Three tips on writing self-help books

Books about self-help are one of the five top-selling genres in the world. Revenues from self-help books continue to reach nearly $1 billion per year. So what makes this genre so popular, and how can we write self-help books that will sell well and also help others?


Eckhart Tolle

Technology has done many excellent things, but it has not helped in decreasing stress levels. Psychology research actually shows that depression levels are higher across all age groups, in both developed and developing nations.

Hence, with life becoming anything but easier, the self-help genre is in demand. People want to know how to be happier and achieve some level of balance in their lives. Today, iUniverse gives some tips on how to make your self-help book successful in the market.

To begin:

Make sure that your book has a structure. Self-help books can be introspective, which means that there is a risk of rambling. There is also the danger of forgetting that you are writing for an audience, not for yourself.

Make sure to arrange chapters clearly: we advise making an outline and sticking to it closely. One writer who does this very effectively is Stephen Covey, as in his book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Assume that the reader will have some doubts. This means that you need to intelligently guess what your readers’ questions will be, and then formulate direct answers. People who read self-help are indeed looking for help, but they also need to be convinced. A classic example of an author skilled in this kind of empathy is Eckhart Tolle, whose The Power of Now is actually written with a Q&A structure. To achieve this, you should ask someone to read your manuscript, as they will have an impartial view and can inform you if you are not providing concrete answers.

We’ll be back with Part Two!

Make sure to check out the iUniverse site for more advice and blogs, as well as iUniverse Facebook and iUniverse Twitter.


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