Writer who put her fantasy novel online because she thought ‘nobody would print it’ reveals her shock at it becoming a bestseller – after fans at TikTok threw a six-digit bidding war
- Olivie Blake, 33, became a TikTok literary sensation after self-publishing novel
- The author, from California, launched a publishing bidding war for The Atlas Six
- The novel, the first in a trilogy, is now available in hardback in the UK – and has shot to the top of the fiction bestseller charts
An author has revealed how far she has come from self-publishing a book that she thought had no mainstream appeal at the top of the bestseller list – after Tik Tok users loved her novel so much that it was picked up by publishers.
Olivie Blake, who lives in Californiasays she can not yet comprehend the success of her book, The Atlas Six, which rose to success after a bidding war between publishers.
The fantasy novel has quickly garnered more than 20 million views among book lovers on TikTok and is currently at the top of the Sunday Times bestseller fiction list, just a week after its publication as a hardback in Britain.
She told The Sunday Times: ‘It’s pretty impossible for me to wrap my mind around some of this.’
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Olivie Blake, 33 (photo), from California caused a publishing bidding war when she posted her fantasy novel online
Olivie Blake is the pseudonym for California-based writer Alexene Farol Follmuth, who said she could not predict the reaction to her novel.
The author, who published the book herself two years ago, says she had no idea her book would appeal to a wide readership and did not even think of approaching a publisher with it.
Thanks to social media, she did not – because seven leading publishers approached her to bid for the book last September – with a six-figure sum eventually paid by Pan Macmillan.
British publishers described Olivie’s novel as the ‘runaway TikTok must-read fantasy novel of the year’.
The UK-based publisher published the novel on March 3 under its label ‘Tor imprint for fantasy and science fiction’.
TikTok has been recognized with a shining light on unpublished authors – thanks to a corner of the platform known as ‘BookTok’, which has attracted 43 billion hits since it first became popular.
The novel The Atlas Six was won by the British publishing house Pan Macmillan for a six-figure hand, published under his Tor imprint for fantasy and science on March 3.
The plot of Atlas Six has a group of aspiring wizards competing for places in a secret London society that moves the knowledge of ancient civilizations.
The 33-year-old author – real name Alexene Farol Follmuth – had contributed to fanfiction websites, written new stories about characters from other writers’ books, and had even published several other novels, which were largely ignored.
Alexene took her pen name from a random name that had misspelled Olivia; but they LOVED the sound Olivie so much more.
Amazon acquired the film rights to the series and is developing it with Brightstar, the production company founded by The Crown producer Tanya Seghatchian and Cold War producer John Woodward
The Atlas Six soon attracted millions of TikTok views and Olivie said it was ‘a really strange experience’ that she ‘did not fully understand’.
The book is the exact first in an intended trilogy with the next volume, The Atlas Paradox, coming out in October.
Going from one power to another, Amazon has acquired the film rights for the series and is developing it with Brightstar, the production company founded by The Crown producer Tanya Seghatchian and Cold War producer John Woodward.
Bella Pagan, publishing director of Tor UK, described the plot of The Atlas Six as’ one of those classic stories where people fight for a place and there’s a Lord of the Flies element, with people shifting form alliances against each other. ‘
Reviews posted on the Waterstones and Goodreads websites are particularly complimentary.
One reader said the book was ‘incredibly entertaining and unsatisfactorily complex’.
Others, however, complained that the book was’ over-hyped ‘and that the characters were annoying.’
The Atlas Six by Olivie Blake (Pan Macmillan) £ 15.29
TikTok author who went viral after posting fantasy novel sparks bidding war Source link TikTok author who went viral after posting fantasy novel sparks bidding war