A full-time lawyer and father of three, Lloyd Devereux Richards spent 14 years working on his book and another 11 years waiting for the thriller to become a bestseller.
That is, until his daughter posted a 16-second TikTok video last week with the straightforward message, “I’d love for him to earn more sales.”
The novel quickly climbed to the top of Amazon’s list of serial killer thrillers.
Her father said, “I’m ready for a nap.”
More than 40 million people have watched the popular film, which chronicles Mr. Richards’ arduous process of finishing the book Stone Maidens.
Through the hashtag #BookTok, which consumers use to discuss their favorite authors and book picks, TikTok, a short-form video hosting site, has assisted in boosting sales of hundreds of books in recent years. According to a New York Times article, BookTok alone assisted authors in selling 20 million printed books in 2021.
Mr. Richards was overcome by the news of his sudden celebrity and broke down in tears when he read the TikTok post’s comments after learning it had gone viral from his daughter.
His daughter shed tears as she expressed gratitude to the customers. She informed her father, “You’re number one because of them.”
She continued, “He doesn’t even know what TikTok is.”
The novel, which is about an FBI forensic anthropologist looking into a serial killer who strangles women and dumps their bodies in the ravines of southern Indiana, was published in 2012, and according to Mr. Richards’ daughter, her father, who resides with his wife in Montpelier, Vermont, was content to have finished it.
Perhaps Mr. Richards’ earlier writing served as an inspiration for the book. According to his Amazon profile, he developed his actual crime knowledge while working as a senior law clerk for an Indiana court, conducting research and drafting draughts for published decisions, including one on the appeal of a serial killer sentenced to death.
The book and its author’s life story received a lot of positive feedback from fans on TikTok.
After watching the touching film, one user said, “I’ve never ordered something so fast in my life.”
According to his daughter in a subsequent TikTok video, Mr. Richards’ surprising achievement should serve as a lesson to never quit after “25 years of little hope.”
As he toasted the increase in sales with milkshakes, Mr. Richards said in the video, “These last couple of days… I can’t comprehend it.” “I feel really fortunate.”
But Mr. Richards won’t be celebrating for too long. His Amazon biography states that he is now working on a book sequel.