The Do’s And Don’ts Of Writing A Self-Help Book

By on September 30, 2020

If you are considering writing a self-help book you need to make sure you do your research and avoid the common pitfalls that could make all the difference when it comes to the success of your book.

Writing a self-help book? Here's what you need to know!

So, to get you started, here are some of the do’s and don’t of writing a self-help book:

Do be specific

Make sure that your book has a specific piece of teaching or advice at its core. You need to target readers who are looking for advice on personal improvement. But you also need to acknowledge there are many different areas such as goal attainment, growing confidence, and overcoming fears and anxieties. The more specific you get, the easier it will be to market to your target audience. 

Don’t just write a general account of how to be a better person. This will be too vague and won’t appeal to any one person specifically.

Do back up your theories and show readers your credentials

The most successful self-help books are evidence-based. They aren’t just some grand theories plucked from thin air or the random thought processes of one person. Rather, they are based on research and scientific evidence. They are proven to work. So if you want people to take you seriously make sure that you can demonstrate to them why you are the person that has the knowledge they need and how you can prove that your methods are effective. 

Don’t make it all about you. This isn’t about you overcoming your personal struggles, this needs to be something more universal than that. 

Do ensure you have a good structure in place before you start

Planning your self-help book is hugely important. Make sure that before you start to write that you have mapped out your structure and that it follows an arc and has different sections to provide clarity and guidance throughout. The reader should feel as though they progressing as they work their way through your book, so you need to start by identifying the problems they have then planning how to overcome them. From here it's all about implementing that plan then addressing how to stay focused and motivated, and then what kind of resolution can be expected when they come to the end. 

Don’t jump from notion to notion or idea to idea. Your book still needs to be readable and to flow, so make sure you take the time to plan

Do make sure your advice is clear and actionable

Readers like to see that there is an obvious game plan from the outset. Make sure you give them advice that they can follow easily so as not to confuse or disappoint your reader.

Don’t forget to show your reader what it is they need to do.

By following the above you can plan a truly useful self-help book that can help change people’s lives. Good luck!

So now you know all the do's and don'ts of writing a self-help book, why not learn more about writing a memoir?

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