A self-help author is a person who writes a book or other publication aimed at helping people overcome specific problems. In order to become a self-help author, you should have experience, skills, knowledge, or other relevant credentials that qualify you to write such a publication. This may or may not mean you have a formal education; you can become a self-help author if you have overcome the specific problem you are writing about if you can make your strategy available to others who may be going through a similar struggle.
Writing skills will be necessary if you want to become a self-help author, though if your writing is weak, you can hire a ghost writer to help you complete the publication. A ghost writer is a person who will work with you to lay out your ideas clearly and make sure they translate to the page. This writer is usually uncredited, but you will need to pay for the service. If your writing skills are good but could use some improvement, try enrolling in some college courses as a refresher before you dive into the writing of the book. You will have to be an exceptionally clear communicator in order to become a self-help author, so your writing skills must be honed.
Have a plan and a target audience before you begin writing. It is good to begin by making an outline that will give you an idea of what topics need to be covered in the book as well as how you will present those topics. Keep your audience in mind during the writing of the book to ensure your writing is clear and easy to understand. Try to be succinct and avoid too many long, anecdotal passages that may lose the reader's interest. Make sure you include all your strategies for overcoming the problem, and stay positive. More importantly, stay on message throughout.
A marketing plan will also be necessary if you want to become a self-help author. You will need to come up with ways to reach your target audience; this may mean building a website and doing online advertising, or it may mean advertising the book in magazines, on television, or even on the radio. If you want to get the book published through more traditional channels, you will need to pitch the manuscript to a literary agent, who will in turn pitch it to a publisher. This can be difficult, and the manuscript should be thoroughly edited before you send it to an agent. It is wise to have a marketing plan ready to send to the agent as well.