Help Yourself to Opportunity
Whether it’s through Dr. Phil’s advice on “getting real” or Dale Carnegie’s strategies on “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” we seem to be incessantly compelled to better ourselves. Besides spiritual and professional self-help books, do-it-yourself books have exploded in popularity over the years (the “For Dummies” line published by John Wiley & Sons Inc. among them). But like any other market segment, the self-help book market faces challenges—challenges that are, in fact, similar to those most publishers are facing at the moment. They also face great opportunity in a changing marketplace—opportunity that some say could be easily missed.
Community Is Key
Paul Clemens, president of Blue Dolphin Publishing—which publishes “Mary’s Message To The World,” among more than 180 other self-help, spiritual, cultural, health and healing titles—says a major revenue miscue the self-help industry makes is forgetting how dependent the audience is on having a sense of community. The authors, he says, can help develop and lead these “communities” and drive book sales significantly.
“We rely on the author to go out and make 50 percent of our sales through their seminars and workshops,” Clemens says. “It’s about making a connection and showing a true sense of caring. Our audience is sensitive and thrives on believing in people and that it’s a part of something. The best way to take advantage of this is for readers to be able to see these authors live and know them better.”
Tony Rose also believes a growth opportunity resides in making a better effort to reach out to a wider scope of readers, especially in minority communities. As president and CEO of Amber Communications Group, Rose’s mission is to take emphasis away from negative stereotypes about African Americans and focus on everything from helping African Americans achieve financial independence to dealing with life’s curve balls through self-help books.