Tips in Writing Effective Self-Help Books

by | Sep 30, 2021 | writing tips | 0 comments

ReadersMagnet recommends these tips in writing effective self-help books.

Writing Self-Help books can be extra challenging. Not only it requires facts and research, but the author must also convince readers that they are credible sources of advice and information. In writing effective self-help books, certain elements must be considered by the author. ReadersMagnet presents these five significant tips in writing Self-Help works of literature.

Select specific topics / areas.

It is important to zero in on a specific topic, issue, or theme. Self-Help books are known for tackling a specific area of concern. Whether spiritual, physical, mental, psychological, or social topics, setting parameters on your title gives the readers a glimpse of what you intend to discuss. Some authors prefer to cover general topics. It can be challenging, and it depends on how you go about it. In Happiness In Quantum Leaps by Aura McClain, the author specifies how to beat stress without the aid of drugs but rather a purely spiritual method. She did this by choosing the subtitle, “De-stressing WITHOUT DRUGS!” That way, it’s clear from the get-go what to expect from the book.

Be a credible resource person.

Being a credible speaker or author is one of the primary requisites in writing a Self-Help book. Remember, the goal of the book is to offer advice, guidance, and wisdom to readers. The author should have extensive knowledge or experience on the issue, topic, or concern. If you are writing a spiritual guidebook, at least you must have a deep knowledge of the Bible or spiritual counseling or have studied theology and spirituality. If you are writing about suicide or depression, you must be emotional psychology or human behavior expert. You must present yourself as a credible source of wisdom and answers. Otherwise, you will be listed as a poser, and your book will fail.

Please write structured content.

One common mistake, especially among first-time authors of self-help books, is treating it as any other genre. They write in free-flowing narratives and have no regard for organizing structured content. Self-help books differ from other fiction or non-fiction works of literature simply because they offer a concise, well-research, and organized school of thought. Therefore, it is expected of authors to write in chapters, steps, and progressive manner. Forward momentum is the defining feature of a self-help book. A compelling book is divided into sections; problem and developing a plan, execution of the plan to overcome the problem or issue, and a follow-up guide on maintaining progress or overcoming challenges. 

Present sample cases/sources.

Another key element in writing a self-help book is presenting sample cases. These samples may vary, and providing multiple sample cases consistent with the message you want to deliver can significantly help your masterpiece. These sample cases must be engaging, honest, and convincing. Also, additional sources or credible resource persons can cement your credibility as an author. Seek help from academic persons, those with vast experience, those with degrees related to your topic. Readers always look for answers and assurances, and you can provide them both by inviting trustworthy contributors to your book.

Provide readers with a game plan.

Do away with cliches and provide your readers with actual answers and solutions to their issues. One way to effectively present these answers and solutions is by providing them with action plans. These are step-by-step guides featuring clear, actionable advice at the end of every chapter or section. You can also present bulleted items on what to do, prepare, and execute these items. People look for self-help books precisely because they seek guidance and assistance, and if you cannot give them to readers, then your book is just a waste of their time and money.


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