Book Bloggers: August Profile
About August: August is an avid reader and writer with a passion for creating and highlighting diverse stories with strong LGBTQIA representation. A former Children’s Department supervisor for Barnes and Noble, August understands the importance of people young and old feeling seen in the stories they read, and continually strives to feature diverse books for all age ranges on their Tiktok, Instagram and Twitter accounts.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
Jenna: What got you interested in BookTok?
August: I actually discovered BookTok by accident lol. I originally became a content creator on TikTok to share my writing journey for my upcoming middle-grade fantasy series, but I am so passionate about good storytelling that I couldn’t resist making posts about books I was enjoying, and BookTok welcomed me with open arms!
Jenna: Book blogging has been around for a while now, but BookTok is a recent branch of bookish content creation that’s really bloomed the last few years. Though, like a traditional book blog, there’s a lot of time and effort that goes into building up followers and engagement. Can you share a little about what that work looks like? What inspires you to continue as a BookTok creator, all that considered?
August: Honestly, what the work looks like depends on the BookToker’s speciality and niche. There are BookTokers who focus more on lip-syncing videos, comedic skits, or critical reviews. I personally love sharing reviews that are more editorial in nature, focusing on highlighting the aspects of a book I find the strongest. This requires me to read closely, asking myself questions like: Is the narrative voice distinctive? Is the world-building immersive? Does the main character have a strong arc? I don’t post as frequently as other creators or have a set posting schedule, but I’ve learned that authenticity speaks volumes and as long as you are true to yourself, followers will come.
I am inspired to continue as a creator because of the wonderful community I’ve found on BookTok. I was very skeptical of being able to make real friends on a social media platform, but I have, and I’m so glad I did!
Jenna: The way people hear about books is pretty varied—from librarians to bookstagram to the NYT Bestseller’s list to, now, BookTok. We’ve seen the advent of BookTok tables at Barnes & Noble and the first TikTok stickers appear on paperbacks; what are your thoughts on the specific and potential impact of BookTok as a platform and what makes it different? How do you feel you fit into that as a BookTok creator yourself?
August: Like you mentioned, we are already experiencing the impact BookTok is having on the publishing industry, and I believe its impact will only increase in the coming years. More and more authors and publishers are creating TikTok accounts to engage with readers, and besides BookTok specific tables and events, we’re seeing a ton of book deals being awarded to writers who had successful marketing campaigns on TikTok. As a creator who focuses heavily on promoting diverse books by authors in marginalized communities, my goal is to use my platform to further the careers of these authors in addition to promoting my own books some day.
Jenna: I can’t let you go without asking for your favorite go-to book recommendation, and I’d also love to hear if there’s any fellow BookTok creators you think we shouldn’t be sleeping on!
August: I feel like I’m always recommending The Jasmine Throne by Tasha Suri! It has such a warm, inviting narrative voice and complex plant-based magic system!
You should definitely not be sleeping on Rae, Minh, or Meg! Rae has great diverse recs for all ages, Minh is a diverse fantasy reader who is always making me laugh, and Meg has the best cozy fantasy recs!