Self help books are intended to help readers overcome a challenge. The writer is usually someone who has had a similar experience and has come out successful. Here is how you can write and publish a self-help book.
Write about something that you are well informed about, preferably something you have successfully encountered. Experience is the best tool here. What you are planning to write about should also be clear in your mind.
Read other self help books preferably those already published and are discussing a similar topic. You should however be careful not to copy their content because this is illegal, instead they should give you an idea on what to write and the format to use.
Create a skeleton for your self help book. This is simply the outline of the scope that will guide you in writing your book. The outline should not be rigid because you will constantly find the need to make minor changes as you write.
Writing a self help book is different from writing other books. Here, your reader looking at your book as a pointer that will give them some direction in life. They want to use your experience to overcome a present challenge they are facing. The secret here is to use positive and encouraging words. Motivate them and make use of action provoking words. You can use real life stories of success to motivate and encourage your readers. However you have to be careful to get permission from the people whose story you intend to use in writing your book. The advantage of using real life events is that they will help your reader set realistic goals and maybe get role models from the iconic figures in the story.
Since self help books help readers attain a desired end, it is important that you provide a step by step procedure that the reader will follow to succeed. Emphasize the importance of each step and back it up with original data where possible. For example you can mention that the number of people who succeeded without using that particular step (maybe 2 out of 10) compared to those who succeeded after using it (maybe 9 out of 10).
Even if you are an expert in what you are planning to write, you cannot put this experience to print without the proper knowledge of language. The catch here is not how much you know but how well you communicate it. You can find tutorials online on how to write if you are not already a writer, or you can decide to take some short English courses from local colleges.
Publishing a self help book without being an academic giant can be challenging. However, if the idea you have stands out from the crowd, then there is no reason why your book should not be published by any one of the traditional publishing houses.
You can approach a publisher through an agent. Most publishers are unwilling to take your work directly unless it is coming through an agent. You can get a list of agents and publishers from the “2010 writer’s market” online. If all fails you should consider self publishing which will be easier and cheaper.