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How Unique Does My Self-Help Book Need to Be?

So You Want to Write with Suzette

You have an idea you’re passionate about for a self-help or how-to book but there are dozens of books on the same subject. You wonder if you have anything new to say. Or maybe you have the most unique idea ever and are convinced that NO ONE has ever written a book on the subject. How can you tell if your book will be a huge hit or a giant flop?

In this episode of So You Want to Write a Book, Suzette will talk about the paradoxical need to write a nonfiction book that’s both “completely unique” and “exactly the same” as other books in the marketplace. She’ll give you the scoop on “comp titles”—what they are, why they matter, and how to find them. Listen as Suzette gives you the tools to discern whether it’s worth writing that book now. Ready to take action? Let Suzette help you find the way.


That’s a really important question to ask yourself. Because if you don’t, you have your answer right there. If your book’s been written by someone else, you don’t need to write it again. However, if you truly do have a fresh perspective or unique angle that adds to the bigger conversation, this worrying that you don’t have anything to say is likely imposter syndrome.


There’s one key thing to keep in mind when the doubt that your book will be of any use in an already oversaturated market gets too overwhelming to push past. People who have a problem will buy many, many books on the same subject. They’ll keep buying until their problem is solved OR their curiosity is satisfied.

While it is important your book has a uniqueness to it, there is another key thing to keep in mind. The agent/editor/ publisher, and ultimately the reader, need to know where this book fits into the marketplace. 

If your book is only “unique” and not “exactly the same,” the uniqueness becomes a problem. What kind of book is it anyway?

If there aren’t any other books like it out there, that’s NOT a good thing. The agent/editor/publisher doesn’t know if it can sell your book if it can’t categorize it or put it in a box or compare it to other books. And even if you self-publish, you will have the same problem. Ironically enough, you want the competition. It means that there’s this problem a lot of people have and they are buying lots of books to try to solve it! 

Be sure to listen or watch our latest show for more tips!

ABOUT So You Want To Write A Book

My goal is to break down the complex process of becoming an author so that you can finally write the book that’s been nagging or tugging at your heart. Even if you never plan to write a book, I’ll share tips that will help you become a more informed reader or a more effective writer in your work life.

So take out your pen and notebook (okay, your phone or laptop!) and let’s get started!

Learn more about me and my book coaching secret sauce at www.yourstoryfinder.com 

The Candy Factory Media Collective

So You Want To Write A Book is produced by The Candy Factory Collective for SO GOOD LANCASTER, another great project of The Candy Factory Coworking in Lancaster, PA. The show is produced by Anne Kirby with production support by Anna Tran and Jason Mundok. Administrative support by Arianna Henderson. 

So Good Lancaster keeps you up to date and in the know about the things that make Lancaster, PA a great place to live through our podcasts, videos, articles, and more! 

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