Self-Help Book: How To Reach Every Reader

A Self-Help Book Can Change Someone's Life
A Self-Help Book Can Change Someone's Life

A self-help book that comes from an unknown writer may actually be more helpful than than a self-improvement book written by an expert.

Especially a self-help book from a person who has distilled everything they know about a subject into something relatable to the average reader who needs help.

So if you don’t have a master’s degree or any professional experience on your resume, don’t worry about it. Your self-help book can still be impactful if you follow some basic rules for writing it. And be sure to fill it up with your own practical experiences and sage advice.

That said, here are 4 quick rules to help you write your self-help book and make it one of the top self-help books of all time.

Rule #1. The Best Self-Help Book Provides Empathy.

People think they are alone in their suffering. So just by acknowledging all the different ways that anyone can experienced a problem will comfort your reader. And this comfort is well worth the price of your self-help book.

So your self-help book just can’t be about your own experience with a problem. It has to be about other people as well.

Many of the best self-help books illustrate other people’s problems simply by researching and then including quotes from anonymous, ordinary people. For example, people like “Susan J. from Washington,” or “John L. from Ontario.” And the quotes go something like this, “I was at the end of my rope and the doctor said there was nothing I could do, but I kept searching.”

By locating enough quotes like this, you can rest assured that each reader will find one of these people they can identify with and they will immediately know that you understand their problem in its entirety.

They will know you get it.

So at this point, you are better than an expert, you are their friend.

Rule #2. The Best Self-Improvement Book Provides A Way Out.

Now that you have your reader as your friend, they will look to you as their adviser. Which means that now is the time to offer them a way out of their problem. Nevertheless, one single way isn’t going to cut it. Because much like there are a thousand different kinds of sufferers, there have to be a thousand different solutions. Of course, you can’t list much more than several detailed solutions for any one problem, but you can include many, many resources in your self-help book.

Resources are simply organizations or sources of information that can help your reader with the problem they are trying to solve. But it isn’t enough just to list the contact information for these organizations. You also need to call them personally and find out what real help they provide.

Think of yourself as one of these professionals when you talk to them.

Because once you publish your self-improvement book, you will be. And think of the reasons why they  would tell someone to take your advice. This is the real test of the value of your book. Because after all, these are the people who should  be recommending your book. And many people read the best self-help books because they are therapist recommended self-help books.

Once you start making some phone calls, you may be surprised at what kind of help is out there. And by talking to a live person, you will also get up-to-date information about what people are going through. You may even get some good quotes for your book.

And this kind of research will also give you new ideas, make your self-help book more relevant, and also make it an extremely valuable and up-to-date resource for many readers. As well, doing this kind of hands-on research, and then organizing it and writing about it doesn’t require any kind of college degree.

Really helping people and being insightful into their suffering rarely does.

Rule # 3. The Best Self-Help Book Provides Achievable Goals.

So where do we begin the healing? Like everyone says, one step at a time. So your self-help book should provide a step-by-step plan to accomplish whatever your book sets out to help people achieve. And the most critical first step will be helping someone get in the right mindset to solve their problem.

You may think that this is where an expert psychological opinion comes in, but just the fact that you have had an experience with what you are writing about is enough. Because you will also be able to include enough anonymous testimonies that you gather in your research to make your point about what the right mental outlook is.

Each step that you recommend can be the focus of its own chapter, with alternative options in case your first recommendation doesn’t work in every situation. It is also helpful to talk about what someone may be experiencing as they go through the process.

Remember, this person does not want to be alone. If they experience anything that overwhelms or defeats them during their self-improvement process, they will simply give up.

And stop reading your self-improvement book.  

Unless you keep reassuring them, providing them with every scenario that is possible, based on your experience and your research. You have to keep showing your reader that you really do understand their problem.

And that you are there to lift them up when they feel defeated. This is what the best personal growth books do.

Rule #4. The Best Self-Improvement Book Should Be Revisited Every Day.

Since most people will finish reading your self-help book before their problem goes away, you will want to write your book with this in mind. So once someone finishes reading your self-help book, you want them to pick it up every day for help until their problem is solved.

And then keep it in a handy place on their coffee table to tell others about how much it helps them every day. Which means that you want to include things that someone can work on every day in each chapter. This includes daily exercises or meditations, shopping lists, checklists, and illustrations. Or, anything inspirational that someone can look at to keep themselves motivated and keep themselves working on their problem. You may even consider referencing some spirituality self-help books to see how they do it.

You will also want to create a separate reference section for resources, and an index in the back. This is so readers can easily find something they need right away. And so they can open your self-improvement book right to the place that helps them the most. Especially when they are showing others how helpful your book is.

This is how a self-help book becomes a best-seller.

It is also helpful to make the chapters short and clearly labeled, for easy reference as someone follows your course of action. Bullet-point lists and shorter paragraphs create lots of white space that not only make your self-help book easier to read but then reference at a later date. Clear, bolded, chapter subheadings will also make your book easier for someone to go back every day and find the things they need once they are finished reading it.

Which makes your reader much more likely to recommend your self-help book to others.

And if you have ever had the experience of trying to find some vital piece of information in a self-help book after you have read it, then you know how important it is to format and organize your book so the information can be quickly accessed. Looking at how some published psychology self-help books are organized will help you. Look for a list of self-help books on your subject for some examples.

Here's a general list of searched-for self-help topics to get you started thinking about your own self-help book.

  • Best relationship advice books
  • Best personal growth books
  • Motivation psychology self help books
  • Self esteem psychology self help books
  • Best self help books for men
  • Spirituality psychology self help books
  • Business psychology self help books
  • Philosophy psychology self help books
  • Spiritual books bestsellers
  • Best relationship books for couples
  • Meditation psychology self help books
  • Spirituality self help books

When you think about it, the best self-help books can help thousands of people. So if you have the urge to write a self-help book, it’s an awesome idea. And these four rules will guide you in the right direction to creating a self-help book that will become a best-seller.

I know you can do it.

How To Write A Book

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