How to write a best-selling self-help book in 0.1 seconds or less!

by worstideas

Background:

There’s a huge market for telling people what they want to hear, whether or not it’s true. Additionally, there is a $10,000,000,000+ annual market in self-improvement books in the United States alone.

It would be profitable to get even a small slice of this enormous market!

The Issue:

Writing and promoting a self-help book is probably a lot of work.

But what if we could just tell people what they want to hear, putting the bare minimum of effort into the book?

Then, the book would practically sell itself! (After all, if you tell somewhat what they already want to hear, they will usually just nod sagely and agree, even if your point is very poorly thought-out.)

Proposal:

Thanks to the Internet and the power of computers, we can do the following:

  • Algorithmically generate a huge variety of “self-actualization” books that cover every possible topic (Figure 1). These would consist of a customized introduction, and then a bunch of generic platitudes and random out-of-copyright “allegorical fables” and excerpts of supposedly-relevant (but actually random) books found on Project Gutenberg.
  • These books can be print-on-demand, so if one of our algorithmically-generated books doesn’t sell, we are only out the amount of time it took to write the custom introduction.

Probably most people won’t read past the intro anyway, so it’s win/win!

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Fig. 1: Some markets aren’t really catered to, but we can write books to tell people that they are great and shouldn’t change, no matter what!

 

 

Here are some additional examples:

Market this to people convicted of various theft-related crimes:

  • “Burglars: the Unsung Heroes of the Modern Economy.” Possible subtitle, to make it seem more academic: “The Engine of Capitalism in a Post-Scarcity World.”

Market this to the commercial fishing industry:

  • “Overfishing: Problem, or Solution to Earth’s Fish Menace?”

Market this to individuals whose only joy in life is to make things miserable for others:

  • “Toxic is just a synonym for Gets Things Done: How So-called “Toxic” People Saved Civilization.”

We could even randomly generate an entire book in 0.1 seconds as a result of an extremely specific search query (see Figure 2); this way, ANY topic could be turned into a self-help book with public-domain cover art.

 

self-help-bottom-2

Fig. 2: If we don’t bother to write a custom introduction, we could randomly generate both the text AND a suitable cover image for any search query. Now you’ll always be able to find a book on the topic you’re looking for!

 

 

Conclusion:

As an added bonus, these books can cross-reference each other, which may improve their Internet search engine results.

PROS: You’ll always be able to find a book on any topic now! Fantastic!

CONS: None! Helps promote literacy and self-improvement, while also being profitable.

 

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