Is there a “best” way to structure your health book?
Absolutely not! Instead, there are many good ways to do so. Your goal should be to select the one that works best with your idea.
Here are seven popular structures used in health books today, all of them effective, compelling ways to present health information. (Click on any title for a more detailed explanation.)
1. Introducing a New Idea – An enthusiastic presentation of a new idea or item
that’s designed to intrigue everyone – even those who enjoy good health. Example: Green Tea: The Natural Secret for a Healthier Life.
2. Problem, Breakthrough, Plan – A quick survey of a serious health problem, followed by a description of the “Eureka!” moment when a fantastic new solution was discovered. The rest of the book is devoted to a plan for better health that includes the new solution. Example: The Arthritis Cure.
3. Cohesive Concept, Point by Point – A presentation of a new idea, item or program, with each chapter discussing one element. Example: Wake Up! You’re Alive.
4. There’s a Problem! – A look at an important problem that most people don’t even realize is looming, with little or no discussion of the solution. Example: The Paradox of Choice.
5. Anthology – A series of related chapters or essays, often by different authors, grouped thematically. Example: Handbook for the Heart: Original Writings on Love.
6. Encyclopedic Approach – A compilation of definitions and other information on a certain topic arranged from A to Z or in some other logical form. Example: Alternative Cures that Really Work.
7. Learning Day by Day – A series of ideas, inspirational quotes or exercises to be considered/performed consecutively, one each day/week/season. Example: A New Day, A New Life: A Guided Journal.
Which Health Book Structure Is Best For You?
Choosing a structure for your book is like trying on clothes. You need to see (or, in this case, imagine) how your material fits into each of these structures before you can make an informed decision. One of them will probably be a natural fit.
For example, if you have a detailed plan based on a groundbreaking new idea, the Problem, Breakthrough, Plan structure may be ideal for you.
If, on the other hand, you want to explore a problem in depth but don’t have a detailed plan or solution to offer, the You Got Trouble! structure may be your best bet.
And if your material is made up of numerous parts related by theme that do not constitute a plan, you may need to use the Anthology structure or Encyclopedic Approach.
All of These Health Book Structures Work!
You may have to experiment with several different structures before you discover which one makes the most sense. Try creating a Table of Contents for each structure, using your material. Some just won’t work at all. If your idea doesn’t fit easily into a structure, look for another. One is bound to be just right.