The self help genre had long been a ‘boys club.’ But the emergence of female author powerhouses in the genre including Brene Brown, Gretchen Rubin, Gabrielle Bernstein, Rachel Hollis, Jen Sincero, Glennon Doyle, Mario Kondo and Shonda Rhimes has sparked a growing need for the next voices to join these trendsetters.
“I just was telling my story and realized there were thousands and millions of girls just like me,” said Jaclyn DiGregorio, two-time bestselling author of Stop Getting in Your Own Way and sought after speaker and coach. “I realized since there wasn’t someone I could look up to, I just had to be that person.”
Quartz reporter Youyou Zhou found a shocking evidence of the opportunity for women in the self help genre through her research writing, “While books by women made up about one-third of the most read self-help books, the remaining two-thirds were written by men. Yet with only a few exceptions, books by women were mostly read by women – on average 83% of readers were women.”
Women read more books, women review more books and women are more and more likely to seek out advice from other women.
Enter the rise of the female self-help author.
“We saw a huge opportunity to usher in more strong female self help authors,” shared Brian Bies, the head of publishing for New Degree Press. “While there are a growing number of thirty-and-forty-something female self help authors from Brene Brown to Marie Kondo, there was still a shortage of teen and twenty-something female authors catering to an increasingly self-aware and proactive community.”
Many of the women were already sharing their advice to their peers and found authorship to be a logical extension of their public personas:
- Jillian Richardson, the founder of The Joy List, a community for people to find events that they can go to by themselves, and leave with a new friend, took her passion for community and released Unlonely Planet (New Degree Press, 2019) and has built a growing coaching and consulting practice around decreasing loneliness.
- Haley Hoffman Smith had built a following for female creators and changemakers through her book Her Big Idea (New Degree Press, 2018) finding a huge audience on Instagram and TikTok with nearly 500,000 followers.
- Miracle Olatunji has been named the young entrepreneur of the year and to multiple most influential lists, and has turned her book Purpose (New Degree Press, 2019) into a platform for speaking and writing.
“As I went to more and more college campuses,” said Haley Hoffman Smith, “it was obvious that people were looking for a hopeful message from other women who are like them. And it wasn’t just college women, but it was people who were two, three, ten years out who were coming to connect and learn.”
Jaclyn DiGregorio agrees seeing a rise in the number of recent graduates and twenty-something women looking for support as they transition careers, tackle entrepreneurial ventures or simply look to be more empowered today.
“I initially wanted to be the next Rachel Hollis or Jen Sincero,” shared DiGregorio, “but I realized there’s a lot of women who need someone they can directly relate to.”
New Degree Press continues to see emerging female self help authors tackling topics from mental health, female empowerment and career creativity. “There’s a huge appetite for these incredible and relatable storytellers,” admits Bies. “In many senses, there’s been decades of underrepresentation in the self help category that we shouldn’t be surprised that there’s a huge need for new voices, perspectives and ideas. We think this category is just getting started.”
DiGregorio agrees, “I get women who approach me every week ready to write their own book. And I tell them they should!”
For information on New Degree Press, it’s author accelerator programs or manuscript submission, you can learn more at www.newdegreepress.com.