Welcome back to AuthorHouse Author’s Digest. Self-help books (which have been around for well over a century, believe it or not) have consistently been some of the more popular titles in the bookstore. After all, who doesn’t want to finish a book a better person than they were when they started it? And when a writer has advice that has improved his or her life, it’s natural to want to share that experience with others through self-publishing.
Earlier this week, we presented five tips for writers who would like to give the self-help genre a try, and today we offer five more. Read on!
1. Do your research. Readers can only trust your advice to the extent that they trust your research. Make sure yours is accurate! Misusing the results of studies or surveys, or using a quote out of context, will only damage your credibility.
2. Don’t forget other revenue streams. Speeches and seminars are natural alternate revenue streams for self-help writers, and they support each other. Seminars increase your audience and credibility, while being a great place to sell more books.
3. Build your platform. At the minimum, you should have a blog and/ or social media presence. Both are great ways to see if there’s an audience for your writing before you start a book, and to update readers on your progress while you’re writing one. Social media is also one of the cheapest, most effective ways of spreading the word about those seminars we mentioned in #2.
4. Stay on topic. Self-book writers are, unfortunately, prone to ramble at times. Remember our “One Chapter, One Topic” suggestion from part one? Ask yourself, does everything you’re writing explain or support that chapter’s main topic? If not, you can probably leave it out.
5. Include exercises. Last time, we recommended that your advice be practical—real-world suggestions that your readers can use in their lives (not just inspirational quotes). Exercises at the end of each chapter allow the reader to put your advice to use in manageable increments, giving them a feeling of accomplishment at each step. Sure, some readers will ignore the exercises, but others prefer the additional guidance and focus they provide.
We hope this article provides you with some additional guidance and focus. Thanks for visiting Author’s Digest!