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'Defeated' author becomes overnight best seller after video of empty book signing goes viral

'Defeated' author becomes overnight best seller after video of empty book signing goes viral

Shawn Warner and his debut young adult novel have shot to the top of the Amazon Best Sellers list.

A debut young adult author has shot to the top of the Amazon Best Sellers list after a video of his empty book signing went viral earlier this week.

In a recently-posted TikTok video, Shawn Warner, 58, could be seen trying to flog copies of his new YA murder mystery novel - Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor.

Jarrad ‘Red’ Swearenjin, a content creator, was in a Kroger store in Fort Worth, Texas, when he decided to speak to the 'super defeated' author.

When asked about the book, Warner said that the story was 'about a teenage girl who teams up with a ghost with multiple personalities to solve the mystery of her parents’ murder.'

The content creator posted a video of the wholesome interaction with his 29,100 TikTok followers and wrote in the clip’s caption: “I was just shopping when I noticed this man trying to promote his new book. I honestly don’t even read books nowadays. But something just told me to get a couple.”

The video featuring the author has 18 million views.

Stating that he doesn't 'know this guy' - the video maker decided to buy a signed copy of the book from Warner.

When purchasing, he told him that he does a 'bit of TikTok' and would like to 'gift it' to another platform user to help get the writer 'a little bit of love.'

"I imagined all the times I worked so hard and never got any recognition,” Red explained.

Since sharing the video on the platform earlier this week, the one-minute 30-second post has racked up 18 million views and has over 22,300 comments.

Discussing the events of the video, one TikTok user wrote: “I gotta get off booktok. My bank account is gonna hate me. Bought it though.”

A second said: “As a new author myself, I can only hope for this kind of support! thank you for doing that. I'm going to go get his book.”

Another commented: “I teach high school English in Arlington! I’d love to get this for my bookshelf (and maybe contact the author for a book circle!)”

Shawn responded to the outpouring of love via TikTok.

In a video response regarding Leigh Howard and the Ghosts of Simmons-Pierce Manor’s success, Warner said: “When Red came up and talked to me, I was just so eager to talk to anybody at that point because there was a lull in my sales.

“What’s happened has been beyond my imagination. I’m so grateful,” he added in the caption.

The novel itself was printed in paperback by an independent publisher, Black Rose Writing, in November 2022.

According to the author himself, both audiobook and hardback editions are 'in the works'.

In another video, he said that more locations were being considered for future book signings now that he is an Amazon best selling author.

Featured Image Credit: TikTok/ @internetfamouslol

Topics: Books, Social Media, TikTok, US News, Viral, Good News