How to Write a Motivational Book
There's room for improvement in all of us, and a motivational book is a low-risk way for individuals to examine their life goals, learn new skills and techniques and start applying these lessons to their daily routine. If you're an expert in your field and/or have access to individuals with inspirational messages and advice to share, self-help titles have been a mainstay of the book publishing industry since the 1950's and have only grown as a result of ebooks, podcasts, distance learning and life coaching consultations.
Identify the target demographic for your motivational book. Examples of this would be individuals who want to learn how to develop their artistic talents, become more active in their communities, return to the workforce after raising a family, cope with devastating setbacks or engage in healthier relationships with their loved ones or business associates.
Make a list of what the buyers of your book will be able to accomplish when they finish reading it. These are called the deliverables that will entice someone to dive into your chapters. An aspiring author, for instance, should be motivated to stick to the discipline of a weekly writing regimen, participate in peer critiques, know where to find prospective markets and how to write effective query letters and synopses.
Determine a methodology for sharing your content. The most simple approach is a three-part module for each chapter. The first part explains the principle and why it is important/relevant to the reader. The second part illustrates how this principle is applied in the real world. This section often uses examples of individuals or events that readers are familiar with. The third part provides questions and/or activities for readers to self-test what they have learned from the first two sections.
Create a working outline that will take readers from the most simple concepts in the early chapters on through to complex material and advanced methodologies in later sections. You'll also need to include an introduction for your inspirational writing that will whet their appetites for the text and explain how the book should be used. A conclusion should be written as well that not only sums up the most crucial elements but provides readers with recommendations on where they can go to further their education.
Solicit input from other professionals or individuals who have applied the principles and improved their lives. This content can take the form of Q&A interviews, anecdotes or stand-alone quotes.
It's better to have short chapters with one or two concepts than to have long chapters with far more information than your readers can comfortably absorb. Where appropriate, use illustrations and graphs to support your motivational principles.
Never assume knowledge on the part of your readers, especially if you're using acronyms or slang that's pertinent to specific occupations. Include a glossary if a detailed explanation of an uncommon word or phrase would disrupt the flow of the text.
- It's better to have short chapters with one or two concepts than to have long chapters with far more information than your readers can comfortably absorb.
- Where appropriate, use illustrations and graphs to support your motivational principles.
- Never assume knowledge on the part of your readers, especially if you're using acronyms or slang that's pertinent to specific occupations. Include a glossary if a detailed explanation of an uncommon word or phrase would disrupt the flow of the text.
Ghostwriter and film consultant Christina Hamlett has written professionally since 1970. Her credits include many books, plays, optioned features, articles and interviews. Publishers include HarperCollins, Michael Wiese Productions, "PLAYS," "Writer's Digest" and "The Writer." She holds a B.A. in communications (emphasis on audience analysis and message design) from California State University, Sacramento. She also travels extensively and is a gourmet chef.