He spent 14 years writing his first novel and 11 years hoping for the book to take off. A decade later, Lloyd Devereux Richards, a US-based author, saw his dream come true when his novel suddenly became a bestseller on Amazon – all thanks to a viral TikTok video by his daughter.
Richards, who lives in Vermont, published his debut novel titled 'Stone Maidens' in 2012.
Realising that the book had no sales, his daughter turned to TikTok for help. She made an account with the handle @stonemaidens, the name of the thriller book.
On February 8, she posted a 16-second video with a simple request: “I’d love for him to get some sales.”
The video went viral and since, has gathered nearly 50 million views.
“My dad spent 14 years writing a book. He worked full time and his kids came first. But, [he] made time for his book,” Richards’ daughter explained.
The video shows Richards sitting at a desk and a shot of his book. “He’s so happy even though sales aren’t great,” his daughter said.
According to his Amazon author page, Richards is an attorney, and father of three living in Montpelier, Vermont, with his children, wife, and two dogs.
The comments section was soon flooded with people offering encouragement. The video seemed to have moved many to tears, prompting many to purchase the book.
A TikTok user @Yo commented: "#1 bestseller in books on Amazon!"
And, @MJeanFern wrote: "Ok, I just bought this! I hope after reading all the reviews that your dad decides to write more books! Good luck!"
Demand for Richards’ novel skyrocketed and the book soon reached the top spot among novels in the thrillers genre. The book is now sold out.
Ellie Deacon: "I’ve just gone to buy this and... [the book is] sold out!"
For Richards, the warm response from viewers was overwhelming. A later video shows him tearing up while reading through the TikTok comments.
“He’s been saying thank you all morning,” his daughter said in the video.
In another video, Richards is seen holding a milkshake and saying: “These last couple days… I just can’t understand it. I feel blessed.”
According to his Amazon author page, Richards is working on a sequel to “Stone Maidens.”