whitefox: helping brands, thought leaders and writers create beautiful bespoke books
Mastering the art of marketing to niche audiences can be a gamechanger for many independent authors, evidenced by whitefox author Alan Lucas with his debut You Don’t Need Therapy: 7 Steps to Sort Your Sh*t Out. Alan’s choice to self-publish allowed him to retain full creative control over his vision and strategy, and it’s the many things he did before and after the publication that resulted in a distinctive self-growth book that stands out in a booming marketplace.
Prior to the book’s publication in January 2021, Alan created the SYSO System to help people improve their own mental health through seven practical steps. As an entrepreneur, coach and motivational speaker, Alan wanted to share it with the public and inspire many to change their mindsets and lives. And in using his platform to carve out a territory for his book, it was easier for him to identify and reach out directly to groups of potential readers.
Alan understood the power in building a ready marketplace of adopters for his SYSO framework to sell his book. Utilizing his primary channels Instagram (12.2k followers) and Twitter (3.2k followers), he was able to attract individuals interested in self-discovery, mindfulness and personal growth with content that was both emotive and constructive. He cleverly carved out clear pathways for his audience to follow, closing the loop between his social platforms, website and newsletter to work together harmoniously in curating and growing an active community. And within this rapidly expanding community, Alan was present. By putting a face to the name, responding promptly and thoughtfully, a special place had been formed where his readership could freely discuss his concepts, ask questions and be heard. In the instances where there were challenging responses, Alan addressed them personally and in a way that is disarming and straightforward as well as empathetic.
All of this combined has reflected in Alan’s sales figures, with the book now on its fourth reprint. Pushing for reader reviews in the very early stages, the book has more than 200 reviews and a 4.4/5-star average rating across Goodreads and Amazon, further fueling its good performance. Through his online community, Alan highlights the social impact his book has, using profits from sales to create the Sort Your Self Out Foundation, which provides free personal development resources to young people. This foundation is the incubator for his next and upcoming project to convert his book into a young adult book to grow his readership.
Alan’s story is a lesson for independent authors publishing non-fiction titles. You need to be specific in order to differentiate your book from the competition and resonate with readers. Alan also puts in the hard work, showing his dedication to his community, emphasizing that he cares, which they then return by being loyal customers. And this case study also goes to show that you may not need millions of followers to move book sales mountains when instead you have a few true fans.