• Do you know anyone who is suffering from depression?
• Are you helping to comfort someone whose loved one or friend committed suicide?
• Are you helping someone overcome the traumas of sexual abuse?
People are experiencing so many tragedies today. Turn on the news or read the breaking news on your phone app and see just how many people around you need some type of support and guidance. Someone has to be there for them, why can’t it be you?
If you have gone through these experiences yourself or you help others in your capacity as a social worker, grief counselor, or other professional, why not consider sharing the lessons you have learned by writing a self-help book?
You do not have to be a celebrity or a well-known author to write a self-help book. You may not have a household name but you may have just the thing that others are looking for that a famous person cannot provide for them.
Writing May Be Difficult, But Remember You Are Helping Others
Writing may not come easy to you, but keep in mind your goal of helping others. Unfortunately, writing about your experiences may evoke some tragic memories. For example, Laura Wade, author of The Lonely Girl Diaries, wrote a book based on the diary she kept during her separation—and eventual divorce.
“Those memories are really hard for me to read even after all this time,” Wade said in a question-and-answer interview on the MANA Sunriser blog. For those who find themselves in a pending- or post-divorce situation, Wade advises that it might be hard to start over, “but you can do it.”
Helping Others “Beat the Odds”
Offering personal or professional advice lets others know that they are not alone; that there are others on the same path of change and recovery.
Dr. Sharon Jean Ridella-Mehlos, author of Becoming Me Again: A Workbook for Sexually Abused Kids and Teens, uses her workbook to help young people get through the trauma of sexual abuse. Dr. Ridella-Mehlos, a clinical psychologist, also helps people deal with anxiety and depression. Dr. Ridella-Mehlos says she wants to “help individuals find ways to beat the odds.”
What would you write about that could help others overcome their trauma?
People Are Looking For Help
You may be asking yourself, “Why should I write a self-help book? Who cares about my experiences?”
You would be surprised who cares! According to NPD BookScan, which tracks the traditional publishing market, adult non-fiction sales increased 3 percent from 2016 to 2017, with a continued acceleration in the self-help category.
This means that people want to learn, grow, thrive, and overcome, and they are looking for help in doing it.
An author doing a doctoral thesis at Victoria University of Wellington, in Wellington, New Zealand analyzed the structure of self-help books and found that the “body chapters present the problem that readers potentially experience, present the authors’ message, recommend practical applications, and encourage readers to apply them.”
The author concluded that "the social purpose of self-improvement books is to help potential readers improve their lives, and the approach of improving one’s life has an individualistic orientation.”
You might also ask: “There are already hundreds of books out there to help people, why would anyone want to read my book?”
While there may be other books with the same topic, your experience is unique. Keep in mind that different people find themselves in the stories of different books. And, you never know how many people will find themselves in your book.
Let’s Get Going
There are plenty of sites where you can research the different ways to publish your book. If you need help, contact Robbie Dean Press, a traditional publishing company, or MarketingNewAuthors.com, a self-publishing company (click HERE to check out the special discount on Self-Publishing Plans that MANA has to offer), or any company of your choice.
Your book doesn’t have to be perfect. There are plenty of qualified editors and proofreaders out there that can give you direction.
The most important aspect of helping is to be there for people who are searching for answers to their problems. If you cannot be there in person, why not be there through a book?
People have questions and you may be able to provide the answers.