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The Awful Truth about Self-Publishing Your Health & Wellness Book

Your self-published book needs to be as professional as you are if you want to be perceived as the authority.


As a health professional, can you imagine this scenario?

You tell a patient that she needs surgery. She decides to do it herself, because she read on the internet that it’s easy.

She orders some surgical supplies. Then she enlists a friend to help her, saying, “Why pay a professional tons of money when we can do it ourselves, using these step-by-step instructions?”

Now, as a holistic health professional you may not do surgery, but you get the idea. Bad advice, as well as the wrong foods, herbs, supplements or treatments, can wreak havoc with a patient’s health.

The idea from this opening story comes from “Publish Like the Pros”, a Brief Guide to Quality Self-Publishing {and an insider’s look at a misunderstood industry}.

I couldn’t agree more. Having written 40 books, I know what goes into publishing a book. I’ve had 27 books published by 3 major publishers, and then I self-published.

In my first forays into self-publishing, I made every costly, time-wasting mistake in the book (pun intended) trying to figure it all out for myself.

Now, if you’re a health professional, you know how exasperating it can be when your patients turn to Dr. Google for health or nutrition advice before they come to you.

You spent years learning your profession and have more wisdom to offer than a “nutrition blogger.” (And if any surgeons are reading this, you probably wouldn’t do your own surgery if you needed it).

It’s the same with publishing a book. Why would you take advice from someone who put up a website a few weeks ago?

Self-publishing your book –what you need to know.

Here are some fairy-tales about publishing your book, from Publish like the Pros, along with my take on them.

  1. It’s easy! Beware of any websites that say you can self-publish a book without editing, professional design, or quality typesetting.

The truth is that if you want your book to reflect your professionalism as a health provider, you need professional editing, design and typesetting – or you will look like an amateur.

Run away from any websites that say, “Just upload your word file and our easy cover templates, and soon you’ll be as famous as Dr. Oz.”

Write a wellness book

Publishing your book isn’t as easy as pressing a button

  1. It’s fast: If you Google “self-publishing” you will find companies listed as “self-publishing companies” or POD (print on demand) publishers. They promise they will do everything for you, including making your book available in bookstores nationwide, and marketing your book.

The truth is that the largest self-publishing companies report that the average author sells fifty books. Yes, just fifty copies, probably to family and friends. I’m sure that’s not your goal after you spend months or even years writing your book.

Reviewers won’t even open a book from most of the self-publishing companies because they know these companies don’t serve the authors, they serve themselves.

They make their money by selling you publishing services, not from book sales. The books are not professionally edited or designed, but they don’t really care if you sell any.

Yes, they are selling you fairy tales. 

What you need to know about self-publishing your wellness book

  1. It takes work. If your book is only for family and friends, it doesn’t matter how you publish it. But if you are writing a book to build your practice, it needs to be as professional as you are in everything else you do.
  1. It takes knowledge. As a self-publisher, you have to educate yourself about what it takes to publish a book, and build a team of professionals for everything from editing and proofreading, to interior and cover design.

The good news is that Publish Like the Pros is a free guide that walks you through the six steps to a high quality book. Just click here for your copy: Publish Like the Pros.

Writing your book like the pros

Now, what about writing your book? Here I’ll retell another story that’s been circulating. A surgeon and an author meet at a cocktail party. The surgeon says, “When I retire, I’m going to write a book.”

The author says, “Great idea! When I retire, I’m going to do brain surgery.”

Just as you wouldn’t do brain surgery on yourself, or on anyone else unless you’re a professional, you shouldn’t try to write and publish your book without some guidance.

It’s true that a badly written or published book won’t kill anyone else. But it will greatly harm your reputation as a professional. Why would you want to risk that damage to your credibility?

Fortunately, there are many resources for professional writing and publishing. Start by getting Publish Like the Pros.

Then get my free road map, “7 Steps to Your Health and Wellness Book” to guide you to a book that delivers your message professionally, by adding your name and email below!