How To Outline A Self Help Book

You have a creative, brilliant mind, one that isn’t so readily embraced by mainstream workplaces so it’s best that you use your brilliance to sustain yourself financially. One of the best ways to create income is to share your knowledge in a self help book.

What will you teach? There are several questions that will help you to choose your topic.

  1. What do I know more about than anyone else I know?
  2. Which problem have I solved easily and numerous times over the years?
  3. Which problem would I like to resolve for myself?
  4. Which topic do people approach me for advice on over and over again?
  5. What can I share with others that would solve a major problem and offer them relief?

Now that you know which topic you want to write about, it’s time to structure your book. Take one evening to yourself and follow these steps.


Step 1

What are 10 common questions people have about my topic? Write these questions in a list down the page. These questions will become your chapter topics.

BOOK TOPIC: Things You Should Know Before You Become an Adult

  1. How do I drive a car?
  2. How do I do my own taxes?
  3. What are my options for birth control?
  4. Is college the right choice for me?


Step 2

Take each chapter topic question and jot down 5 answers that come easily to you without doing any research. If your topic is centered around a question that you do not know the precise answers to, simply jot down people or resources you know of that may have the answer.

Your chapter topic question and basic chapter outline is now completed. It should look like this.

Question- How do I drive a car?

  • Open the door
  • Crank the ignition
  • Put on the seatbelt
  • Check the mirrors
  • Press your foot on the gas pedal slowly.


Step 3

For each of the Chapter topic questions and the answers, write down specific instructions for each answer and explain why it is important to do this. Be sure to share what NOT to do and why it is a bad choice.

Then provide an examples to illustrate your points. Use stories from the news, history, statistics or even stories from your personal life to create your examples.

Move through all of your Chapter topic questions this way until you have a completed outline.

Step 4

Go back through your outline and change the Chapter topic questions to statements.

  1. How do I drive a car? (Drive a Car Before You’re 18)
  2. How do I do my own taxes? (Do Your Own Taxes To Save Money)
  3. What are my options for birth control? (Birth Control Is an Important Life Choice)
  4. Is college the right choice for me? (Choose Your Continued Education Wisely)

expound on the answers that you gave, offering more succinct answers and fine tuning your examples.



Your book is basically written. You will probably spend a few more days adding and deleting topics and examples to make your book longer or shorter but the difficult part is done!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *