Share your knowledge and experience to help others cope with challenges you have overcome.
Self-help is a fantastic genre with a keen audience willing to read new books and explore new options. If you can name a life problem, tricky situation, or awkward circumstances, there’ll be someone going through it, no matter how niche it may seem! If you can offer practical guidance and advice to make the journey through it all easier, then writing a self-help book on the topic is a great idea for you to explore.
For more general or popular topics, self-help can be a crowded market, so you’ll need to make your book stand out from the crowd. Follow our top writing tips and you’ll soon find your place on the shelf!
It may seem like narrowing down your potential audience is counter-intuitive, but in this genre, it may be the key to your success. Broad topics will already be covered by other authors and many will be household names and bestsellers. Instead, envision a single type of person who will benefit from your book – if it’s not too general or wide-ranging, you’ve found your niche.
Write to your reader
Consider your reader’s demographic in your writing style. Remain empathetic and avoid including jargon or abbreviations that they may not have come across before. Remember: you are an expert in this field and have likely experienced more of the journey through this situation than those reading, so don’t assume they have the same level of knowledge as you do. The language you use is key to building rapport.
Do your research
Whilst writing from personal experience is perfectly apt for self-help, it’s important that you are aware of the bigger picture, too. Are there psychological references and theories that tie in with what you’re saying? Has this situation, the root causes and solutions, been researched into before? Seek out academic research, any relevant charities or third-party bodies, and other people with similar experiences, as you write.
Your own anecdotes and examples will add real value to your writing and allow your readers to understand the practicalities of your suggestions and solutions. If you have permission to, include quotes and stories from others, too, in order to demonstrate that your reader is not alone in their circumstances, however much they may be feeling so.
Self-help books can require the reader to take in a lot of information in a period where they may not be in the best frame of mind to take lots on-board coherently. Short summaries and round-ups of the information covered in each section or chapter will allow for quick and easy reference of what’s been said and the key points or take-aways, without the reader having to remember every word or struggle to find a specific sentence on a page.
Help yourself get started in self-help with this guide, and you’ll soon be helping others, too!