It can take considerable work to turn a video celebrity into a paper-and-ink cookbook author. Some of the people Mr. Sanders recruited hadn't formally written recipes and didn't understand all that's involved in producing a cookbook.
"We are comfortable finding these authors on our own, and developing them and nurturing them and surrounding them with the support to make these books happen," he said. That support can mean pairing the author with recipe testers, or running the photo shoot.
DK even provides authors with strategies for advertising their books on TikTok, whose algorithm is sophisticated enough to identify and suppress promotional posts, Mr. Sanders said.
Barbara Costello, 74, a retired preschool teacher in New Canaan, Conneticut, is one of DK's authors and a TikTok creator whose grandmotherly persona has earned her 3.9 million followers.
She said she was surprised at just how much work went into writing a recipe -- measuring every ingredient, determining precise bake times and writing introductions. The cookbook, "Celebrate With Babs," was a hit, selling close to 100,000 copies since its release in April 2022.
It drew some press coverage, but Ms. Costello said her TikTok videos about the book more effectively drove sales. TikTok not only moves merchandise; it also shapes the look and feel of these books.
Ms. Molinaro, 44, the author of "The Korean Vegan," became known on TikTok for narrated cooking videos in which she shares stories about her life. When her editor trimmed back many of the personal essays in her book, she refined them and insisted they be added back.
She photographed the recipes herself to match her online aesthetic. She even enlisted her social media followers to vote on the cover.
In his upcoming cookbook, "Kung Food," Jon Kung, who has 1.7 million TikTok followers, included QR codes that link to his videos. "How to fold dumplings or knead bread or make pasta, those things will always be hard to try to explain in words," said Mr. Kung, 39.
Ms. Munno, the author of "The Pasta Queen," said she doubled the number of photographs of herself and beautiful Italian landscapes in her cookbook so it looked more like her TikTok account. Many readers have told her that they bought the cookbook to enjoy the pictures, but haven't cooked a single recipe.
Still, plenty of people buy these cookbooks for the recipes. Janvi Joshi, 26, who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., and works in finance, has cooked about seven dishes from the "The Korean Vegan."
She said that with recipes written in captions on social media, "the measurements and stuff might be a little bit off." "When you are going through recipes in a cookbook, they are a little more thought-out and tested," she said.
But Mr. Hollis worries that the more of his fellow TikTok creators get cookbook deals, the less credible their books may become. The field may become too saturated.
"Everyone and their dog is about to have a cookbook," he said, "and who knows what that is going to do?" Then again, Mr. Hollis is already thinking about his next cookbook.