‘I want to say what really happened’
‘I want to show the world how I suffered’
I would love to promise to make you rich, or help you to get revenge, only I can’t manipulate the market and there are laws about defamation and libel. Misery memoirs are for someone else to write, and I usually decline fiction.
‘I want to explain how to cope with divorce’
‘I want to show how to get fitter’
‘I want to explain how you start in business’
How credible will you be as the author? Genres like self-help, personal fitness and business are already overcrowded with credible, bankable writers. If the title promises a route to happiness/fitness/success, readers need reassurance that the author’s an expert. Although personal experience may be the backbone of a readable book, the reader’s not paying to read your autobiography. If you are a well established counsellor or therapist, fitness guru or motivational speaker, then I can write your book and we can safely expect you to sell copies.
Approach your project with sales in mind. Look in bookshops and online for comparable work and if your projected How To Run a Pub has already been written by somebody else (it has! and successfully self-published too) then write How to Run a Legendary Pub in 30 hours a Week.
It’s all in the angle – see the blogpost in Stronglanguage, above. And the writing. Just as there is no film (even a silent one) without a script or a storyboard, so there should be no publication without writing that engages readers. This applies to self-published books just as it does to work that’s accepted by publishers. So let’s say you have your professional writer lined up; you find that her fees are within your means. Now you start to worry.