We are back with another installment of the BookToker of the Week! Friday 30th, Bookstr went live on Instagram for an interview with BookToker Selene hosted by Morgan Boyd. The team at Bookstr and our audience had a lot of questions for them.
Selene Velez is the creator behind the TikTok account @MoonGirlReads_. The Californian has helped her over 134,000 followers on Tik Tok find great books in the young adult genre, and has apparently been instrumental in the popularity of E Lockhart’s 2014 YA novel We Were Liars — which was included in her video “books that will make you sob”. It was barely a minute long and ended up garnering 5.8 million views! She started her BookTok account in May of 2020 during the pandemic and you can find them on Instagram at @MoonGirlReads_.
q: What are your 3 To Read? Hot Pick (new release), Dark Horse (mystery/thriller), Beach Read
Selene: My Hot Pick is Six Crimson Cranes by Elizabeth Lim. For Dark Horse it’s House Of Hollow by Krystal Sutherland, it’s the author’s debut novel and it’s amazing. For Beach Read it’s People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry.
Q: What inspired you to start your BookTok?
Selene: I started my BookTok in May of 2020. It was peak quarantine, we didn’t have prom and graduation, I couldn’t go out with my friends, and I had all of these books that I hadn’t read yet. So I had books and TikTok, and I don’t know if it was the FBI or some weird algorithm thing who saw that I was buying all of these books on Amazon, that BookTok started popping up on my For You page. There weren’t that many people on there, so I was like, let me try this and do something fun. Then, tada! BookTok!
Q: What is your advice for people who want to start a BookTok?
Selene: Make content that you are comfortable in and enjoy making. You have to identify your intention with BookTok. I feel like the more authentic and genuine you are with your videos, the better your account is going to do and the more people will want to follow you and engage. Then just have fun with it.
Q: How do you come up with your content? Is there a drafting process or does it just come to you in the moment?
Selene: It’s definitely a mix of both. Some videos will just come to me in the middle of the night or while washing dishes and it just hits me. And other times I’ll write it down and come up with a list of books I want to include. I have a notebook where I scribble all my ideas.
Q: What are some of your most anticipated releases for the rest of the year? or ones that have recently come out that you’re super excited about?
Faye: They’re both sequels. Our Violent Ends by Chloe Gong. I’m waiting for the ARC of it, and I heard that people who already read it cried like 6 times. I’m so scared to read it.
And then there’s Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko, which is the sequel to Raybearer. I need that sequel right now.
Q: What is a book you read because of Booktok and what were your thoughts on it?
Selene: I read Heartstopper by Alice Oseman because of BookTok. I don’t read graphic novels because I saw it all over BookTok, at first I didn’t know it was a graphic novel, but it is the cutest series. It’s heartwarming and I finished it in like an hour.
Q: What is your favorite and least favorite aspect of content creation?
Selene: My favorite is the possibilities you have with content and the different ways you can do book recommendations. And whenever someone comments that they loved the book I recommended or that they got back into reading because of that book.
The least favorite is how draining it can feel sometimes and if you start to compare yourself to other people is probably the worst.
Q: Have there been any surprises that you found in content creation?
Selene: I’ve been super surprised to see what kind of videos do well on TikTok. Because there will be videos I spent 2 hours on that do ok, but then a video I spent 10 minutes on that does 10x better. Also, just how long it takes to make some videos. There are 15-sec videos that actually took like an hour, there’s a lot of processes that go into it.
Q: Who are some of your favorite creators on Booktok?
Selene: Definitely Kate, they are the pillar of the BookTok community. @SixOfHoes, @LiteraryLesbian, @TheSequelNobodyWanted, @SerenaGov, @UrMomsBooks
Q: what’s your favorite book to movie adaptation?
Selene: My all-time favorite was The Hunger Games. I went to the movies for all of them. They did such a good job with that adaptation. Then Harry Potter, JK Rowling is the worst but Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire was definitely my favorite book to movie. I want to also say Shadow and Bone but I haven’t seen past episode six.
Q: Who are your automatic buy authors?
Selene: Sabaa Tahir, Leigh Bardugo, and Colleen Hoover.
Q: hardback or paperback?
Selene: Purchasing-wise paperback because they’re cheaper. Reading experience-wise hardback, I definitely prefer hardback.
Q: beveled edges yes or no?
Selene: It depends on the book. If it’s a Dark Academia, yes please, but all around no.
Q: When you read a hardback do you keep the dust jacket on or take it off?
Selene: I take it off.
Q: Do you crack the Book spines?
Selene: NO. I just can’t do it.
Q: Favorite and least favorite trope.
Selene: Favorite: friends to lovers. A dream trope, it would be childhood friends to enemies, to having to work together, to enemies to lovers.
Least favorite: the random pregnancy trope where they’re fighting and have a baby to fix the relationship. I hate the cheating trope, and also love triangles.
Q: Ao3 or wattpad?
Q: What is your favorite genre?
Q: dream book adaptation?
Selene: An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir.
Q: lEAST FAVORITE book adaptation?
Selene: The Percy Jackson movies or the ACOTAR show.
Q: What is a book you wish you had read sooner?
Selene: These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong.
Q: What is a book you could have gone without reading?
Selene: The Selection by Kiera Cass. It was great when I was in middle school, but now I’m just like “WHY?”
Q: What is The BOOK you think has the nicest book cover?
Selene: The UK cover of Six Crimson Cranes.
Q: a book you would always recommend?
Selene: Circe by Madeline Miller. It’s the number one book I would recommend.
Watch the full interview HERE.
View this post on Instagram
Stay tuned for our next BookToker of the Week Instagram Live, details on our Events Page.