Editing and Ghostwriting Self-Help Books
Human beings are forever striving to improve themselves and live happier lives. We want to lose weight, get healthy, have more money, move up the corporate ladder, protect ourselves from disease, enjoy a comfortable retirement - you name it, and we’re trying to do it.
This is why self-help books are enormously popular. A good self-help book serves as an instruction manual to give you direction and as a cheerleader to get you motivated. The market for self-help books is huge, and with the right book, you can make an impact. I can help you do that.
Solve a Problem
Every self-help book begins with a problem that you, the author, propose to solve. It could be how to make more money, how to be happy, how to take care of a hamster, how to avoid foods to which you’re allergic - the possibilities are endless. While you need to have an approach to solving the problem that’s unique to you, I can do the basic research and help you hone your presentation. The key is to present the problem so that your reader will say, “Yes! This is how I feel, and I think this book can help me!”
Know Your Reader
Who will read your book? What is your target audience? If you’re writing about food allergies, obviously your target audience consists of people who have food allergies. If you’re writing a book on how to get your invention patented, then your audience consists of people who invent things. Whoever they are, you need to speak their language. I can help you identify and target your audience.
Decide on the Word Count
I often hear from clients that they want their book to be a certain number of pages, like 150 pages or 200 pages. As a method of measurement, this is not very useful. On a Kindle, there really aren’t any pages. And in a printed book, you can inflate the page count by using a large font, wide margins, and lots of graphics. The only universal method of measuring the length of a book is by the word count. Most self-help books are in the range of 40,000 words. Ebooks and pdf downloads can be as short as 10,000 words. I can help you decide on the right length for your book that will hit that “sweet spot” your readers will respond to.
Write the Outline
The foundation of any non-fiction book is the outline. It needs to be specific and it needs to list every important point you want to make. With a good outline, the ghostwriter can move ahead with confidence, and there will be no awkward surprises for you, the client. I will help you craft a solid outline that will serve as the plan for your book.
Marketing and Distribution
How do you plan to distribute your book? The cool thing about Amazon Createspace and many other platforms is that you can easily produce both an ebook and a paperback print-on-demand (POD) paperback. I can help you make the best choices that will fit both your goals and your budget.
Your Book’s Structure
I’ll help you with the structural elements of your self-help book. The organization of a nonfiction self-help book is fairly standard, and there’s a well-defined progression that you need to follow.
After we state the problem, we review the problem and provide some context for the problem. How many other people suffer with it? Has it been around long, or is it new? Is it life-threatening? Is it costly?
Then we review other solutions for the problem, and how they are insufficient. For example, other diets don’t help you lose weight. Other plans can’t help you get a good job. Other spiritual paths may not soothe your grieving.
Having stated the problem and reviewed how other solutions don’t work, we then present your solution. For example, this book can help you lose weight. It can help you get a job. It can help you find spiritual peace.
Testimonials or success stories are always helpful. Here’s Judy, who lost fifty pounds. Here’s Ray, who got a great job. Here’s Sylvia, who found peace.
To close the book, we’ll look into the future, and chart the path ahead for the reader.
Let’s Get Started
Your collaboration is an important part of the process. My services are always tailored to meet your needs. You can hire me to ghostwrite or edit just one chapter or your entire book. Many of my clients ask me to write a chapter every few weeks. There’s no rush and no pressure.
I’ll also help you with overall organization and the front matter (the preface, foreword, introduction), as well as the book jacket text. You can also hire me to assist you with your query letter or proposal. My job is to help you every step of the way until you publish your self-help book.
I invite you to email me today so that we can arrange a free initial consultation. I look forward to hearing from you.