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Self-help books and why they became so popular
by Stefan Simonovic
The publishing industry can be an intimidating place indeed. Especially for young, non-acclaimed and inexperienced authors who often don’t know how to set things in motion and follow the rules imposed by the industry itself. The truth is that a writing a self-help book is just a half-way down to success while one should put equal efforts in publishing and promotion of their literary work as well. Fortunately, the Internet gave us the choice to self-publish an eBook rather easily these days, which is probably one of the main reasons behind the birth of the entire “self-help” cultural phenomenon.
Still, self-publishing has its pros and cons, same as the traditional publishing. So, without gilding the lilies, let’s talk about some of the main benefits and risks that come with self-publishing a self-help book, or any other book for that matter (publishing poetry or a biker dating romance is basically the same!), and then we will tackle other important aspects of the publishing world and also try to analyze one great example of the best-selling, self-help book later on.
Self-Publishing - Pros and Cons
Despite the fact that self-publishing can be a great way to publish the book, everyone agrees that a thorough research can be a great way to get familiar with possible self-publishers who are actually honest and will deliver what they promised in the beginning. It’s also important to stress out the importance of a proper Internet promotion of your book because let’s face it - many self-published books are rarely seen in typical brick-and-mortars bookshops.
This means that you’ll have to play clever and set up a proper online marketing campaign that typically includes advertising and reaching out the audience of potential readers on multiple social networks simultaneously. The second option is to hire a professional to do it on your behalf. Keep in mind it’s not recommended to be excluded from the process should you opt for the latter because being in touch with your prospective buyers on a regular basis may turn out to be essential for your success. And just in case you are wondering - yes, it’s basically the same as with any other business. The social media absence equals zero results, no matter how good you are and it’s the harsh reality of the digital world we live in.
What makes a self-help book a successful one
What people expect from self-help books, in general, is not to help them realize what they can get from their lives but how to actually have a life that is meaningful and thus worth living. And while psychologists of various narrow specializations continue to discuss whether or not such books are actually helpful or not, especially in terms of giving fast results they promised in the beginning, the good news - at least for those entrepreneurial writers among us - is that an average reader is ready to take the risk and make a purchase of a self-help book.
We can analyze the example of The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People from Stephen R. Covey, for instance, which is currently holding the number 7 position on Amazon within the self-help category because it can provide us some useful conclusions.
Firstly, Covey’s book success allowed him to become a leader of his own corporation that recorded massive sales back in 2015. He was able to make an extension of his literary works through various self-improvement programs that were tailored for individuals and companies alike. What Covey did well was that he expanded his social media reach that allowed him to make a solid brand and earn a massive number of followers. The entire publishing-social media circle was complete.
On the other hand, he made sure to offer a competitive price that is only 5.99$ per digital copy. This has brought him approximately 5k mostly positive reviews on Amazon, which is a truly an impressive number in comparison to some other similar titles from the category and we’re guessing it continues to grant him steady incomes even the moment as we speak.
Publishing a self-help book can potentially become a great source of incomes and even a primary source for that matter. And even though the sales of self-help books continue to grow, backing up the fact this is a unique postmodern phenomenon we are talking about here indeed, we have to notice that path to success is rather thorny, as one is supposed to take numerous steps in order to publish, promote and offer an affordable price on their book since it’s often a deciding factor for reader to buy a book of this kind.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Stefan Simonovic is a writer for First Beat Media and a blogger in his spare time. His favorite topics are dating, health, lifestyle, sports, fashion, fitness, and anything related to it. Find him on Twitter at @Simple_Stefan.