your audience.

When a book truly resonates with readers they become its most powerful advocates. This leads to shared discoveries and recommendations within their communities.


The insight drawn from the success of Poet X  is the profound effect of creating work that genuinely resonates with a target audience.

While it’s important to have a strategy for how you promote your work. It’s equally important to ensure you are creating a piece of work that resonates with people.

This highlights that organic growth is possible and can be incredibly impactful when the content deeply connects with its audience.

This phenomenon underscores the critical importance of knowing one’s audience deeply. 

It serves as a reminder to minority authors and publishers that the heart of successful book promotion lies in the quality of the work itself.

When a book captures the essence of what readers are seeking, it can naturally inspire a community of enthusiasts to share and promote it.

Ocean Vuong

On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous


Vuong’s novel is a letter from a son to a mother exploring their family’s history from Vietnam to their life in the U.S.

It delves into themes of identity, love, and the aftermath of war, all conveyed through Vuong’s poetic language.

Why It Resonated with BookTok:

Vuong’s deeply personal exploration of the immigrant experience appealed to BookTok’s love for emotionally rich narratives.

The novel’s introspective look at family and identity resonates with readers interested in stories that delve into complex emotions and cultural heritage.

ocean vuong on earth we're briefly gorgeous


Ocean Vuong’s first novel and its explosive popularity on BookTok provides a compelling case study in leveraging social media influencers.

Initially, Vuong’s novel enjoyed a certain level of buzz due to his reputation as a poet and the anticipation around his debut novel.

However it was the strategic partnership between Vuong’s publishing house and key BookTok influencers that catapulted the novel into a viral sensation. 

As these influencers began discussing the novel and creating content around it, a domino effect occurred.

This led to an exponential increase in visibility and interest among the BookTok community.

The novel’s ascent was so significant that its popularity on BookTok was even highlighted in its Amazon description.

Which is a notable acknowledgment of the platform’s impact on the book’s success.

The key takeaway from Vuong’s experience is the power of influencer partnerships within niche communities. 

The strategy illustrates the importance  collaborating with influencers whose followers align with the target demographic of your book. 

This approach not only expanded the novel’s reach beyond traditional marketing channels.

But also added a layer of personal endorsement that resonates more authentically with potential readers.

It highlights how influencers can act as catalysts inspiring their followers to purchase and read your book. But also encourages them to create their own content about it further amplifying reach. 

This chain reaction of engagement and content creation can significantly boost a book’s visibility, positioning it as a must-read within the community and beyond.

influencer discussing ocean vuong


The insight to be drawn from the viral success of Vuong’s novel on BookTok is the critical role of leveraging creators to build momentum around a work. 

This strategy demonstrates the value of tapping into existing communities and networks where passionate readers gather to share and discover books.

Influencer partnerships can serve as a powerful tool to generate organic conversations and excitement around a book.

Moreover, the case of  On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous highlights the evolving landscape of book marketing, where traditional methods are increasingly complemented or even replaced by social media-driven strategies. 

It emphasizes the need for authors and publishers to be agile and open to exploring new platforms and approaches to connect with readers. 

Leveraging creators on platforms like BookTok not only helps in reaching a wider audience but also in creating a more engaging and interactive promotion strategy that can lead to sustained interest and sales.

Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows


Bardugo’s fantasy heist novel features a diverse cast of characters from various backgrounds, each with their own complex history, coming together to pull off an impossible heist.

Set in the Grishaverse, it explores themes of belonging, morality, and survival.

Why It Resonated with BookTok:

The diverse cast and Bardugo’s inclusive world-building resonated with BookTokkers passionate about representation in fantasy.

The gripping plot and intricate character dynamics provided both escapism and a space for discussions about diversity, making Six of Crows a celebrated addition to the fantasy genre on the platform.

leigh bardugo six of crows


Leigh Bardugo’s success on BookTok, particularly through a viral video on the Amazon Audible page detailing her journey to writing Six of Crows, underscores a pivotal shift in how contemporary consumers, especially Gen Z, engage with creative works and their creators.

This shift moves away from traditional brand-centric marketing and towards a more personal, creator-focused narrative.

Bardugo’s candid sharing of her experiences and challenges in bringing “Six of Crows” to life resonated deeply with viewers, offering them a rare glimpse into the personal and often unseen aspects of the creative process.

This approach taps into a broader trend where authenticity and personal connection are highly valued.

Bardugo’s strategy highlights the growing importance of personal storytelling in engaging with today’s audience.

By opening up about her journey, Bardugo not only provided valuable insights into her creative process but also humanized herself to her audience.

This personal touch is particularly effective with younger generations, who seek genuine connections and are more likely to support creators they feel personally invested in.

Bardugo’s ability to share her vulnerabilities and triumphs creates a narrative that is as compelling as the stories she writes, offering her fans something relatable beyond the pages of her books.

This engagement strategy demonstrates the power of authenticity in building a strong, loyal fan base.

When creators share their stories, struggles, and successes, they not only demystify the creative process but also inspire others.

This transparency fosters a deeper bond between creators and their audience, transforming passive consumers into active supporters who are more engaged and invested in the creator’s success.

Leigh Bardugo TikTok interview
Leigh Bardugo conducting her Amazon interview.


The insight gained from Bardugo’s interaction with her audience is the significant role creators play in the appeal of their work. 

In an era where content is abundant, the unique experiences, perspectives, and personalities of creators can set their work apart. 

Leigh Bardugo’s success story on BookTok reinforces the notion that creators themselves are among the most compelling aspects of their work.

It highlights the necessity for authors and artists to not only focus on the quality of their creations but also on how they present themselves and engage with their audience.

This engagement goes beyond simply marketing a product; it involves building a community around shared experiences, values, and interests. 

By authentically sharing their journey, creators can cultivate a sense of belonging and loyalty among their audience, making their personal brand a powerful tool in their overall marketing strategy.

It underscores the idea that in the digital age, where consumers are bombarded with endless choices, the personal stories and authenticity of creators can be the deciding factor in capturing and retaining the attention of their audience.


These minroity authors and their unique journeys underscore BookTok’s significance as a vibrant platform that elevates diverse voices and narratives.

Their experiences offer valuable lessons for leveraging social media to enhance visibility and engagement with your work.

Let these insights motivate you to explore and utilise BookTok’s potential for your own creative endeavour’s.

If you are ready to implement some of these insights into your own work, contact us for consultation services and we can help amplify your story on BookTok and beyond.

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Written by: Internet Scribes Team

Published: 03/03/2024