Self Help Books

Part
01
of four
Part
01

Self-Help Books 2018

The calculated number of self-help books that were published in 2018 is 18,481. They include books written by Beth Kempton, Nathan W. Pyle, and Tim Hagu. The details of some of the books have been entered in the attached spreadsheet.

OVERVIEW OF THE FINDINGS

  • "Perseverance: The Seven Skills You Need to Survive, Thrive, and Accomplish More Than You Ever Imagined" was published by Tim Hague on May 8, 2018. The publisher was Viking.
  • "99 Stories I Could Tell: A Doodlebook To Help You Create" was published by Nathan W. Pyle on December 31, 2018. The publisher was Morrow Gift.
  • "Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life" was published by Beth Kempton on December 31, 2018. The publisher was Harper Design.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

We started the research by looking at news articles, which included Forbes, the Guardian and Publishersweekly, since these are likely to provide statistics on the yearly number of self-help books published. However, only a list of top self-help books and a guide on how to select those to purchase was available. Our next strategy was to look at reports and journals related to self-help book publications. We looked for this information on the websites for Book Publishing Report and International Publishers Association, but only information on the state of the publishing industry was available. We then expanded our search by looking at databases and market research reports of published books including Market Research, Statista, Worldometer and IBIS World. We found information on the CAGR and market size of the global publishing market. On Worldometer, we did find information on the books published so far in 2019.

We then searched the International Standard Book Number website to check if there is a section with self-help books so we could use the assigned book numbers to determine the number of self-help books published in 2018. Unfortunately, this attempt failed. We also checked catalogs where book lovers and buyers review and purchase books. These catalogs include Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. However, we only found the details of popular books (including those of the self-help books) on these platforms.

We then decided to triangulate the number of self-help books published in 2018 by using the number of new books published in 2019. A back calculation was done using the CAGR growth of published books to get the number for 2018. We then calculated the percentage of global book publishing revenue that belongs to self-help books. This was then used to determine the number of self-help books published in 2018. The detail of the calculation is below:

Calculation done:

Number of new books published in 2019= 2,022,530 (this is the value when the website was accessed)
Estimate for the whole year i.e 52 weeks (through extrapolation) = Number of new books published in 2019 x Number of weeks in a year/Number of weeks spent in the year= 2,022,530 x 52/40 = 2,629,289

Calculation on the number of books published in 2018

The estimated number of books published in 2018= Number of new books published in 2019 - (CAGR x Number of new books published in 2019)
CAGR of published books= 1%
The calculated number of new books published in 2019= 2,629,289
Therefore, the estimated number of books published in 2018= 2,629,289 - (1% x 2,629,289) = 2,602,996.

Percentage of book publishing market made up of the self-help books

Percentage of global books publishing made up of self-help books= Self-help books revenue/global book publishing revenue x 100.
Global book publishing revenue in 2018= $112 billion
Self-help books revenue in 2018= $800 million
Therefore, the percentage of global books publishing made up of self-help books= $800 million/$112 billion x 100= 0.71%

Number of self-help books published in 2018

Number of self-help books= percentage of global books publishing made up of self-help books x estimated number of books published in 2018 = 0.71% x 2,602,996= 18,481 books

Part
02
of four
Part
02

Self-Help Books 2019

A list of 50 self-help books published in 2019 has been provided in the “2019 Publications” tab of the attached spreadsheet. They include books written by Cindy M. Hartner, Tristan Whitespire, Priscilla A. Keresey, and other authors.

SELECTED FINDINGS

  • You Don't Get a Map, You Get a Compass: A Journey from Sudden Loss to Joyful Life” was published on September 29, 2019.
  • Goetic Words of Power: Instant access to the Demons of the Goetia for Transformation, Power, and Success” was published on September 29, 2019.
  • The Self-Esteem Solution: The Breakthrough Plan to Overcome Obstacles, Determine Your Destiny, and Pursue Your Extraordinary Life” was published on September 28, 2019.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

According to Amazon’s database, there were 320 self-help books published from September 24 to 30. 2019. Thus, we have estimated that there are around 300 self-help books published per month. This equates to about 12,000 self-help books published in 2019 so far (300 books x 40 weeks as of October 6, 2019). Therefore, we have only provided the information for 50 top-rated self-help books (excluding books on mental health/illness) in the attached spreadsheet. Top-rated books have been defined as books with an average rating of 4 stars and above from at least ten reviews. The number of copies sold for each book has not been provided as the information is not readily available.
Part
03
of four
Part
03

2018 Self-Help Books- Best Sellers

Some bestselling self-help books published in 2018 are "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope", "Think, Learn, Succeed: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life", "I've Been Thinking... The Journal: Inspirations, Prayers, and Reflections for Your Meaningful Life", "Wabi Sabi: Japanese Wisdom for a Perfectly Imperfect Life", and "Standing at the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet". The rest of the books, along with other details, can be found in this attached spreadsheet.

Selected Findings

  • "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope", by Anne Lamott, ranked at #6,464 in the Amazon Bestseller Ranking.
  • "Think, Learn, Succeed: Understanding and Using Your Mind to Thrive at School, the Workplace, and Life", by Dr Caroline Leaf, found its place at #9,802 in the Amazon Bestseller Ranking.
  • "I've Been Thinking... The Journal: Inspirations, Prayers, and Reflections for Your Meaningful Life", by Maria Shriver, stood at #22,678 in the Amazon Bestseller Ranking.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find the list of 20 bestsellers from the list of 50 self-help books found in the request "Self-Help Books 2018", we started by studying the ways in which we can find the number of copies sold of a given book. We consulted many sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The New York Times, among others, and found that the total number of copies sold by a book can not be found publicly. The publishers do not reveal the exact sales numbers publicly. Even though the numbers can be quoted by the author in the press, it only happens when the sales are massive.
We next conducted press searches for each of the books listed in the request "Self-Help Books 2018". We hoped to find mentions of the sales figure for the books in the news and media. We searched through credible websites like New York Times, Forbes, Reuters, Vox, Washington Post, LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. We only found book reviews of the respective books, as well as opinion posts and commentaries on their respective themes. We didn't find mention of sales figures for these books.
After learning that finding the number of books might not be possible for all the books on the list, we turned our attention to the bestseller lists. These lists do not explicitly provide the sales figures, but they can be used to rank the books. We checked bestseller lists like the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, USA Today, American Booksellers Association, Amazon Charts, and Amazon Bestsellers. Though we could not find these books in most of these lists, we found that Amazon assigns each book with a bestseller rank. These ranks are based on the sales figure analyzed by Amazon itself. This rank can be found on the product page of each book on the Amazon website, in the 'Product Details' section. We have leveraged the bestseller ranking from Amazon as an alternative criterion for curating a list of 20 bestseller self-help books (from those found in the request "Self-Help Books 2018"). An additional column for 'Amazon Bestseller Rank' has been added to the attached spreadsheet (as column E in the "2018 Publications" tab and as column F in the "2018 Bestsellers" tab).
Part
04
of four
Part
04

2019 Self-Help Books- Best Sellers

Some bestselling self-help books published in 2019 are "Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love", "Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life Beyond Your Wildest Dreams", "How Happiness Happens: Finding Lasting Joy in a World of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations", "To Love and Let Go: A Memoir of Love, Loss, and Gratitude", and "Creative Calling: Establish a Daily Practice, Infuse Your World with Meaning, and Succeed in Work + Life". The rest of the books, along with other details, can be found in this attached spreadsheet.

Selected Findings

  • "Over the Top: A Raw Journey to Self-Love", by Jonathan Van Ness, made it in Amazon Bestseller ranking at #35.
  • "Super Attractor: Methods for Manifesting a Life beyond Your Wildest Dreams", by Gabrielle Bernstein, was ranked at #88 on Amazon Bestseller ranking.
  • "How Happiness Happens: Finding Lasting Joy in a World of Comparison, Disappointment, and Unmet Expectations", by Max Lucado, stood at #538 in Amazon Bestseller Ranking.

RESEARCH STRATEGY

To find the list of 20 bestsellers from the list of 50 self-help books found in the request "Self-Help Books 2019", we started by studying the ways in which we can find the number of copies sold of a given book. We consulted many sources such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The New York Times, among others, and found that the total number of copies sold by a book can not be found publicly. The publishers do not reveal the exact sales number publicly. Even though the numbers can be quoted by the author in the press, it only happens when the sales are massive.

We next conducted press searches for each of the books listed in the request "Self-Help Books 2019". We hoped to find mentions of the sales figure for the books in the news and media. We searched through credible websites like New York Times, Forbes, Reuters, Vox, Washington Post, LA Times, and The Wall Street Journal. We only found book reviews of the respective books, as well as opinion posts and commentaries on their respective themes. We didn't find mention of sales figures for these books.

After learning that finding the number of books might not be possible for all the books on the list, we turned our attention to the bestseller lists. These lists do not explicitly provide the sales figures, but they can be used to rank the books. We checked bestseller lists like the New York Times, Publisher's Weekly, USA Today, American Booksellers Association, Amazon Charts, and Amazon Bestsellers. Though we could not find these books in most of these lists, we found that Amazon assigns each book with a bestseller rank. These ranks are based on the sales figure analyzed by Amazon itself. This rank can be found on the product page of each book on the Amazon website, in the 'Product Details' section. We have leveraged the bestseller ranking from Amazon as an alternative criterion for curating a list of 20 bestseller self-help books (from those found in the request "Self-Help Books 2019"). An additional column for 'Amazon Bestseller Rank' has been added to the attached spreadsheet (as column E in the "2019 Publications" tab and as column F in the "2019 Bestsellers" tab).
Sources
Sources

From Part 01