If you wander into any major bookstores like Borders, you probably will see a dedicated section on self-help books and probably a shelve or two allocated for career building. I always wonder if self-help books really do help…
For one, I haven’t had the luck in finding self-help book in speaking to me in a language that I understand. It is so easy to get lost in the jungle of office word jangles and whatnots, not to mention the graphs and pie charts I have to scale in order to understand the significance of the meaning the author is trying to illustrate.
I have dozens of self-help books gifted by well-meaning friends who swear by them and told me those books collecting dust on my shelves, help them once in their lives. I’m sure it did to them but they do absolutely nothing for me. In fact, all they did was to cure my insomnia especially when I couldn’t get past the 1st chapter. What I truly believe self-help books like that self help classes are only effective if certain concoction is present in the potion.
For one, you need to be able to understand easily. Unless you are an excel fanatic, any author that is going to drone on and on about statistics, is just going to put the reader off. Numbers don’t mean anything to me until you are able to draw a picture in my mind. One in every two person term works better than 50% stats. Yawn!
Next, the content must be relatable. If the book solely focuses on America, you can bet that my mind is going to drift off fast and good since I am in Asia. If I can’t relate to the scenarios you are giving as an example in the book, I won’t believe your advice will work on me. It is always to brush any advice or warning off one’s shoulder when you can’t link the stories to the reader. You will have the winning formula when your readers go “Ah-hah! I have had that scenario before!” There must be a reason why people tend to be drawn to magazines rather than thick self-help books.
Lastly, the reader must believe in you. That you want to help through your book and not because you are trying to get your book climb the ranks of best sellers. So far, The books I had lack conviction in persuading me to read further. A quick flip through the books already pointed out to me several knowledge and methods that I am already practising.
Do you have a self-help book readily to swear by it? Share with us right at the comments below!