In How to Write a Bestselling Self-Help Book: The 69 Fatal Mistakes You Should Avoid
, Jean Marie Stine shares insights gained during her two decades as a self-help editor for St. Martin's, Houghton-Mifflin, Jeremy P. Tarcher and other publishers. Ninety-nine out of a hundred self-help manuscripts, she says, are rejected by publishers because of the same, oft-repeated writing mistakes. And, even if the books are accepted, these mistakes keep books from reaching the bestseller lists.
Her book shows readers how to identify and avoid the 69 most deadly mistakes a self-help writer can make. Readers will learn to troubleshoot their manuscripts the same way professional self-help/how-to writers do - eliminating potential defects before they ship it off to publishers, editors or agents. Stine describes each of the 69 key mistakes so clearly that even novice writers will be able to recognize them when in their own manuscripts. Then she explains how to avoid or correct the problem. Among the deadly 69 are:
*Failure to include all seven key elements in your Book Proposal
*Failure to paint a picture of the book in the first chapter
*Failure to link each chapter to the book's theme and previous chapters
*Failure to stick to a strong, focused chapter structure
*Infrequent use of headings
*Failure to use bulleted lists
*Failure to write in an everyday, easy-to-understand style
*Failure to define technical or special words
*Failure to write the reader into the book
*Failure to make instructions direct and to the point
*Failure to fully explain exercises before presenting them
This is the only book on self-help writing that authors will ever need. In the course of showing what not to do, it also teaches want to do. Readers will learn everything they need to know to produce a zero-defect manuscript and book proposal that wins quick acceptance from publishers and quickly climbs the bestseller lists. "After Jean showed me how to revise my manuscript, the paperback edition of my book went for $127,500". Timmen Cermak, Ph.D., author of A Time to Heal.
Jean Marie Stine's books include Double Your Brain Power, Writing Successful Self-Help & How-To Books, The Eight Habits of Highly-Successful People, and Motivation 101.