Catherine Berra on Writing Comedy and Marketing Herself on BookTok
BookTok is an explosive niche within TikTok that many authors are exploring to market their books. Catherine Berra recently published a comedy book detailing her unbelievable, humorous online dating stories as an older human. Today, she shares her journey writing the book and her experience on TikTok.
About Catherine Berra
Catherine Berra is a multi-passionate individual who has been writing and crafting poetry since the age of 12. She worked for a US ambassador for twenty years and did technical writing at the U.S. Department of State. She has always considered herself a writer.
As a single mom, Catherine Berra didn’t date for years but eventually ventured into the eclectic world of online dating after her son left for college. She amassed a huge number of nutty stories and crazy adventures during her time online dating. Her friends enjoyed hearing these stories and urged her to write about her dating experiences. During the COVID lockdowns, she decided to pen her stories and wrote a comedy book about her online dating experiences as an older person.
Her book, These Stories Are True… I S#!+ You Not: A Humorous Look at Online Dating for the Unsuspecting Older Human, was published on January 28, 2022.
Since then, she has created a great deal of content for BookTok and has heard so many crazy dating stories from her audience.
Marketing Her Book
Catherine’s book made number one on Amazon in three humor categories earlier this year.
In terms of marketing, Catherine takes a multi-faceted approach to sell her book.
Catherine Berra shares, “I do a lot of podcasts. I did a panelist discussion down at a very big bookstore here in Denver last week. I do a lot of TikTok. The funny thing about it is my book is it’s also an ebook, so I sell pages every day.”
During the summer, Catherine marketed her book as an entertaining beach read that someone could enjoy reading on the beach for a couple of hours.
She adds, “I think what I’m happy about is it has opened up these other conversations, and I’m not sure where I’m going take that. I think I might do a sequel just because of the comments about the topic.”
Many audience members have shared with her about times they were preyed on by scammers in the online dating world or experienced mortifying dates. Catherine shares that she likes to share her stories with others to make them feel less alone in the crazy online dating world.
Posting on BookTok
Catherine Berra began posting on TikTok about two weeks after her book was published after a friend convinced her to try it out.
Catherine posts on TikTok every day. One of her most engaging daily posts is a ‘dating scammer post of the day’ where she highlights a comment from somebody sharing their dating scammer experience. These posts serve the dual purpose of letting others know that they aren’t alone in this and educating others on what can happen while providing entertainment.
“I wasn’t really sure what the heck I was doing at first, but I kind of learned and watched others, and then I really learned a lot about the hashtags and how the algorithm does and doesn’t work and things like that. I do a lot of videos for my book and the topics in my book, but I also try to just engage in a conversation with older people.”
One of her most viewed TikToks has over 450,000 views and features a duet between herself and a TikTok with three guys putting on their CPAP machine masks with Top Gun music in the background. She laughs, sharing that the guys looked like jet fighters, but they were really older men with CPAP machines.
Another hit TikTok featured content about the Johnny Depp trial and received 500,000 views.
While these TikToks don’t feature her book, the exposure to her platform and the fact that they are reaching her target audience is an effective way for her to grow online.
Overall, she shares that her growth has been organic, and she hasn’t spent much time delving into how to grow on TikTok.
“I haven’t really forced anything. I just feel like I’m reaching people that can relate to what I’m saying.”
At this time, she hasn’t done any brand partnerships but is looking into the possibility in the future.
Breaking Stereotypes Surrounding TikTok
Many TikTok users are from Gen Z or younger generations. However, this doesn’t mean that older content creators can’t make a massive impact on the platform.
Initially, Catherine was unaware of the TikTok platform until a friend convinced her to give it a go. However, now she is fascinated by the platform and follows users of all ages.
@catherinerauthor Follow me to read about more crazy dating stories! #BookTok #book #fyp #iver50 #booktiktok #booksoftiktok #bookishtiktok #tboktok #tiktokbooks ♬ My sound is blowing up – LLS🙏🏿🕊
Catherine shares, “I follow some people that are older, and I think that they all have a message. A lot of them talk about health issues, or there’s a doctor who talks about menopause, for example. It’s just fascinating.”
Catherine’s Future Plans
Catherine shares that she has started her sequel to These Stories Are True… I S#!+ You Not: A Humorous Look at Online Dating for the Unsuspecting Older Human.
She is also writing a self-described ‘weird comedy book’ about the passing of her parents and all of the strange occurrences that happen surrounding death and family.
“I’m also writing a screenplay about my horse and how my horse came into my life, so I have a lot of writing in the works, and I’m hoping to start traveling again… I also want to continue to engage with people and try to enhance this audience that I already have and maybe increase that and get the word out and just have conversations about relationships and how we’re dealing with that.”
She would especially like to focus on the current state of relationships, not just for older people, but also on how things have changed since the pandemic. Another aspect she is interested in exploring is relationships as a financially stable, independent woman who wants a man to enhance her life but doesn’t need a man.