How to Write a Great Self-Help Book by Maureen Sharphouse | Resources | Better Non-Fiction Guides | Getting Started in Non-Fiction
Maureen Sharphouse

Maureen Sharphouse

My Top Strategies, Hints and Tips

Maureen Sharphouse, author of #1 international bestseller Unhackable Soul: Rise Up, Feel Alive, and Live Well with Pain and Illness, shares her strategies, hints and tips on how to write a great self-help book.

As a young child, I loved writing short stories. I dreamed that one day I would write a book, and that it would make others smile or feel better in some way.

I finally achieved that dream last year at the age of sixty-five years old, when my book Unhackable Soul: Rise Up, Feel Alive, and Live Well with Pain and Illness was published in April 2022.

Incredibly, a month after its release date, my book hit the best-seller list at #1 in the category of Personal Transformation & Spirituality, #1 in Pain Management, #2 in Faith & Spirituality, #2 in New-Age Self-Help, and #3 in Family & Relationships.  Not only had I achieved my dream of writing a book, and having it published, it had become an international best-seller.

Let me share with you some of the simple strategies I used that helped:

Questions I asked myself:
  • Who are you writing your self-help book for? Who is your ideal reader?
  • What pain or problem does your reader have?
  • What are the benefits to your reader of reading your book? What solution does your book offer?
  • What tangible and meaningful lasting results can your reader expect to gain from implementing into their lives what you share?
  • Why should your reader listen to you? What relevant experience, credibility and expertise do you have?
Things I reminded myself of:

Unhackable SoulA self-help book is not a DIY manual:  Your reader doesn’t simply want to know or be told about the steps they can take to– they want to be shown, guided, and supported on the practical do-able how.

A self-help book is not a memoir: Whilst sharing your personal story has power, draws the reader in to connect with you at a deep level, lets them know that you understand their problem and confirms to them why they should trust you and listen to what you say, it is not about you saying ‘Look at me. Here I was. Here I am. Look at what I have achieved.’ – and then not sharing the steps and guiding your reader on the ‘how’ so they can achieve similar meaningful transformational change.

Your reader wants to know:  that your book is relevant to them, that they can trust you as the author, and that you can help them (in an easy-to-understand, doable and practical way) solve a pain or problem they currently have.

Strategies I implemented:

Write from a place of serving your reader, and not from your ego: Write from a place of compassion, understanding of your reader’s problem- and your heartfelt desire to help.

Draft a clear plan/table of contents: Draft out a plan/framework/table of contents that will make it a clear step-by-step journey for your reader from their ‘x’ (their pain or problem/where they are now), to their ‘z’ (their solution/some form of transformation/brighter place) – via their ‘y’ (i.e. their ‘how’ – the practical and doable, easy to implement steps).

Keep your writing tone conversational and flowing: Use first and second-person terminology… I/You… to speak directly to your reader and make an emotional connection.  Vary sentence lengths and structures, keep paragraphs short, and aim for clarity, conciseness, connection, engagement, and flow.

Imagine you are speaking to one person only: Write your book as if you are speaking directly 1:1 with your reader, as their best friend, guide, and mentor. Have a clear image of that reader in your mind when writing.

Craft a working title and subtitle that keeps your writing focused: Your title and subtitle need to let your reader know your book is relevant to them, what to expect inside, and make it clear to them the benefits they can get from buying and reading it.

Keep the layout of your book interesting – with the content in easy-to-consumable chunks: See each chapter as a self-contained mini-book, which begins with a story or illustration that draws the reader in, leads into the specific chapter topic, and to a specific message for the reader to take away – and to a practical ‘how’ – a way for the reader to take the learning on board (e.g., a summary of chapter points or an exercise for the reader to do).

Keep your content relevant and connected to your overall core message: If a section of writing and/or paragraph/sentence doesn’t add something to deepen your connection with the reader and/or their understanding of either their problem or the solution to that problem, take it out. It doesn’t need to be there!

Trust and have confidence in your voice: Be authentic and true to who you are. Don’t try to emulate the writing of others. Own your unique story, magic, and voice!

The bottom line is, if writing a self-help book feels important to you, then it is up to you to get clear on your book’s core message and get a plan and strategies in place to make it happen!

Know I believe in you. You have got this.

The light in me honours and respects the light that is in you.

(c) Maureen Sharphouse

Home – Maureen Sharphouse

About Unhackable Soul: Rise Up, Feel Alive, and Live Well with Pain and Illness

Unhackable SoulFed up with pain and illness dictating your life?
Choose to rise up.

Living with chronic pain is far from easy. Left unchecked, it erodes your spirit and keeps you living in the dark. It can influence what you believe about yourself and even hack your soul–if you let it.

Author Maureen Sharphouse knows the challenges of living with pain first-hand. She has endured more than three decades of debilitating physical health challenges, including the incurable neurological illness known as “the suicide disease.” Yet, in the midst of her daily pain, she lives with passion, joy, and enthusiasm for life.

In thirty daily missions. Unhackable Soul reveals how you can feel vibrantly alive despite chronic pain. Discover how to

  • rise up from a life dictated by pain and illness to one fuelled by enthusiasm and purpose.
  • feel alive and experience greater joy, peace, and comfort.
  • wake up every day eager to embrace life despite your challenges.

Live well. Reignite your light. It’s time to become Unhackable.

Order your copy online here.

About the author

Maureen Sharphouse lives with her husband, Peter, their dog, Jackson, and their Birman cat, Phoebe, in Kinross-shire, Scotland. She is an award-winning certified life and mindset coach, mentor, writer, and speaker. Her internationally bestselling book “Unhackable Soul: Rise Up, Feel Alive, and Live Well with Pain and Illness,” and her 30-Day online “Unhackable Soul” course, a 30-day elixir to reignite the light within you, both launched in April 2022.

She lives with chronic and intractable pain due to the incurable rare neurological illness multi-site multi-system CRPS. Her physical health, however, does not define her.

Maureen’s passion is to inspire and help individuals live a unique legacy they are proud of. Her mission is to help them discover who they are beyond their physical body, live their best lives, and restore and unleash their soul’s fire and passion. Maureen’s vibrant enthusiasm for life is evident despite living with severe daily pain and complex ongoing health challenges.

Maureen loves morning sunrises, good coffee, fresh flowers in her home, and spending time with her much-loved family and grandchildren. Noted for her authenticity and high level of results she brings her clients, Maureen is the Scotland Prestige Award 2022/23 Winner: Life Coach of the Year—and has been a Transformative Life & Mindset Coach, Best Life Living Mentor, Speaker, Writer, and Master Practitioner of neurolinguistic programming (NLP) working with clients all around the globe, since 2010. You can learn more about Maureen, explore her best-selling book and online course, access her Blog, and download free personal development audios and resources at

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