Everybody loves a free book. My latest free book was Pamela Redmond Satran’s acclaimed 1,000 Ways to Be a Slightly Better Woman: How to Be Thinner, Richer, Sexier, Kinder, Saner and Happier Enough. The book caught my eye because it promised that I’d be better in slight amounts, just enough, like it said. It was the baby bear’s stuff to my Goldilocks needs from myself and my life. Also my roommate let me borrow it.
Based on what I learned from the internet and the back of this book, Pamela Redmond Satran is a regular columnist on the Glamour magazine, and an author of several books, one of which I may some day have the fortune of reading and reviewing on here. Which brings us to what I wanted to write about.– what I learned from this wonderful publication.
Have you read Meditations for women who do too much? It is a wonderful book I read when I was in high school, after getting it off my Mom’s section of the book shelves in my parents’ house. Other than all the spiritual focusing going above my 15 year old brain, the book taught me that it was important to write and say things that people could relate to. I don’t read much self help (clearly)– but I haven’t found one as enriching as that one.
Anyway. With no time to lose, here are some lessons in writing and choosing the right books, from 1000 ways itself.
11 ways to write a Slightly Better Self-Help Book: How to be better, richer, kinder and smarter
- Don’t be inclusive. Real women are skinny and have husbands.
- Periodically insult your reader so they remember why they bought this book in the first place.
- Make your reader feel less well read than they did before they read your book.
- Teach your reader that patronizing people is the best way to get them to talk to you.
- … Or do something for you.
- Your reader actually lives inside the book The Nanny Diaries. And no, they’re not Nanny. Or Grayer.
- When all else fails, there is always fluff that helps you fill magazines, so why shouldn’t it work here?
- Gently remind your readers that mothers teach men to stand up straight (Mars is full of Mothers)
- An excellent way to sound smarter in an instant is to suddenly use a big word in a sentence. This sentence is not serendipity. Teach your reader some of those words.
- Please, oh please be joking.
11. 75% of the time, your reader’s boss is a man, so teach her how to deal with yet another male authority in her life. Damn those men! How we love them but they rule over us. It’s okay, we can get back at them with our shopping.
Remember, you can write a self help book that costs $2. 17 (one fifth the price of Modelland, Tyra Banks’ book). You’re never going to beat Tyra. So it’s okay.
Title Source: Come on!Feel the Illinoise– Sufjan Stevens