It took just 16 seconds to change the trajectory of Lloyd Devereux Richards' literary career.
In 2012, his first book, Stone Maidens, was published by Thomas & Mercer, an Amazon subsidiary.
He wrote the 300 page tome about an FBI forensic anthropologist investigating a serial killer in Indiana over the course of 14 years. Lloyd worked on the book before and after work as a lawyer, and said for about a decade, he only got four hours of sleep a night.
Through it all, his three kids always came first, and that's why his daughter, Marguerite Richards, wanted to see her dad's book, which hadn't sold many copies since its publication, get the attention it deserved.
Last week, she recorded a brief TikTok of him in his attic in Vermont where he writes, with the caption: "My dad spent 14 years writing a book. He worked full time and his kids came first. But made time for his book. He's so happy even though sales aren't great. I'd love for him to get some sales. He doesn't even know what TikTok is."
Overnight, the video received 1 million views, and soon, Stone Maidens, which had been ranked 1,452 in Amazon's mystery, thriller, and suspense novels, shot to the top spot on the Best Sellers list.
Lloyd told The Washington Post he still doesn't quite get how this all happened, but "I'm grateful. I'm very happy. I just can't believe it."