'Shelf-help' books set to fill publishers' coffers in 2014

27 replies
New 'intellectually credible' self-improvement books set to outsell celebrity biographies in 2014

Hi warriors

I have come across this interesting article about self improvement books and industry. Particluarly about two points in the article got me thinking:

"While there may be plenty of derision for today's self-help books," says Lamb-Shapiro, "they are part of an ever-expanding self-betterment market showing no signs of neglect." However, she adds, publishing statistics suggest that 80% of self-help book consumers are repeat buyers, "which could indicate they are not helping".

"In the 1,600 years since Augustine left behind selfhood for sainthood, we've made very little empirical progress towards understanding our own inner workings. We have, however, developed an $11bn industry dedicated to telling us how to improve our lives. Put those two facts together and you get a vexing question: can self-help work if we have no idea how a self works?"

What is your take on this, mind warriors?

Here is the link for the article:

'Shelf-help' books set to fill publishers' coffers in 2014 | Books | The Observer
#2014 #books #coffers #fill #helfhelp #publishers #set
  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    All of these self-help books are being sold yet the gap between rich and poor becomes wider and wider. LOL
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    • Profile picture of the author success4all
      Originally Posted by Young Financier View Post

      All of these self-help books are being sold yet the gap between rich and poor becomes wider and wider. LOL
      Thanks for your input, Young Financier,

      I agree with you. I think it is time the poor start to think and do things differently than they have been doing so far. The same goes with self improvement help.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
      Originally Posted by Young Financier View Post

      All of these self-help books are being sold yet the gap between rich and poor becomes wider and wider. LOL
      I'm (not really very) sorry but I don't see how the two have anything to do with each other. "Rich" people get richer because they do what they do and make the financial choices they make. "Poor" people also keep getting what they get because they keep making poor decisions. Self help books have nothing to do with "poor getting poorer" and a lot to do with "rich getting richer" as well as the poor getting richer. There are thousands of example of rich people getting poorer and poor people getting richer but you don't hear anyone mentioning those people do you?

      Lazy cliches lifted off the news are boring and irrelevant.
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      • Profile picture of the author Odahh
        Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post

        I'm (not really very) sorry but I don't see how the two have anything to do with each other. "Rich" people get richer because they do what they do and make the financial choices they make. "Poor" people also keep getting what they get because they keep making poor decisions. Self help books have nothing to do with "poor getting poorer" and a lot to do with "rich getting richer" as well as the poor getting richer. There are thousands of example of rich people getting poorer and poor people getting richer but you don't hear anyone mentioning those people do you?

        Lazy cliches lifted off the news are boring and irrelevant.
        the problem most people don't get is a lot of those who try to help the poor with charity.. use a way of thinking that locks those who accept the help ..

        in any case the rich get richer and the poor get poorer ..is coded in the bible.. it is really meaningless . like most saying quoted from the bible without actually understanding the context of what was said .

        if you are rich and you do things that reduce your wealth you will eventually be poor .. if you are poor and you do things over time that build wealth ..you will be richer.

        the easiest way to make a little money ..is to start with a lot of money

        so if the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and it is truth..

        are you doing things that over time make you richer or poorer ..

        i am considered poor .. but at this point i have no debts and no fixxed expenses .. and i have some money in the bank..

        i have put most of my efforts into my health .. and soon will be building my wealth ..

        ....most people who whine about being poor.. in western nations.. by histroic standards and put again the 6 billion other people on the planet are really rich..
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      • Profile picture of the author Crystal_Jobs
        Originally Posted by Mr Bill View Post

        I'm (not really very) sorry but I don't see how the two have anything to do with each other. "Rich" people get richer because they do what they do and make the financial choices they make. "Poor" people also keep getting what they get because they keep making poor decisions. Self help books have nothing to do with "poor getting poorer" and a lot to do with "rich getting richer" as well as the poor getting richer. There are thousands of example of rich people getting poorer and poor people getting richer but you don't hear anyone mentioning those people do you?

        Lazy cliches lifted off the news are boring and irrelevant.
        This is an important point!

        Simple - the rich are still doing exactly what made them reach, and the poor are still doing exactly what made them poor.

        For example, I have seen many poor people say they are never going to buy those self-help books because the writers wrote them to make money.
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    • Profile picture of the author heavysm
      Originally Posted by Young Financier View Post

      All of these self-help books are being sold yet the gap between rich and poor becomes wider and wider. LOL
      It can be easy to snowball either way in terms of having a poor mindset for money and having a wealth attraction one.

      When i say snowball this just refers to the compound effect of our thoughts over time.

      If people truly understood the concepts in self improvement books they would apply them because, for the most part, they work.

      It's too easy to feel negative about money and have this strengthen into our belief and about money and wealth (which aren't the same btw).

      A wealth attraction mindset rides the positive mentality of small success to brew and develop increasingly larger successes. Like gaining momentum with increasingly better and stronger successes/choices.

      A poor money mindset will see a small success and just consider it luck or a coincidence. Nothing to be taken seriously here even though the freak'n universe is basically giving you a small leg up out of the poverty mindset.

      When people finally own up to creating their own realities things will be a A LOT better off. And by that i mean taking responsibility for their lives and creating something grand and positive no matter what. Otherwise you're just part of the 99% of complainers out there who snowball into money negativity. Then you get absolutely no where fast.

      Even the mindset that self-help books are crap is a crap mindset. It's like seeing someone smiling and feeling angry or disgusted just because someone has a reason to be happy and you don't.

      Reading all the self-help books in the world won't help you if you aren't willing to shift your perception to something brighter and greater.

      You have to twist your perception away from lack (more specifically lack of money) and negativity or that's all you'll see in the world.
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaine
    Wow, thank you for sharing that really is an interesting article. On one hand it makes me glad to be in the personal development field, since it's growing so much.

    But then it does make me wonder what is the missing link as to why so many who consume self-help material rarely ever manage to see any lasting results. I am definitely going to start giving that more thought
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    • Profile picture of the author Odahh
      Originally Posted by Shaine View Post

      Wow, thank you for sharing that really is an interesting article. On one hand it makes me glad to be in the personal development field, since it's growing so much.

      But then it does make me wonder what is the missing link as to why so many who consume self-help material rarely ever manage to see any lasting results. I am definitely going to start giving that more thought
      the missing link as to why the lack of lasting result .. is that there is some belief that there is a missing link or some secret someone knows that they are missing.


      to get animals fat .. in the united state they are fed diets of corn and soy and penned up and shot full of antibiotics.

      now if you are eating a diet of mostly corn and soy (or animals that ate mostly corn and soy).. and not moving much ..and regularly taking a medication or getting sick and popping antibiotics.. what is going to happen to you ..

      so the secret way to lose weight .. eat less corn and soy ..move ..like walking and reduce medications .

      but you can explain that in 2 pages .. and it would not sell many books.. instead you get diet books that are 90 percent about what is wrong with ever other diet .. explaines the diet in a few pages .. then give some recipies .

      and because you probably have the equipment you need to walk.. it is not that profitable to tell people to just walk an hour a day .
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  • Profile picture of the author Odahh
    what is considered a self help book though ?

    anyway .. if a diet book actually had the best diet.. there would only be one.. or the best workout program ..

    i don't buy self help books anymore.. rather than read about self help.. i started finding things to do that actually help me at least.

    doesn't it seem funky when all the self help people seem to agree the best thing you can do every day is listen to or read more self help books.

    it is sort of like going to the doctor and the doctor telling you the best thing to do is take these medications every day for the rest of your life.. oh wait.. bad example..

    or a finacial planner who tells you the best thing to do sense he is also a stock broker for a mutual fund or whatever they are called.. is to putt all your retirement saving in in account his comany takes care of .. for a managemnt fee of 1 percent a rear ... oh crap nother bad example .

    umm umm .. i got it but i won't talk about politicians here ..
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    • Profile picture of the author rbates
      Originally Posted by Odahh View Post

      i don't buy self help books anymore.. rather than read about self help.. i started finding things to do that actually help me at least.
      Congratulations Odahh. It's about "Action".

      Self-help books are only a guide, and can give insight to problems,
      and offer the author's "Ideal" solution(s). How many "Self-help"
      books are there in internet marketing?

      "5 easiest ways to MMO"
      "Targeted list - thousands per day"

      and so forth. Much is garbage, some are gems.

      The bottom line is that you can read, and read, and read...

      The only thing that matters in the end is what you do with
      that information. You can choose to do something, or nothing.
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      • Profile picture of the author Raydal
        Originally Posted by rbates View Post

        The bottom line is that you can read, and read, and read...

        The only thing that matters in the end is what you do with
        that information. You can choose to do something, or nothing.
        Good point, but if I have problem in taking action shouldn't
        the self-help book be able to help me take action? Most
        people are having problems because they don't take the
        right action, hence the need for selfhelp.

        -Ray Edwards
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      • Profile picture of the author YHmuWong
        [DELETED]
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        • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
          Originally Posted by YHmuWong View Post

          Isn't it easier if you know what to do (by just doing)?...
          The problem with that theory is that most of us weren't lucky enough to born with all the knowledge we need to make the most of this life. We have to learn it by observing and learning from others who have been through things. Wisdom starts with "I don't know".

          It must be so awesome to just know instinctively what the best way to act and think is. That must be a fantastic feeling.
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    People might buy many self-help books because they have many different problems to solve in life. Is that really hard to understand?
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  • Profile picture of the author Raydal
    Originally Posted by success4all View Post

    "While there may be plenty of derision for today's self-help books," says Lamb-Shapiro, "they are part of an ever-expanding self-betterment market showing no signs of neglect." However, she adds, publishing statistics suggest that 80% of self-help book consumers are repeat buyers, "which could indicate they are not helping".
    This argument makes sense. And it is much like the arguments against popular diets.
    If ONE of these diets really worked then why are Americans still so fat?

    There is definitely a missing element and I think it's spiritual. People need a
    higher sense of purpose than can be derived from the theory of evolution
    so popular today. Without the core belief in my PURPOSE, why get
    better? Can I really get better? What is really better?

    -Ray Edwards
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  • Profile picture of the author jakedenver
    Originally Posted by success4all View Post

    New 'intellectually credible' self-improvement books set to outsell celebrity biographies in 2014

    'intellectually credible' has nothing to do with the results a book will give you. Richard Branson (Losing My Virginity) is a good example of intellectual having nothing to do with it. There are countless more examples. Intellectual can be dry and boring though.

    Was that 'intellectually credible' quote in the Wordpress blog post about books? or did a guy with a complex feel the need to express how qualified his forum post was?
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  • Profile picture of the author C G
    People who buy self help stuff forget that they need to implement what they learn.

    They get the impression that they are improving their life by reading or watching self help stuff.

    The only way to improve and live a better life is to take action.

    Cheers,

    C.G.
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    • Profile picture of the author success4all
      Originally Posted by C G View Post

      People who buy self help stuff forget that they need to implement what they learn.

      They get the impression that they are improving their life by reading or watching self help stuff.

      The only way to improve and live a better life is to take action.

      Cheers,

      C.G.
      I agree with you. If people want to improve their life, they have to take action. The books can only give us some guidelines. We have to take action based on those guidelines. But most of us keep buying books and learning and not taking any action.

      WHY?

      Because, it means creating a change and we are scared of change. We are scared of getting out of our comfort zone because of our current belief system. We will only be able to change and get out our comfort zone, when we are able to get rid of our old belief system and create new one that will help us to take action.
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      • Profile picture of the author Bhekizwe
        Originally Posted by C G View Post

        People who buy self help stuff forget that they need to implement what they learn.

        They get the impression that they are improving their life by reading or watching self help stuff.

        The only way to improve and live a better life is to take action.

        Cheers,

        C.G.
        True.the self help books are guides.Action is following up from what the mentor suggested
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        • Profile picture of the author success4all
          Personally, I have nothing against buying self-help books, courses or systems.

          If we buy, use them and improve ourselves, then it is great. What my concern is that there are a lot of us who buy these things and try it, hoping to find the magic bullet that would change us instantly without taking any action. Of course, the magic will happen only when we follow through with the methods prescribed in the books, courses or systems that means you have to take action.

          The problem with most of the people struggling to deal with life's challenges is they are, unfortunately, not in a position to action consistently because of their current belief system. When they buy something they do it with the expectation that it would give them some kind of instant relief without any massive action on their part.

          Aha! moments that would change our lives forever happen when reading something, watching a film or event to only a tiny percent of the people. To others it is just another piece of information.
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  • Profile picture of the author Defmall
    Nice Share.
    I'm an avid reader, and I read much more non fiction than fiction.
    I'll bet you that 50% of what I read in way of non-faction is SOME sort of self-help book.
    Could be "attitude" type material...like Tony Robbins or Brian Tracy
    Could be "sales" type material...like Grant Cardone or Kendra Lee

    But it's a valuable market for publishers because we ALL want to improve, and we want to do it at our own pace and in our own time. Sometimes, a Class or a Lecture or a TV Show just doesnt cut it. It needs to be in writing where we can refer to it whenever we need the inspiration.

    It's been working for me for over 20 years.
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  • Profile picture of the author HypnotistJimmyG
    Everyone loves to be inspired, which is IMHO why the self industry is so huge.

    Unfortunately, that inspiration only lasts as long as your reading or hearing the message.

    Without constant focus on the goal one wants to achieve, life's distractions simply get in the way and people unconsciously revert to repeating the same old "victim" patterns that have kept them stuck their whole lives.
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  • Profile picture of the author Marbeloa
    Great post success4all! Thanks for sharing.

    From my own experience, I see personal development as a life-long journey. We ultimately all want to grow in our life's adventure and can always learn from a new self-help book. Too many people see the industry as "You have a problem that needs to be fixed" and then hand you a book.

    When a child crawls, they learn to walk. When they can walk, they now have even more opportunities to grow further. Life is life that, and whatever stage you are at, there will be a number of books that will speak to you. That's why we are repeat buyers.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    In fact I view people who DON'T continuously buy (or even borrow from the library) self help and development books with suspicion. I'd much rather hang out with cool people who are into improving themselves than people who see them as foolish failure magnets. I don't need to have a "problem" to get a benefit from an inspiring story or helpful suggestion.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
    Most people would not waste money on self help books if they were not seeing results. That's true with any product, whether self help or weight loss products.

    From a practical point of view, the average 'self help' book buyer, might only be buying a few such books a year (possibly Kindle ebooks for the tablet to enjoy on the commute to work). And, though over all, it seems like a big number, there's just a huge pool of people buying these type of books, trying to improve.

    Not all books are about 'increasing self confidence'. And, there are a wide variety of subjects that can encompass the self help category including topics on mind/body/health/life including relationship help; weight loss/eating right; forming a better mindset; eliminating habits, etc.

    Just check out Amazon under self help and you'll see this. So the person who buys a book on relationship repair (or how to attract the soul mate), might next month want tips on controlling urges for chocolate the next month or 'how to quit smoking', the month after that.

    They're just coming back to what worked for them before.
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  • I believe it's because of the lack of self-discipline, motivation and productivity. Many people are reading books and not applying what they learnt. I believe we should be taught in school how to be more productive, more motivated and more self-disciplined. Agree?
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
      Originally Posted by selfdisciplineacademy View Post

      I believe it's because of the lack of self-discipline, motivation and productivity. Many people are reading books and not applying what they learnt. I believe we should be taught in school how to be more productive, more motivated and more self-disciplined. Agree?
      Inactivity is the biggest killer of an idea/dream. You have to pick up your foot and step forward if you want to actually go in a direction. Though, often the reason people neglect to actually take any step is how they are afraid of making a mistake and that fear paralyzes action. Where as, the important thing is to make just any movement and adjust course/action as you go along.
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  • Profile picture of the author Young Financier
    I see that my point completely went over the head of most. LOL
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