If your goal is to publish a self-help book, you’ve chosen well. Self-help books are immensely popular. Very often, readers in need go to the self-help aisle searching for clarity and peace. These authors give the readers tools that, as the genre name should imply, they can use to help themselves out of whatever rut they’ve found themselves in. Whether it be self-help books that address stress and anxiety, body image issues, spirituality, interpersonal relationships, or whatever, many readers have found solace and acceptance within the pages of these books.
It can be tricky to publish a self-help book, let alone self-publish. Much of the power of self-help books comes from the reputation of the author. No one wants to take advice from any random person off the street. Readers want to know that their author—their guiding force—is qualified, experienced, and legitimate. Below, we’ll show you how to best organize and publish a self-help book and ensure that your book will be successful.
The most important thing to remember when learning how to write a self-help book is that you need to establish yourself as an authority on the subject.
While it isn’t a memoir, when figuring out how to structure a self-help book, it might be smart to begin with a chapter or section about your own experience with the topic. If it’s a book about interpersonal relationships, talk about the relationships in your own life. What makes you the expert on getting along with others? Maybe you studied psychology or sociology in college, or maybe you had a mentor who passed along their knowledge to you. This is crucial when deciding how to organize a self-help book. Whatever it is that makes you qualified on this subject, you must inform the readers of. They have to know they can trust you.
Isn’t credibility the same thing as authority?
Sort of. If you’re an authority on the subject at hand, whether it’s a self-help book about mourning the loss of a loved one or a how-to guide about dominating at work, you have credibility. The tricky part is, however, keeping that credibility. As your reader reads your book, they should come to depend on you more and more. You should prove your knowledge to them, so that you almost become more of an expert as the book goes on. Credibility is very important in self-help books, and much of your credibility is going to come from putting your money where your mouth is—or where your words are.
When you publish a self-help book, you’re choosing to help others in times of need.
Your book’s main goal is to help others. You should be constantly striving, throughout your writing, to be as helpful as possible. This may seem obvious, but sometimes it’s too easy to veer into the realm of self-indulgence. You aren’t writing this self-help novel to prove anything; you’re writing it to give others something they’ve been searching for. Your main focus is on your reader, always.
It’s necessary, when establishing authority and building credibility, to talk about yourself. And, you may find, in imparting your wisdom onto your readers, you will need to pull examples from your own life. This should be it, however. Don’t focus too much on yourself. Rather, give yourself plenty of time and page space to focus on them. It may be wise to write a self-help book outline first before you get to work.
Self-publishing a self-help book isn’t impossible; it’s incredibly feasible and, if we say so ourselves, necessary. People come to books for many reasons, not the least of which is guidance. Don’t let traditional publishing bog down your book. Do yourself, and your potential readers, a favor and choose self-publishing.