What is a self help book and how is it even important? Self-help books tend to do only one thing alone, ‘help’. Self help books are written with the simple intention to help or guide people struggling with a life challenge or the other. Offering advice to those in a tough situation, either based on personal experiences or from a professional stand.
As an author, you’ve overcame a major life problem, and you have learned so much from your struggles, grown so much from the challenges faced and now, you’re eager to share with the world, by writing a self help book, seeking to share your lessons and wisdom to thousands of your readers that may be going through the very same challenge you went through, or even going through something close.
You wish to write a self help book in order to share your experience because you feel this will go a long way to support and help in your readers growth, improving their lives and arming them with the right tools and knowledge to overcome just like you did.
This article has carefully prepared the steps and quick tips an author should know when considering writing a self help book.
- Identify Your Audience
- Identify The Problem
- Your CoverBook Title.
Writing a self help book is more common than you think. A survey carried out in 2022 showed over 70,000 books on Amazon were self help books. It may come surprising, because with writing a self help book, especially if the desire came as a result of a personal experience, it can be pretty difficult opening up to thousands of people all over the world.
Opening old wounds isn’t very soothing and comforting. You’re forced to leave your comfort zone in order to adequately relate to your readers and even for the best writers ,this is be ugly.
Self-help books are delicate and should be given the most attention and effort. If you’re looking to write a self help book based on academic knowledge or professionalism, it doesn’t get easier either. You must do deep research in order to provide effective advice or guidance. For example, writing a self help book on ‘How To Be A Good Parent” requires utmost care, you do not want to go about giving guides and advice that may end up ruining a child, do you?
This quick but effective tip is to provide a guide on how to write self help books that will pass the message intended without it feeling overwhelming.
- IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE.
Identifying your audience is very important because these are your driving force. To any nonfiction writing, the audience is the most crucial part. After all, the very essence of writing a self help book in the first place is to help someone and how can you offer that help if you cannot tell who your audiences are and the help they may need?
Before ever embarking on writing a self help book, you might wanna ask yourself, ” who am I writing to?” , ” who will gain the most from my book?”. Questions like these help you in easily identifying your target audiences. Knowing who your audiences are, is very important so as not to write based on assumptions and guesses. Identifying your audience aids in making your book concise.
After Identifying your audiences, keeping them engaged is equally as important and the easy ways to do that includes ;
- Sharing stories: Trust me, you want to make your audiences feel important, you want them feeling like you see them, they can trust you and that you can help them. Sharing stories, real or hypothetical, helps to make your readers feel comfortable and trust in your words. Self help books are all about providing your readers with the sense of a community, whatever it is they may be going through, they are not alone and sharing stories helps drive this point home.
- Be interactive: In order to keep your audience hooked and trusting, you should be more conversational with your words. Your writing format should be interactive as this will help them feel important
- Clear languages: You should write in words that are clear and concise. The reason why you’re writing in the first place is to provide help, and you cannot do that if your audience cannot even understand your words. Your word format should be in clear words and avoid ambiguity.
- IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM.
Self-help books ultimately seek to solve a problem, but to do that, we must first identify the problem. Avoid embarking on broad topics as this might easily get you off track and lost in your own story. You should zero in on a specific challenge and proceed in providing your readers with the ‘how’s’ in your tackling such challenge. Specificity matters a great deal in writing self help books. Be specific in whatever problem you’re addressing. Most times writers get lost in the euphoria of speaking on so many life challenges in their book that they end up not making any sense at the end of. Most times no solution is being provided and you do not want to end up on that side of the bench, because it’ll leave your readers unsatisfied, especially if you wish to make money from your writing.
Losing sight of your topic problem will greatly hinder you from providing your audiences with accurate insights and advice they seek.
- YOUR COVER TITLE.
This is another important tip you need to know if you wish to write a successful self help book. Cover titles matter just as much as the content itself. This is what will prompt your readers to take on reading your book in the first place. If your book will ever get off the shelves and onto the laps of your reader, your cover tile plays an important role in ensuring that.
A good self help book must contain two things;
- A title and a subtitle
- The problem your wish to solve
A self help book, in order to stand out and give it authenticity and appeal always comes with a title and a subtitle. Your title should be attention grabbing, and it should always be a phrase. Your subtitle is a brief description of your book. ( for example: ParentShif : Ten Universal Truths That Will Change The Way You Raise Your Kids.)
Another important factor you must note, your title should be the specific problem you wish you solve. This way, when a reader picks up your book, they already know what to expect and learn. This will help you in reaching your specific audiences. You do not want to give a different title to the actual content of your book. To avoid not reaching your target audience.
Dear Authors, we hope this post has been super helpful in setting your foot out the door when it comes to writing a self help book. Please note, your self help book should be less about you and more about your audience. Your book is for them, to aid their healing process and to provide them with the right tools and information to overcome challenges and not for you to feel good about yourself. Wish you all the best!