Steps to write a self help book

As someone who braced formidable obstacles to change their lives, you can use your experiences, insights and personal stories to guide millions of people and transform lives by learning how to write a self help book successfully.

From your most painful past to extremely rewarding lessons, learning how to embrace your journey, capture your experiences and share your own stories can kick start a remarkable turning point that will transform other people’s lives.

But, having a desire to get started does not always mean you’ll write a motivational book that sells. To embark on this journey and actually achieve your goal, you need the proven guideline that works.

So, in the following paragraphs, I’ll be taking you by the hand, to show you how to write a transformational book that will not only add value but give your readers the 360 degrees makeover that will over turn their lives for good.

Why do you want to write a self-help book? I want you to take a few seconds and reflect on this question before reading further.

Now, I want to ask again. Are you getting on this journey because you want to make money as an author? Is it because you want to become a thought leader in your niche or you just want to tell your own story while leaving a legacy in your niche.

While trying to find your focus areas, these are the three things you should pay attention to, your goal, your lessons, experiences and insights and finally, your audience’s interests.

If your goal is to make money for example, while getting to step two, you want to find the key focus areas with the largest potential market for your book, regardless of your personal preferences, experiences or insights.

On the other hand if your goal is to become a thought leader, you can go for controversial focus areas or specific sub niches where you have widespread experiences, skills and insights to share with your audience.

And finally, if your goal is to leave a legacy, you want to focus on telling your personal stories, sharing your insights, lessons and experiences in a way that will make your book into a valuable resource that can be useful to your audience, regardless of their own goals.

Irrespective of the number of personal experiences, lessons and insights you’ve gathered along your journey, before you write a self-help book, you have to find a key focus area.

This is because the self-help niche has a remarkable set of sub themes and areas of focus and you might not necessarily want to cover all of that with your book.

For example, if you check out top online bookstores like Amazon, you’ll find that under the self help niche, we have other sub niches like Relationship, Personal Growth, Time Management, Money Making & Management and lots more.

You don’t want to write about each of these possible sub themes on self-help so you have to identify the key focus area you want to write your book about and then focus holistically on this aspect of self-help.

PS: When added together, your goals and focus area will get you to identify your target audience and then use this demographic data to identify key insights, experiences and lessons that will matter to this audience.

As a motivational author, your experiences, insights and pedigree are part of what will shape your book and make it stand out. They are part of the unique lessons you’ll share with your audience as they embark on their own journey.

So before you write a self-help book, take out time to identify and list out your key experiences, lessons and personal stories.

Depending on your chosen focus area; find out, what are the key lessons you’ve had so far in this area, what did you learn and how could these lessons be valuable to a potential reader.

Remember, a motivational book thrives on using authentic, relatable and result driven lessons from the author and others to create repeatable results to its readers. And you must find this balance with your work.

PS: One key factor that will help you to filter out your experiences, insights and lessons is your target audience. Use the data you have from your goal and key focus area to stream line this section to meet with the real time needs of your target audience.

Now that you’ve learned about your key insights, experiences and lessons in step 3 above, depending on your preferred niche, this is the best time to find the best possible book title, based on your subject matter.

Don’t worry; this doesn’t have to be something you’ll get on a first try. You can write down suggested titles and keep refining them while you write the book. Or create a number of title suggestions and then trim it down to what works best.

Outside creating a title, before you write a self-help book, structure your experiences into grouped sub themes or key words and then use these to come up with an outline or chapter title and sub titles that will best serve your book.

Creating an outline this way gets you all prepped up to write each and every section of the book without getting unnecessarily worried about the key insights, experiences or lessons readers will take from each section.

It also makes the job of writing an Inspirational Book far easier than having to start each section from scratch.

To write a self-help book successfully, you have to learn how to write like a professional.

Thankfully you’ve now identified your personal stories, insights and lessons, its time to find ways to masterfully communicate this to your audience in a compelling and engaging way.

Publish self help book on Amazon
Identify key life experiences, insights and lessons that can enrich your book | Photos by Andrea via Piacquadio Pexels

Before you get on your keyboard, find out the best experience or feeling you want to evoke with your work. You can get to find this by asking yourself the question, “How do I want my audience to feel during or after reading this book”?

For starters, most self-help books are aimed at getting the readers to feel all pumped up, inspired or motivated to take steps that will change their lives.

But beyond these, there are also personal development books aimed at getting the readers to be reflect, get entertained or feel spiritually inclined. Depending on your niche, you have to find the tone that evokes your preferred feelings and hold onto it.

Alternatively, check out other closely related top selling books to yours and find out what the author made you feel after you read their work. This will give you a clue on what works.

As soon as this is done, you want to find ways to use the right words, adjectives and storytelling techniques to write this book in a way that will get your readers on the edge of their seats, from the beginning to the end.

After all is said and done, as part of the recipes to write a Self Help book that sells, you have to edit and review your work before getting it published.

I usually advice my clients; it is best to avoid all forms of self-editing until you’re finally done with your book so you can keep a steady flow of ideas while you write.

As soon as you’re done with the first draft, you can kick start your editing, going into all the levels of editing as will be needed for the book.

While editing your book, keep in mind to ensure that your structure, choice of words and writing style are well able to express your preferred tone of voice, feeling and captures the overall experience you expect the average user to have, during or after reading your book.

PS: You don’t have to edit and review your book by yourself. There are third party editors and reviewers that can work on the book to ensure consistency and excellent delivery while you focus on other key aspects of the work.

A cover design is an important aspect of the publishing journey that can make or break your success as a personal development author.

Before you write a self-help book that sells, you want to create a cover design that does not necessarily capture the theme and essence of your work but one that is appealing to your audience.

So, pay attention to your cover design. If you’re opting to use images as part of the design, create and use images that are in sync with your theme.

Use the font style that is in tune with your theme and ensure you go for a sub heading that captures what the book is all about in a captivating way.

PS: To get a head start, you check up other well performing books in similar niche like yours on top book stores like Amazon. This should give you some ideas on what your audience expects as a cover design.

Publish & Promote

One of the biggest goals of every inspirational writer is to write a self-help book that sells without fail. Unfortunately, not every author gets to achieve this.

To write a motivational book that sells, you want to publish and then promote your book massively so you can achieve visibility and sales.

But, to get started successfully you want to clear off two obstacles, which include where to publish your self-help book and how to promote it.

For your first concerns, there are many ways to publish a motivational book. For example, you can choose to publish your book via a traditional publisher or self-publish it online or offline.

If you’re opting to self publish online, there are a number of online publishing platforms you can use for that purpose. Using these platforms, you can key into their existing audiences while getting your book to reach a global audience.

For your second concerns, there are a number of steps you can use to promote your book, depending on your preferred publishing options.

If you’re using traditional or personal offline publishing options, you can use strategies like word of mouth, personal websites, PPC ads, online publishing platforms etc. to promote and get the words out for your book.

Where you’re publishing online, here’s a complete guide to promote your book on here.

Find out the option that works for you and then get the words out for your book.

Final Words

You have experiences, insights and lessons you could use to write books that can actually change other people’s lives just like they changed yours but one thing you must keep in mind is that whether you choose to use these to help others or not, is totally up to you.

As someone who’s helped many writers to touch other people’s lives with their own stories, I can assure you, nothing beats the impact you can make in other people’s lives with your transformational story.

The best part is that beyond sharing your own stories, you can find fulfillment, leave a legacy, become a thought leader or even make money by the side.

And you don’t have to start alone, we will work with you all the way when you reach out to us to guide you on how to write your book or get published online here.

So, it’s your turn now. What would you like to write about when you write a self-help book? Drop your comments below.

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    Victor Winners

    Victor Winners

    A Nigerian trained Law graduate and British LL.M candidate, using his widespread experience in tech, law and innovation, to evolve cutting edge and growth driven solutions for brands and businesses in Africa and beyond.As a Law-trained tech expert, Victor brings in over 7 years experience working in the Digital Marketing, SEO, Web Development, Online Publishing, Social Media and Legaltech sectors, to create result driven content and innovative solutions to brands and businesses.Named as one of the top 50 Web Design Influencers Globally, Victor Winners started one of Africa's most widely read blogs on Digital Marketing and Strategy.With this platform, he has impacted the lives of over 2 million readers spanning more than 135 countries in 8+ years

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