Self-help is one of the most popular and enduring genres in non-fiction. Readers buy up self-help books on all kinds of subjects, whether it’s managing anger, anxiety, self-esteem, career indecision, or any of a variety of other topics that involve a desire for self-improvement. Some of these books become enormous best-sellers, and at times even turn into cultural phenomena like Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret.
With so much potential, this is an excellent book genre for a first-time writer to break into. When you write a self-help book, you have the power to help others address their most pressing personal and professional issues, while also finding your success as an author. So let’s discuss how to write a self-help book in 30 days!
5 Steps on How to Write a Self-Help Book
1. ???? Brainstorm a Book Idea
Your first task is to come up with the idea for your book. There are plentiful fiction writing prompts; however, a self-help book needs to come from a deeper place. If it isn’t already evident to you, think of the challenges that you have overcome in your own life. Do you have advice to offer others to help them follow your path? Perhaps you overcame addiction, began a thriving business, or discovered your self-confidence. Find a subject that you feel you can speak on with some authority based on a combination of personal experience and research.
There is no perfect formula for writing a successful book, but self-help books can benefit by having a “hook” that makes the often overwhelming task of self-improvement seem more manageable. Sometimes this comes in the form of specific principles to follow or “secrets” for the reader to learn.
2. ???? Draft an Outline
Once you have your topic, you need to know how to write a self-help book outline. Start by brainstorming ideas that you will want to cover in the book, including advice, personal anecdotes, relevant stories about other people (be sure to get permission), studies and statistics, pieces of research that you have dug up, etc.
After, organize this information into a chapter outline. There should be a logical flow from one chapter to another. This is where it can be helpful to have a built-in organizing structure like Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People or Jack Canfield’s The Success Principles.
Structure your self-help book with reader intent in mind. This means approaching the book as reference material for readers to easily look up any chapter. Other tips are to include real stories to illustrate points, opening the book with a section on your authority and credentials, and progressing towards a clear goal throughout.
3. ????️ Create a Writing Schedule
To write a self-help book in 30 days, you are going to have to be disciplined. Draw up a schedule for yourself in advance and set aside plenty of time each day dedicated to writing. Make sure you are working in a space with few distractions so that you are focused on getting a substantial amount of writing done.
In addition, consider using a variety of writing tools to help you stay focused and on task. Great online writing tools include:
- Google Docs
- Notes App
- Evernote App
All in all, have a goal for what you want to accomplish that day and stick to it.
4. ✍???? Write!
Write, write, write! Refer to your outline for guidance (and keep adding to your outline whenever new ideas pop into your head). You will likely find it easiest to start with Chapter 1 and move forward. However, if you are having trouble writing the chapter you are currently working on, consider skipping ahead and working on a different section for awhile. Sometimes shaking things up can get your creative juices flowing again.
5. ????️ Seek Feedback from Beta Readers
Once you have completed your first draft, send it to some trusted friends or colleagues for feedback. Then address those issues as you do another pass through the book to polish and refine it and make it the best self-help book possible.
Self-Publish Your Self-Help Tips
You’ve learned how to write a self-help book outline and how to put your advice into a manuscript—now you need to find out how you can bring your self-help expertise to the masses. Gatekeeper Press can help edit, format, and publish your book. Get a quote or schedule a free consultation to find out more.