There are nearly 10 billion reasons why you might want to write a self-help book of your own and share it with the world.
In 2011 in the USA alone, the self-improvement market was worth $9.84 billion, and that’s even with the toll that the recession, changes in publishing, the decline of retail shops, and the industry seeing a decline of 9% over the four years from 2007. Despite all of this, the customer base continues to exist and smart money people are looking to join the industry.
Deepak, Chopra, Steven Covey, Marianne Williamson, Louise Hay, Anthony Robbins, Zig Ziglar, and so many others have made a career fortune in the self-help and personal development industry. But why do we need so many self-help books if they all work, and what makes a successful one?
Just like having a variety of foods at the supermarket to feed the body, we have a variety of self-help books available to nourish the mind and nurture the soul, and everyone’s tastebuds are different. Some seek assistance on depression and anxiety, while others reach for their dreams and financial success.
From love, healing, abundance, health, wisdom and ancient teachings to relationships, sex, intimacy, compassion and more, they all have a common theme – the desire to live to the fullest of who you are by overcome fears that are keeping you small.
The reader wants to change an aspect of their life, and grasps for hope. They are inspired by someone else who has actually done it, and they wish to do the same.
However, reading a book while dreaming of change is very different to the shift that is necessary for making it work. True healing is not for the faint hearted. It still remains the path less travelled, yet read of widely. It is why the industry continues to attract such a large following of readers.
Common denominators for success
After reviewing the books of leading authors in this field, including the late Debbie Ford, Esther & Jerry Hicks, Caroline Myss, Gary Zukav, Pia Melody, and so many more, we have deduced that many of these self-help books show similar common denominators:
A core turning point that prompted life change, at times an epiphany or spiritual awakening.
Overcoming fear to leap forward with confidence and self-belief.
A part of the “old-life” being left behind, forever. However, each found gifts in this old life as they embraced their future.
The ability to dissect their change and create processes around it.
A shift in living with fear to living with love, whether it be love for themself or love for another person.
Complete acceptance in their life, and complete honesty in the sharing of it.
A realisation that what helped them might actually help others – both their story and the processes around their change. This became the book that ‘launched’ them.
A shift from living for themselves to living to help others.
Promotion, promotion, promotion to a wider audience – either via self-publishing or a publisher.
Creating workshops around the book (promotion).
Expanding their teaching on the speakers circuit (promotion again).
The smart movers and shakers are always looking for new product lines, niches and channels for distribution. eBooks and audiobooks are one way, and appealing to adolescents or corporations is another.
Think about your edge and why it will work. If you have a story that you believe in your heart is meant to be shared and can benefit another, then tell it. You never know – you might have the answer to the question someone’s been looking for, and can make a positive impact on someone else’s life.
Benjamin J Harvey is an Author, Speaker and Founder of Authentic Education (a BRW Fast Starters Company). Benjamin helps Difference-Makers attract more clients and expand their reach by providing business and leadership skills. This includes coaches, workshop leaders and small businesses. Benjamin also educates and empowers people via advice on his website http://www.authenticeducation.com.au/