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How to Write a Self-Help Book

January 25, 2023 (Last Updated May 10, 2023)

Marcy G.

If you do a quick search for best-selling books, you’ll notice that self-help continues to be a popular genre for active readers. Perhaps you're even wondering how to write a self-help book. 

There are many reasons why self-help is so popular, but one is that a lot of people have made mental health a priority, especially after the rollercoaster of the past few years. In general, mental health is something many are striving to improve upon, so they look to self-help books to help guide their personal journeys. Self-help is a form of therapy for many.

Self-help isn’t only reserved for mental health topics, though. Thought leaders, entrepreneurs, experts in family planning, and fitness professionals have all contributed to the self-help genres. Maybe you have some material already prepared like speeches, lectures, and personal journals that can inspire your book. If you have been thinking of writing a self- help book, here are some notes to consider.

Determine your value

The first step in writing a self-help book is to determine your value. This will create the foundation. 

When writing a self-help book, it’s important to establish the value you are contributing to your subject. What do you bring to the table? What has made you an expert? When you market a self-help book, what makes your point of view more attractive than others writing about the same subject?

It’s important to outline your credentials. People can be weary of picking a book on a personal subject if it seems like the voice guiding them doesn’t feel legitimate. It’s important to be completely vulnerable when sharing your personal experience – the reader will trust you and it will help them relate.


Make your subject specific

Your subject should also be specific, so you are targeting a topic area that will have a target audience. When you go too broad with self-help, it lessens the impact because there’s no clear focus. For example, if you want to write about achieving goals, you may want to focus on a specific tactic unique to your expertise. Do you specialize in organization? Letting go of a habit? Career preparedness? 


Provide structure

You can structure your self-help book in any way you please, however, for certain topics, an established progression toward the end goal (more on that later), is essential in the overall experience of the reader. Depending on your topic, sections like journal pages, activities, and checklists may be great tools for the reader, making your self-help book interactive. These features are appealing to readers because the book acts as a true guide.


Supply an end goal

What do you hope readers will take away from your self-help book? If you are writing about dealing with grief, the end goal for the reader may be to walk away with tools to manage their grief when it feels heavy. Provide tactical things someone dealing with grief can learn from your book and take with them long after they finish your book. A successful self-help book will be one that people recommend to others and one they love to go back and reference themselves when they need to


How do you publish a self-help book? 

At 48 Hour Books, we have have seen so many self-help books come off our presses and each one offers a unique goal for the reader.

If you are wondering if you should start writing your self-help book, don’t let self-doubt hold you back from reaching an audience. Even if your topic seems extremely niche, such as a specific illness or other area of health – whatever the subject may be – there are more people out there than you think who can relate and benefit from your expertise.

When you’re ready to print your self-help book, 48 Hour Books is here to help. We have all the print materials needed to make your book a reality, along with free resources and helpful communication. Get started today!

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