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Unpacking the Self-Help Book Industry: Insights from HCI Books, Best Ever You, and Top Authors




Please enjoy free replays of AUTHOR BOOST - a roundtable discussion about the self-help book industry. This is perfect for current and aspiring authors. Join HCI Books, Best Ever You and several authors for this discussion.



This discussion features:


Publisher: Health Communications, Inc. (HCI)

Christine Belleris - Editorial Director

Christian Blonshine - Executive Vice President

Lindsey Triebel - PR and Marketing Coordinator


Bestselling Authors

Kelly Browne - 101 Ways to Create Mindful Forgiveness

Lisa McCourt - Free Your Joy: The Twelve Keys to Sustainable Happiness

Elizabeth Hamilton-Guarino - The Success Guidebook


If you're interested in publishing a self-help book, there are various options available, including both traditional publishing and self-publishing. Here are some steps and considerations for both routes:

Traditional Publishing:

  1. Research Literary Agents:

  • Many traditional publishers require authors to work with literary agents. Research and submit query letters to agents who specialize in self-help or the specific niche of your book.

  1. Prepare a Book Proposal:

  • Create a compelling book proposal that outlines your book's content, target audience, market analysis, and your platform as an author. This is a crucial document for traditional publishers.

  1. Submit to Publishers:

  • If you secure a literary agent, they will submit your proposal to potential publishers. If not, you can submit directly to publishers that accept unsolicited manuscripts.

  1. Negotiate a Publishing Contract:

  • If a publisher expresses interest, negotiations will take place, and a publishing contract will be established. Be sure to review all terms, including royalties, rights, and marketing plans.

  1. Work with an Editor:

  • Once the contract is signed, you'll work closely with an editor to refine your manuscript. Traditional publishers typically handle editing, cover design, and distribution.

  1. Marketing Assistance:

  • Traditional publishers often provide marketing support, including book launch strategies, press releases, and distribution to bookstores.

Self-Publishing:

  1. Prepare Your Manuscript:

  • Ensure your manuscript is professionally edited and formatted. Create an engaging book cover that reflects the genre and content of your self-help book.

  1. Choose a Self-Publishing Platform:

  • Select a reputable self-publishing platform, such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), IngramSpark, or others. Each platform has its own benefits and distribution networks.

  1. Publish Your Book:

  • Follow the platform's guidelines to publish your book in both digital and print formats. Pay attention to details like book description, keywords, and categories.

  1. Market Your Book:

  • Develop a comprehensive marketing plan, including social media promotion, author website, email marketing, and possibly book signings or speaking engagements.

  1. Build an Author Platform:

  • Establish an online presence to connect with your audience. Utilize social media, a professional website, and other online platforms to build a community around your self-help message.

  1. Consider Professional Services:

  • If needed, hire professionals for services like book editing, cover design, and marketing. Investing in quality services can enhance the professionalism of your self-published book.

Remember, both traditional publishing and self-publishing have their advantages and challenges. Your choice may depend on factors such as your goals, timeline, and the level of control you want over the publishing process. Be sure to thoroughly research and consider your options before making a decision.



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