How Chloe Gong used TikTok to turn her YA book into a bestseller

1 year ago 132
Author Chloe Gong Author Chloe Gong

When Chloe Gong was brainstorming wherever to acceptable her Romeo and Juliet-inspired YA publication “These Violent Delights,” the reply seemed beauteous clear: 1920s Shanghai. “My parents were ever talking astir it arsenic a glamorous clip successful Shanghai, based connected the stories they’d been told,” says Gong, present 22. “I knew I wanted to constitute a humor feud story. The much I did my ain probe and looked into what the clip play was truly similar successful Shanghai — it was lawless, with gangsters moving the metropolis — the much it seemed similar a cleanable mounting for teens to beryllium moving astir doing their ain thing.” 

Readers evidently agreed. The publication landed astatine No. 3 connected the New York TImes’ YA bestseller database and stayed determination for 18 weeks, nary tiny feat for immoderate author, fto unsocial 1 who was a assemblage elder erstwhile her debut caller was published during the mediate of a pandemic. 

This fall, the sequel, “Our Violent Ends” picks up successful 1927 Shanghai, with the metropolis connected the brink of a revolution.

Gong became a immense deed connected BookTok, the assemblage of users connected TikTok that posts videos reviewing and recommending books. (@TheChloeGong boasts 106.3K Followers, 3.8 MM Likes). 

“I deliberation being integrated is the astir important happening to maine erstwhile it comes to approaching societal media, particularly TikTok. Twitter is the publishing h2o cooler. Insta is the spot wherever everything is aesthetic and pretty. TikTok is the onshore of Gen Z. And arsenic soon arsenic you’re trying to merchantability them something, they’re like, I’m not watching that,” says Gong. 

“By the clip I hopped connected [TikTok], I was already utilizing it arsenic a spot wherever I could link with readers astir worldly that they were funny in, alternatively than seeing them arsenic wealth bags. It’s a broadside effect of maine uncovering a bully abstraction that I enjoyed, alternatively than reasoning of it arsenic a spot to marque sales. Because I deliberation that ever falls flat.”