Monthly Archives: June 2014

Why Your First Stab at Writing a Self-Help Book Isn’t Publishable

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If this is your first stab at writing a self-help book, it’s unlikely that you will have the skill set to produce a manuscript that will be able to compete with books already on the market. This is not meant to offend or discourage you. I strongly encourage you to write your book! But I also want you to be realistic about the fact that writing a book requires skills that needs to be learned.

It makes sense if you step back from your situation for a moment. Was the first cake you ever cooked so great that you were ready to have your own cooking show? Was the first picture you drew so fabulous that you hoped to see it in a national art museum? Think about the first time you tried to dance. Were you ready for Dancing with the Stars?

So what are the skills you need to learn to write a competitive self-help book?

1. How to assess the market to tell if your book idea will sell

Just because you want to write a particular book doesn’t mean that anyone else wants to read it. A savvy author knows how to scope out the book market to see what the buying public wants to read next. Notice I said “next”.

Readers all ready have access to the current books on the market. If yours says pretty much the same thing, with minor differences, your book will unlikely be a bestseller. Your job as an author is to look beyond the current moment and write a book that, once it’s written and published, will be fresh, new and innovative.old books background

2. How to clearly identify your readers

If you’ve read any other articles on writing, I’m sure you’ve heard over and over that defining your audience is of utmost importance. That’s what I’m going to tell you, too. First-time writers (myself included) are notorious for wanting to reach a broad audience. Picture a bookstore in your mind for a moment. Can you picture a bookshelf that is labeled “Broad Audience”? No, because it doesn’t exist.

Picture your book on one, and only one, of the shelves in the store. The person who would go to that shelf is your audience. Focus in on that person and no one else.

3. How to structure your book to best communicate your message

A well-written self-help book is not a flow of consciousness. You’ll find a lot of poor advice online these days telling people to write ebooks quickly, without editing or proper structure. I’ve recently seen a service that tells customer to download their blogs so they can be turned into books. If you have a large number of subscribers who already know who you are and are ready to buy from you, perhaps your book will sell. For more information please visit amazon.com.

But your book will not be able to compete in the traditional book market. You might think that there are a lot of poorly written self-help books on the market today. And your may be right. But it’s important to realize that books published through publishers have had the input of numerous publishing professionals such as structural editors, copy editors and proof readers and had numerous revisions before going to press. The cover design and copy were discussed by marketing, sales and promotional professionals. A lot of effort and know-how goes into every book. These books are your competition.

Why Read Self-help Books and Attend Personal Development Seminars?

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Today we go about getting a larger piece of the pie by increasing our self-worth through various means. For some, it means going back to school to pursue a higher education. Some continue to believe that sheer hard work is the practical way to success. Whereas a minority does nothing and hope that they can become better people.

There is an increasing trend where people turn to self-help books and seminars to improve themselves. And the results are extremely promising and encouraging.

To many of those who do not have the habit of reading, this alternative may seem boring and nerdy. Boring and nerdy would never be the words you or I would use to describe once we recognize the many benefits they have.

What is the magic behind these books and seminars? Foremost, they provide motivation. Massive and focused motivation in areas you are interested in improving on. Motivation is a crucial key to success in life. And the most convenient source of motivation comes from these books and seminars. Motivation empowers an individual with a positive mindset, the correct attitude: this greatly increases his energy, drive and productivity. We are constantly surrounded with negativity, from people, TV, radio, it’s important that we get out of this negativity by reading uplifting and positive books.

Used books image 3Self-help books and seminars provide an array of specialized knowledge that is not available in the current education system. What is this specialized knowledge? What you seek is what you get. There are lots and lots of books in so many areas, all it requires you are some time, effort and maybe money to get your hands on the information you seek through the book. This specialized knowledge is extremely valuable and practical once you applied it. New knowledge opens the mind. You will be exposed to new ideas and perspectives from different schools of thoughts to improve yourself and to an extent for some, they suffer “information overload”. My advice for you is to apply as many of the ideas you have learnt, discard those that do not work for you, keep those that are effective and see the positive changes take place in your life.

The acquisition of new knowledge is vitally important to remain competitive in today’s world. However, knowledge alone is not sufficient to bring you to greater heights. What I have learnt from these books and seminars is that they have the ability to act as mentors in our lives. Mentors have valuable experience in their specialized fields to share that will provide any individual with insights and ideas never known to them. This can greatly shorten the learning curve and reduce any trial and error needed to achieve the outcome.

However, everyone recognizes the many benefits of a good mentor but not many of us take the effort or are lucky enough to find such a mentor. Self-help books and seminars are an extraordinary source of accumulated experience of the authors and speakers. The essence of their experiences lies deep in these materials and is easily accessible to anyone who makes the effort to understand, learn and apply what is taught. For some, they never managed to see the valuable experience that lies right in front of them and they never will until the day they feel that is so much pain in their lives and that something must be done. Wouldn’t it be too late by then? Read with a definite purpose; ask yourself, “What information am I seeking for, what is my purpose of reading this book?” Self-help books and seminars are your best mentors till you find the one that is willing to enrich and guide you.

Looking for a mentor to guide you is a MUST if you seek to achieve success in the shortest time possible. Where and how do you go about finding them? A self-help seminar is one highly possible place. These seminars are a congregation of highly motivated individuals who come from various fields and age groups and most importantly, many of them are very helpful people. The speakers themselves can be your mentors as well. There is no other better place as compared to a self-help seminar. Networking is the key to finding your ideal mentor. You will never know when you will find such a person.

Category: Improve Yourself

The Biggest Benefits of Reading Self Help Books

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books imge 8There are many benefits for reading self-help books. One of the biggest benefits is that for less than the price of a dinner at a restaurant, you can get great insights and information from some of the greatest minds in the world. Best of all, you can read it in the privacy of your own home. You can take the books and read them at the café or even when you are waiting at the airport.

You can literally learns and get years’ worth of guidance on relationships, finance, personal growth, self-esteem, and many others in a matter of days or weeks. You can get lifetimes of study and experience all compacted in a hundred pages or so book. It is also very nice to just sit back and relax in your favorite chair and think about life principles and other very deep concepts that you may come across from reading self-help books.

Also, highlighting and re-reading the books gives you more depth and insight every time you read. You pick up more “nuggets” of information and advice with every read. Depending on the topic you are reading, you can heal old wounds in your soul.

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