Lately, I’ve seriously considered abandoning all of my life goals to become a self-help guru. I’ve read approximately 585,962 self-help books this weeks alone. I can’t help myself, I’m a self-help addict. There is something about a the formulaic structure of any “think your way to success” or “just get up and move, fatass” book that I find absolutely life-affirming.
And, of course, I’ve recently noticed the cost.
In the fiction world, it is unreasonable to sell a 20,000 word e-book for more than a few bucks. That is just the way the world is. I mean, sure, a lot of people try, but they’re not very successful.
The self-help world is a completely different beast. It isn’t uncommon for a 20,000 word e-book to go for $6.99, $9.99, or even $99.97. I’m not talking asking price, either. I’m saying it isn’t uncommon for people to pay this kind of money.
When I was 11, I came up with an idea on how to make all the money in the world. The idea was simple. I was going to write a book entitled The Fastest Way to Become Rich. The book would be pretty cheap to print–it would only be 50 blank sheets of paper followed by one page that simply said, “Sell copies of this book.”
In a way, that’s still how I feel about self-help, even though I do advocate the practice of self-improvement. I devote a significant amount of time to it, and even though I still have a long way left to go, I feel I am happier for it.
I just can’t come to terms with justifying such high costs to help people. It especially bothers me when I’m reading a book from some “guru” who claims improving the lives of others is their “personal life mission.”
Here is an important self-help tip for you, Mr. Self-Help Guru:
If you want to help others as part of your life mission, you don’t get to charge them. Otherwise, your life mission is actually making money at the expense of the desperate.
My personal exception to this rule is money writers. I think if you are legitimately teaching someone how to make money, they have an expectation about your level of greed already. On the other had, if you are actually teaching people to make giant piles of gold coins from thin air, why do you need to charge for your book?
Shouldn’t you be rolling in drachma and dong?
That’s the catch 22, isn’t it? How can you trust anyone if they write self-help books?
The short answer–You can’t. That’s the self part of self-help.
Like anything else in life, no one can actually force the information into your brain. You have to seek it out, absorb it, and put it into action in whatever way is best for you.
That’s actually why I read so many different books. No one book is going to change my life. No book, no number of books, is going to change my life without a dedicated effort…
Except mine. Mine will totally make everything better for you immediately and without work.
So, keep your eyes peeled for The Fat Kid’s Guide to Wealth, Health, Popularity, Creative Genius, and Sexual Potency: The Magic Secret of Pizza Rolls.
Coming December 2016 for the low, introductory price of $99.97. Mention you heard about it here on my blog, and get a free copy of the companion book The Fastest Way to Become Rich (a $99 value) as my gift to you.
(While supplies last)
Until Next Time,