Globally, people are prioritizing their health as they attend physical movement classes, start meditating, and (of course) read books focused on assisting readers’ well-being. On Amazon there are more than 60 thousand books in the Health and Wellness section. It can be tough for your book to stand out, but we’ll go over the basics and offer helpful tips.
Establish Your Credentials
As readers pick up a book from the shelves of a bookstore’s Health and Wellness section, they look at the back cover and discover the author’s credentials. There is a reason as to why that author chose that subject, such as a nutritionist writing about a specific diet.
Your credentials makes a difference in your readership and the validity of your book. Skeptical readers may look into your qualifications and you want them to be sound and trust-worthy. Your credentials exemplify why you need to be the one to write this book, so publishers will be more enthusiastic to sell it and readers are more likely to pick it up.
Your credentials are a brief summary of your education, skills, and/or biographical information that makes you qualified to write about a particular subject.
Let’s look at one of our Exisle authors, Karen Fischer’s biography. “Karen Fischer is a registered nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science Degree, an eczema clinic, six health books and a thriving support group under her belt. For the past 20 years Karen has worked first-hand with people with real skin issues, helping thousands to heal and reclaim their lives.”
Fischer’s educational background was helpful in the publication of one of her earlier books, The Eczema Diet, which focused on one skin aliment: eczema. Her experience working with people for 20 years supports her most recent book, which she expands to target a variety of skin diseases, The Healthy Skin Kitchen.
First time readers of Fischer’s work will be more inclined to trust what she’s written with her credentials.
Define Your Niche
What do you have to add to the plethora of health and wellness books? Dr. Delia McCabe, another Exisle author, shifts the focus of diet to the brain. Her research focuses on the neurobiology of stress and nutrition, which is different from the health books we may be more familiar with which target the body.
This specificity led Dr. McCabe to write the books Feed Your Brain and Feed Your Brain: The Cookbook. Her books stand out as they focus on a niche in the Health and Wellness market.
When writing a health and wellness book it is important to consider what books are out there and how you are adding to the conversation. You’ll find competitive titles, but you can use these to figure out which publishers would be best for your book.
Build Your Platform
Qualifications matter when writing a book, but your social media offers another more personable approach for potential readers to know you. Marketing efforts targeting social media are essential to gathering readers for your book. Only a small number of non-fiction books are impulse buys.
Your social media accounts should represent your brand. In an earlier article titled Navigating Social Media as a Writer, we offer examples from various Exisle authors on different social media outlets.
Karen Fischer is an author who uses her personal Instagram to highlight her profile as a nutritionist and photographer. Even the colors and photography style correlate with her books, making it easy for her readers and followers to identify her profile. Social media helps to uplift your brand, so consistency is important.
Social media is a useful tool to share news about your new book, and it will give publishers confidence that your book will sell. Your website should include your biography, and your book should be promoted on your various outlets.
More people will find your posts and that can lead to a book sale, all by keeping these social media profiles active and posting regularly.
The Right Publisher
While you write your book it is important to look for the right publishers. The first aspect to consider is where your book would sit within a bookstore. Would it be in the self-help section? The cookbook section? If you can, go to your local bookstore or library and explore those shelves to see which books sit there.
Investigate which books are similar to yours. With a little detective work, you can figure out the author’s publisher, agent, and editor by reading the author’s acknowledgements page. This is where you can find the exact names of the people who can potentially work with you on your own book.
There are a variety of free newsletters which list what publishers and editors are looking to publish currently. There are specific names on the list too, so when you write your query letter, you can address the exact person you want to work with. Check out sources such as Shelf Awareness (worldwide), The Bookseller (UK), Publishers Weekly (US), and Books + Publishing (ANZ). This should be checked often as the market consistently changes.
Your publisher will have to make a business case that your project is a worthwhile investment. If you are cooperative, empathetic and have clearly done your groundwork, you make that job easier, making it more likely to get a “yes” from the publisher.
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