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The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022

A good nonfiction book doesn’t just tell you something new about the world, it pulls you out of your place in it and dares you to reconsider what you thought you knew, maybe even who you are. The best nonfiction books that arrived this year vary in scope—some are highly specific, some broad and searching—but they all ask giant questions about loss, strength, and survival. In The Escape Artist , Jonathan Freedland underlines the power of the truth through the journey of one of the first Jews to escape Auschwitz . In How Far the Light Reaches , Sabrina Imbler reveals the ways marine biology can teach us about the deepest, most human parts of ourselves. From Stacy Schiff’s brilliant chronicle of Samuel Adams’ role in the American Revolution to Imani Perry’s illuminating tour of the American South, here are the 10 best nonfiction books of 2022.

10. The Revolutionary: Samuel Adams, Stacy Schiff

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Fire Island 's Joel Kim Booster Wants to Leave His 'Hot Idiot' Act Behind

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How To Write A Nonfiction Book: 21 Steps for Beginners

POSTED ON Oct 14, 2020

Scott Allan

Written by Scott Allan

The steps on how to write a nonfiction book are easy to follow, but can be difficult to execute if you don't have a clear plan.

Many first time authors experience information overload when it comes to writing a nonfiction book. Where do I start? How do I build authority? What chapters do I need to include? Do I know enough about this topic?

If you're mind is racing with questions about how to get started with your book, then you’ve landed in the right place!

Writing a book can be a grueling, lengthy process. But with a strategic system in place, you could become a nonfiction book author within three to four months.

However, you need an extremely high level of motivation and dedication, as well as a clear, proven system to follow.

In this article, we’ll cover all there is to know about the nonfiction book writing process.

How to write a nonfiction book

Writing a nonfiction book is one of the most challenging paths you will ever take. But it can also be one of the most rewarding accomplishments of your life.

Before we get started with the steps to write a nonfiction book, let's review some foundational questions that many aspiring authors have.

What is a nonfiction book?

A nonfiction book is based on facts, such as real events, people, and places. It is a broad category, and includes topics such as biography, memoir, business, health, religion, self-help, science, cooking, and more.

A nonfiction book differs from a fiction book in the sense that it is real, not imaginary.

The purpose of nonfiction books is commonly to educate or inform the reader, whereas the purpose of fiction books is typically to entertain.

Perennial nonfiction books are titles such as How to Win Friends and Influence People from Dale Carnegie, A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking, and Anne Frank's The Diary of a Young Girl .

Perennial Nonfiction Books

What is the author’s purpose in a work of nonfiction?

In a nonfiction book, the author’s main purpose or reason for writing on the topic is to inform or educate readers about a certain topic.

While there are some nonfiction books that also entertain readers, the most common author's purpose in a work of nonfiction is to raise awareness about a certain topic, event, or concept.

Nonfiction Authors Purpose

How many words are in a nonfiction book?

Because nonfiction is such a broad category, it really depends on the type of nonfiction you are writing, but generally a nonfiction book should be about 40,000 words.

To determine how many words in a novel , narrow down your topic and do some research to see what the average word count is.

Use this Word & Page Count Calculator to calculate how many words you should aim for, based on your genre and audience.

How long does it take to write a nonfiction book?

It can take anywhere from three months to several years to write a nonfiction book, depending on the author's speed, research process, book length, and other variables.

On average, it can take a self-published author typically six months to one year to write their nonfiction book. However, that means the author is setting time aside daily to work on their book, staying focused, and motivated.

Other nonfiction authors, especially those with heavy research an in–depth analysis can take much longer. How long it takes to write a nonfiction book really just depends on several factors.

Benefits of writing a nonfiction book

Making a decision to write a book could change your life. Just think about all the ways you could leverage your expertise!

If you’re interested in how to write a book , it’s important to understand all the things writing the book can do for you, so that you can stay motivated throughout the process.

Writing Nonfiction Books Benefits

Some rewarding results that can come after you write a nonfiction book are:

  • Exponentially accelerate the growth of your business
  • Generate a stream of passive income for years to come
  • Build authority in your field of expertise
  • Increase exposure in the media
  • Become a motivational speaker
  • …and so much more (this is just the beginning)!

Imagine for a moment …walking into your local bookstore and seeing your book placed at the front of the store in the new releases section. Or browsing on Amazon KDP , the world’s largest online bookstore, and seeing your nonfiction book listed as a bestseller alongside well-known authors.

It can happen in as little as three months if you are fully committed and ready to start today.

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How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 21 Steps

You're clear on the type of nonfiction book you want to write, and you're ready to get started.

Before you start writing, it's time to lay the groundwork and get clear on the entire process. This will help you manage your book writing expectations, and prepare for the nonfiction book writing journey that lies ahead.

With those foundational questions out of the way, let’s move on to 21-step checklist so you can start learning exactly how to write a nonfiction book.

#1— Develop the mindset to learn how to write a nonfiction book

The first step in how to become an author is to develop a rock solid author mindset. Without a writer’s mindset, you are going to struggle to get anywhere with your book. Writing has more to do with your attitude towards the craft than the skill required to get you there.

If writing words down and tying sentences together to craft a story is the skill, your mindset is the foundation that keeps this motivation moving forward.

Identifying yourself as a writer from the start (even if you haven't published yet) will form the mindset needed to continue working on your book .

To succeed, you must toughen up so that nothing gets in your way of writing.

This is also known as imposter syndrome : A psychological pattern where a person doubts their accomplishments and has an ongoing internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud.

Here’s how to prevent imposter syndrome as an aspiring author:

  • Define what it means to be an author or writer. Is this someone who wakes up at 5am and writes 1000 words a day?
  • Tell yourself you’re a writer. Just do it. It feels strange at first but you will begin to believe your own self-talk.
  • Talk about your book idea . That’s right – start telling people you are writing a book. Many writers working on a book will keep it a secret until published. Even then, they might not about it.
  • Take action to build author confidence. Imposter syndrome paralyzes you. Focus on increasing your author confidence and getting rid of doubt. This can be done by committing to writing every day. Just 500 words is enough. Build that writing habits early and you’ll be walking and talking like a true author.

#2 – Create a Book Writing Plan

Excuses will kill your chances of becoming a published author. There are no good reasons for not writing a book, only good excuses you convince yourself are real.

You are trying to protect yourself from embarrassment, only to create a new kind of shame: the shame of not finishing the book you have been talking about for years.

Some of the most common excuses that hold writers back are: There is no time to write in my life right now. I can't get past my distractions. I can never be as good as my favorite famous author. My book has to perfect.

Excuses are easy to dish out. But identifying them for what they are (excuses), is the first step towards taking action and changing your limiting mindset.

Excuses, while they may seem valid, are walls of fear. Banish your excuses right now and commit to writing your book.

Here's how to overcome the excuses that prevent you from writing:

  • Make the time to write. Set up a thirty-minute time block every day. Commit to writing during this time.
  • Turn off your distractions. Get rid of the WiFi for an hour. Close the door. It is just you and the story.
  • Be aware of comparisons to other writers. They worked hard to get where they are, and you will get there, too.
  • Give yourself permission to write badly. It won’t be perfect, but a book that is half-finished can’t be published.

#3 – Identify your WHY

Start with this question: “Why am I doing this?”

Know your why . This is critical to moving ahead with your book idea. We usually have an intrinsic and extrinsic reason for wanting to learn how to write a nonfiction book.

Intrinsic Why: What is your #1 reason for wanting to write this book? Is it a bucket list goal you must achieve? Is it to help people overcome a root issue in their lives? Do you want to create a movement and generate social impact?

Extrinsic Why: Do you want to create a business from your book? Have passive income coming in for many years later? Become a full-time author and work from home? Grow your network? Build an online presence?

Getting super clear on why you want to write a bestselling book is the momentum to propel you forward and deliver your story. Enlisting the help of a book writing coach (like we offer here at SelfPublishing!) can also help you stay close to your why. This person will be your sounding board, motivation, and voice of reason during the writing process – providing much-needed support from someone who's published multiple books before.

#4 – Research nonfiction book topics

Whether you have a clear idea of what you want to write about or if you are still exploring possible topic ideas, it's important to do a bit of market research.

Nonfiction Book Research

Researching the current news and case studies related to your potential topic are powerful ways to add credibility to your nonfiction book, and will help you develop your own ideas.

This adds greater depth to your nonfiction book, builds better trust with readers, and delivers content that exceeds customer expectations.

If you need help narrowing down your book idea, try experimenting with some writing prompts based on the genre you're interested in!

Here's how to write a nonfiction book that's well-researched:

  • Use case studies. Pull case studies and make reference to the research. If there are not any case studies related to your topic, explore the idea of creating your own case study.
  • Read books related to your topic. Mention good books or articles to support your material.
  • Research facts from reliable sources. Post proven facts and figures from reliable sources such as scholarly journals, academic papers, white papers, newspapers, and more.

#5 – Select a nonfiction book topic

What are you writing about? It starts with having a deep interest and passion for the area you are focused on.

Common topics to write a nonfiction book on are:

  • Business and Money
  • Health, dieting and exercise
  • Religion and Spirituality
  • Home repair
  • Innovation and entrepreneurship

You probably already know this so it should be easy. Make a note of the area you are writing your book on. And then…

#6 — Drill down into your book idea

Everyone starts at the same place. It begins with an idea for the book.

What is the core idea for your book? If your nonfiction book topic is on health and dieting, your idea might be a book on “How to lose 7 pounds in your first month.”

Your book is going to be centered around this core idea.

You could have several ideas for the overall book but, to avoid writing a large, general book that nobody will read, make it more specific.

#7 — Schedule writing time

What gets scheduled, gets done. That’s right, you should schedule in your writing time just like any other appointment on your calendar.

Your writing routine will have a large role to play when it comes to writing and finishing your book.

Stephen King Writing Routine

Scheduling time for writing, and sticking to it, will help you knock out your writing goals with ease.

Stephen King sits down to write every morning from eight-thirty. It was his way of programming his brain to get ready for the day’s work. He writes an average of ten pages a day.

W.H. Auden would rise at six a.m. and would work hard from seven to eleven-thirty, when his mind was sharpest.

When do you feel the most productive? If you can, make time for writing at the same time every day to set the tone for your writing productivity.

YouTube video

Commit to a time of day and a length of time during which to write. Set a goal for yourself and try to hit the target every day by sticking with your routine.

#8 — Establish a writing space

You need a place to write, and you must establish that space where you can write everyday, distraction-free for several hours a day.

Your writing environment plays a critical role in your life as an author. If you write in a place that’s full of noise, uncomfortable to be in, or affects your emotional state to the point you don’t want to do anything, you might consider your environment needs some work.

Create A Writing Space

Here is how to create a writing space that inspires you to write:

Display your favorite author photos

Find at least twenty photos of authors you want to emulate. Print these out if you can and place them around your room. An alternative idea is to use the photos as screensavers or a desktop screen. You can change the photo every day if you like. There is nothing like writing and having your favorite author looking back at you as if to say, “Come on, you’ve got this!”

Hang up a yearly calendar

Your nonfiction book will get written faster if you have goals for each day and week. The best way to manage this is by scheduling your time on a calendar. Schedule every hour that you commit to your author business.

As Bob Goff said, “The battle for happiness begins on the pages of our calendars.”

Buy a big wall calendar. Have enough space on each day that you can write down your goals for that day. When you have a goal for that day or week, write it down or use a sticky note.

Create a clutter-free environment

If there is any one factor that will slow you down or kill your motivation, it is a room full of clutter.

If your room looks like a tornado swept through, it can have a serious impact on your emotional state. What you see around you also occupies space in your mind. Unfinished business is unconsciously recorded in your mind and this leads to clutter (both physical and mental).

Although you can’t always be in complete control of your physical space, you can get rid of any clutter you have control over. Go for a simple workplace that makes you feel relaxed.

Choose a writing surface and chair

Consider a standing desk, which is becoming popular for many reasons. Sitting down for long periods of time becomes uncomfortable and unhealthy. You can balance your online time between sitting and standing.

For sitting, you want a chair that is comfortable, but not too comfortable. Invest in a chair that requires you to sit up straight. If there is a comfortable back attached, as with most chairs, you have a tendency to get sleepy. This can trigger other habits as well, such as craving television.

Seek out the place where you can be at your most productive and feel confident and comfortable.

#9 — Choose a nonfiction book writing software

This is one of the most important writing tools you will choose. Your writing software needs to be efficient, easy to use and stress-free. Anything that requires a lot of formatting or a steep learning curve could end up costing you time and patience.

There are literally dozens of choices for book writing software , so it's really just a matter of finding what works best for you.

YouTube video

Here are 3 writing software for new authors to consider:

  • Microsoft Word. Before any other writing tools came along, Microsoft Word was the only option available. Today, even though there are many other word processors out there, millions of people continue to use it for their writing needs. And it’s easy to see why. It’s trusted, reliable, and gets the job done well .
  • Google Docs . It's a stripped-down version of Word that you can only use online. Some perks are that it comes with the built-in ability to share content, files, and documents with your team. You can easily communicate via comments for collaboration. If you write your book in Google Docs, you can share the link with anyone and they can edit , or make any changes right in the document itself. And all changes are trackable!
  • Scrivener . A lot of writers absolutely love this program, with its advanced features and distraction-free writing experience. Scrivener was designed for writers; it’s super easy to lay out scenes, move content around, and outline your story, article, or manuscript. If you’re serious about learning how to write a nonfiction book, then putting in the time to learn this writing tool will definitely be worth it.

There are many forms of writing software that all have advantages to using them, but once you find what works for you, stick with it.

#10 — Create your mind map

A mind map is a brain dump of all your ideas. Using your theme and core idea as a basic starting point, your mind map will help you to visually organize everything into a structure for the book.

I highly recommend using pen and paper for this. You will enjoy the creative flow of this process with a physical version of the map rather than mind mapping software. But, if you prefer using an app to create your mindmap , you can try MindMeister .

Here is how to create your mind map:

  • Start with your central idea. Write this idea in the center of the map.
  • Add branches connecting key ideas that flow out from the core idea.
  • Add keywords that tie these key ideas together.
  • Using color coded markers or sticky notes, and identify the chapters within your mindmap.
  • Take your chapter headings and…

#11 — How to write a nonfiction book outline

Now that your book topic is decided on, and you have mind mapped your ideas, it’s time to start determining how to outline a nonfiction book.

There are several ways to create a book outline , and it really boils down to author preference and style.

Here's how to write a nonfiction book outline:

  • Use this Book Outline Generator for a helpful template to follow for your own outline.
  • Map out your book's topics with a mindmap or bubble map, then organize similar concepts together into chapters.
  • Answer the 5 Ws: Who, What, When, Where, Why.
  • Use book writing software outline tools, like Scrivener's corkboard method.

YouTube video

What is a nonfiction book outline?

A book outline is a roadmap or blueprint for your story. It tells you where you need to go and when in chronological order.

Take the common themes of your chapters and, if applicable, divide your chapters into sections. This is your smooth transition from tangled mind map to organized outline.

Note that not every book needs sections; you might have chapters only. But if your chapters can be grouped into 3-6 different themes within the book, create a section for those common-themed chapters and group them together into a section.

The outline needs to be easy to follow and generally no more than a couple pages long.

The goal here is to take your mind map and consolidate your ideas into a structure that makes logical sense . This will be an incredible roadmap to follow when you are writing the book.

No outline = writing chaos.

There are two types of book outlines I will introduce here:

Option 1: Simple Nonfiction Book Outline

A simple book outline is just like it sounds; keep it basic and brief. Start with the title, then add in your major sections in the order that makes sense for your topic.

Don’t get too hung up on the perfect title at this stage of the process ; you just want to come up with a good-for-now placeholder.

Use our Nonfiction Book Title Generator for ideas.

Option 2: Chapter-by-Chapter Nonfiction Book Outline

Your chapter-by-chapter book outline is a pumped-up version of the simple book outline.

To get started, first create a complete chapter list. With each chapter listed as a heading, you’ll later add material or move chapters around as the draft takes shape.

Create a working title for each chapter. List them in a logical order. After that, you’ll fill in the key points of each chapter.

Create a mind map for each chapter to outline a nonfiction book

Now that you have a list of your chapters, take each one and, similar to what you did with your main mind map for the book, apply this same technique to each chapter.

You want to mind map 3-7 ideas to cover in each chapter. These points will become the subtopics of each chapter that functions to make up chapter structure in your nonfiction book.

It is important to not get hung up on the small details of the chapter content at this stage. Simply make a list of your potential chapters. The outline will most likely change as you write the book. You can tweak the details as you go.

#12 — Determine your point of view

The language can be less formal if you are learning how to write a self-help book or another similar nonfiction book. This is because you are teaching a topic based on your own perspective and not necessarily on something based in scientific research.

Discovering your voice and writing style is as easy as being yourself, but it’s also a tough challenge.

Books that have a more conversational tone to them are just as credible as books with more profound language. You just have to keep your intended audience in mind when deciding what kind of tone you want to have in your book.

The easiest way to do this is to simply write as you would talk, as if you were explaining your topic to someone in front of you – maybe a friend.

Your reader will love this because it will feel like you are sitting with them, having a cup of coffee, hanging out and chatting about your favorite topic.

How To Write A Nonfiction Book Infograph

#13 — Write your first chapter

As soon as you have your nonfiction book outline ready, you want to build momentum right away. The best way to start this is to dive right into your first chapter.

You can start anywhere you like. You don’t have to start writing your nonfiction book in chronological order.

Take a chapter and, if you haven’t yet done so, spend a few minutes to brainstorm the main speaking points. These points are to be your chapter subheadings.

You already have the best software for writing, you’re all set in your writing environment, now you can start writing.

But wait…feeling stuck already?

That’s okay. You might want to start off with some free flow writing. Take a blank page and just start writing down your thoughts. Don’t think about what you are writing or if it makes any sense. This technique is designed to open up your mind to the flow of writing, or stream of consciousness

Write for 10-15 minutes until you are warmed up.

Next, dive into your chapter content.

#14 — Write a nonfiction book first draft

The major step in how to write a nonfiction book is – well, to actually write the first draft!

In this step, you are going to write the first draft of your book. All of it. Notice we did not say you were going to write and edit . No, you are only writing.

Do not edit while you write, and if you can fight temptation, do not read what you’ve written until the first draft is complete.

This seems like a long stretch, to write a 30-40,000-word book without reading it over, but…it’s important to tap into your creative mind and stay there during the writing phase.

It is difficult to access both your writing brain and editing brain at the same time. By sticking with the process of “write first, edit later,” you will finish your first draft faster and feel confident moving into the self-editing phase.

To learn how to write a nonfiction book, use this format:

  • Mind map your chapter —10 minutes
  • Outline/chapter subheadings—10 minutes
  • Research [keep it light]—20 Minutes
  • Write content—90 minutes

After you're done with your rough draft (first draft) you'll move on to the second draft/rewrite of your book when you will improve the organization, add more details, and create a polished draft before sending the manuscript to the editor.

#15 — Destroy writer’s block

At some point along the writer’s journey, you are going to get stuck. It is inevitable.

It is what we call the “messy middle” and, regardless you are writing fiction or nonfiction, it happens to everyone. You were feeling super-pumped to get this book written but halfway through, it begins to feel like an insurmountable mountain that you’ll never conquer.

Writer’s block is what happens when you hit a wall and struggle to move forward.

Here is what you can do when you find yourself being pulled down that dark hole.

Talk back to the voices trying to overpower your mind. Your internal critic is empowered when you believe what you are listening to is true.

Bring in the writer who has brought you this far – the one who took the initiative to learn how to write a nonfiction book. Be the writer that embraces fear and laughs at perfectionistic tendencies. Be that person that writes something even if it doesn’t sound good. Let yourself make mistakes and give yourself permission to fail.

Use positive affirmations are therapy for removing internal criticism.

Defeat the self-doubt by not owning it. Your fears exist in your mind. The book you are writing is great, and it will be finished.

Now, go finish it…

#16 — Reach out to nonfiction book editors

Before you start your second rewrite, consider reaching out to an editor and lining someone up to professionally edit your book. Then, when you have completed your self-editing process, you can send your book to the editor as quickly as possible.

Just as producing a manuscript involves a varied skill set—writing, formatting, cover design, etc.— so does editing it.

Do not skimp on quality when it come to editing – set aside money in your budget when determining the costs to publish your book .

Getting a quality edit should be the #1 expenditure for your book. It doesn’t matter if you think you’re a fantastic writer—we all make small mistakes that are difficult to catch, even after reading through the book several times.

You can find good editors on sites such as Upwork or through recommendations from other authors.

#17— Self-edit your first draft

You completed the major step in how to write a nonfiction book: You’re rough draft is finished. Now it is time to go through your content page per page, line per line, and clean it up.

This is where is gets messy. This is the self-editing stage and is the most critical part of the book writing process.

You can print out the entire manuscript and read through it in a weekend. Arm yourself with a red pen and several highlighters. You’ll be marking up sentences and writing on the page.

Start with a verbal read through.

Yes, actually read your draft out loud to yourself; you'll be surprised how reading it verbally allows you to spot certain mistakes or areas for improvement.

A verbal read through will show you:

  • Any awkward phrasing you’ve used
  • What doesn’t make sense
  • Typos (the more mistakes you find, the less an editor will accidentally overlook)

Questions to ask as you self-edit your nonfiction book:

  • What part of the book is unclear or vague?
  • Can the “outsider” understand the point to this section without being told?
  • Is my language clear and concrete?
  • Can I add more detail or take detail out?
  • Can the reader feel my passion for writing and for the topic I am exploring?
  • What is the best part of this section and how can I make the other parts as good as the best section?
  • Do I have good transitions between chapters?

For printed out material take lots of notes and correct each page as you go. Or break it down by paragraphs and make sure the content flows and transitions well.

Take 2-3 weeks for the self editing stage. The goal isn’t to make it perfect, but to have a presentable manuscript for the editor.

If you let perfection slip in, you could be self-editing and rewriting six months from now. You want to get your best book published, but not have it take three years to get there.

And, when the self edit is finished…

#18 — Create a nonfiction title

The title and subtitle is critical to getting noticed in any physical or online bookstore, such as Amazon.

Related: Nonfiction Book Title Generator

Set aside a few hours to work on crafting your perfect title and subtitle. Keep in mind that needs to engage your potential readers to buy the book.

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The title is by far one of the critical elements of the books’ success .

Here are the main points to consider when creating a nonfiction book title:

  • Habit Stacking
  • Example#1: Break the Cycle of Self-Defeat, Destroy Negative Emotions and Reclaim Your Personal Power
  • Example#2: How to Save More Money, Slash Your Spending, and Master Your Spending

Write down as many title ideas as you can. Then, mix and match, moving keywords around until you come up with a title that “sticks.”

Next, test your title by reaching out for feedback – this can be from anyone in your author network. Don’t have an author community to reach out to?

Consider attending some of the best writers conferences to start networking with other writers and authors!

You can also test your title on sites like PickFu .

#19 — Send your nonfiction book to the editor

In a previous step, you hired your editor. Now you are going to send your book to the editor. This process should take about 2-3 weeks. Most editors will do two revisions.

When you receive your first revision, take a few days to go through the edits with track changes turned on. Carefully consider the suggestions your editor is making.

If you don’t agree with some of the suggested edits, delete them! Your editors don’t know your nonfiction book as well as you do.

So, while expert feedback is essential to creating a polished, professional-quality book, have some faith in yourself and your writing.

Now that the editing is done, you are preparing for the final stage…

#20 — Hire a proofreader

Even with the best of editors, there are often minor errors—typos, punctuation—that get missed. This is why you should consider hiring a proofreader—not your editor—to read through the book and catch any last errors.

You don’t want these mistakes to be picked up by readers and then posted as negative reviews.

You can find proofreaders to hire in your local area, or online, such as Scribendi Proofreaders or ProofreadingServices.com

Some great proofreading apps to use are Grammarly and Hemingway Editor App .

When you are satisfied that the book is 100% error free and stands up to the best standard of quality, it is time to…

#21 — Hire a formatter

Congratulations…you’re almost there! Hiring your book formatter is one of the final stages before publishing.

Nothing can ruin a good book like bad formatting. A well-formatted book enhances your reader's experience and keeps those pages being turned.

Be sure that you have clear chapter headings and that, wherever possible, the chapter is broken up into subheadings.

You can hire good formatters at places like Archangelink , Ebook Launch , and Formatted Books .

Here are the key pages to include in your nonfiction book:

Front Matter Content

  • Copyright page
  • Free gift page with a link to the opt-in page (optional)
  • Table of contents
  • Foreword (optional)

Back Matter Content

  • Lead magnet [reminder]
  • Work with me (optional)
  • Acknowledgements (optional)
  • Upcoming books [optional]

Now, work together with your formatter and communicate clearly the vision for your book. Be certain your formatter has clear instructions and be closely involved in this process until it is finished.

You know how to write a nonfiction book!

Now that you know the entire process to write your book, it's time to move on to the next phase: publishing and launching your book!

For publishing, you have two options: traditional publishing and self publishing. If you’re completely new to the book writing scene, you may want to check out this article which goes over self publishing .

If you’re deciding between self publishing vs traditional publishing , do some research to choose the right option for you.

Once you get to the marketing phase, be sure to use the Book Profit Calculator to set realistic goals and get your book into the hands of as many readers as possible!

Take some time to celebrate your accomplishing of learning how to write a nonfiction book, then get to work on publishing and launching that book!

What questions do you still have on how to write a nonfiction book?

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Last updated on Apr 23, 2021

How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 6 Steps

Writing a nonfiction book is a good way to share your story, impart your wisdom, or even build your business. And while you may not have thought about becoming an author before, it’s not as far-fetched a goal as you might think. In this post, we'll show you a simple process for becoming a nonfiction author. Hold onto that book idea of yours, and let’s see how we can turn it into something that readers will love.

How to write a nonfiction book:

1. Determine what problem your book will solve

2. outline your book with a logical structure, 3. choose a style guide to remain consistent, 4. blast through your messy first draft, 5. revise your manuscript and check your facts, 6. choose to publish traditionally or independently.

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When you start out, your idea is likely to be nebulous or vague, e.g. “It’s a self-help book for new parents.” Before you put pen to paper, you need to crystallize and tighten your original idea, as well as think about your target audience and your author platform . Using that information and the tips below, you can validate your book idea, find a sense of direction in your writing, and prepare for when you send out a book proposal , if you want to traditionally publish. 

non fiction books to write

FREE RESOURCE

Book Proposal Template

Craft a professional pitch for your nonfiction book with our handy template.

Nail down your book idea

A key part of figuring out how to write a nonfiction book is being able to answer the three important "W" questions:

  • What is it about?
  • Why does it matter, and why should you write it?
  • Who will want to read it — or rather, who is your target audience ?

Once you can answer these questions, you can fill in the blanks below:

[The who] will read my book about [the what] because [the why].

For example: "CEOs will read my book about workplace culture because it offers insights into the practices of the top ten companies voted 'best places' to work in the USA."

Being able to distill your book down in this way is a good sign you have a solid concept, and that your book will ultimately be marketable. If you can’t answer one of those questions, it may be time to return to the drawing board and tighten up your book’s main idea.

Research your topic

Once you’ve pinned down your idea, , you’ll want to dig a bit into the topic or the nonfiction genre of your book to find the leads to develop this idea. Research is very important, and it can come in many shapes and sizes depending on the project. Here are a few of the different types of research that are suitable for certain genres.

💭 If you’re writing a memoir

We’ve got a whole guide on how to write a memoir here with more research tips, but if there’s one thing we recommend you do, it’s to interview yourself. Ask yourself questions that strangers might ask you. A simple interview like this can help you reassess your memories and pull out the important bits of your story. (And of course, you can always have someone else interview you too!) 

🔧 If you’re writing a how-to 

Your research may involve collecting all sorts of existing material on the subject — such as blog posts and previously published essays. You might want to test some of the methods out in order to home in on the most effective instructions. 

☯ If you’re writing self-help

When writing a self-help book , you might want to reach out to experts, such as psychologists and inspirational speakers, who can provide more evidence and insight to what you already know. If you're an expert yourself, you can interview yourself as you would for a memoir. It also doesn’t hurt to check out some of the best self-help books for inspiration!

⏳ If you’re writing a history or biography

You’ll be gathering resources in libraries and archives, looking at primary and secondary sources on the matter. And if you’re writing about someone who’s still alive, you’ll probably need access to said person, or at least have their consent before forging on with the research. 

💼 If you’re writing a business book 

This requires a lot of understanding of the market that you’re writing about, be it the one concerning stocks or houseplants (see more of what we mean in our guide on how to write an ebook ). You have to find out who might be interested in the products you're talking about, what their habits are like, where they usually go to for advice on matters related to the product — the list goes on. If you really want to dive into this route, perhaps this free course of ours can be of some help… 

Free course: How to write a business book

How can writing a book revolutionize your business? Only one way to find out.

Like fiction, where story structure can make or break a narrative , nonfiction relies on the reader being able to follow the writer’s leaps of logic. Since nonfiction is all about utility, structure is of the utmost importance in guiding the reader toward the information they need. You want your structure to be coherent but also gripping, so that readers want to read on and remember what they’ve read.  

How to Write a Nonfiction Book | Book Writing Software Reedsy Book Editor

Typically, if your book is about a process, or is a how-to, a linear structure makes sense. To make things more exciting for readers, you can also choose to disrupt the linear flow and follow a list or essay structure. Not sure what these structures are? Head on to guide on how to outline a nonfiction book to find the answers (and more planning tips). 

Before you start writing, pick a style guide to follow throughout your book. What’s a style guide, you ask? It’s a set of guidelines to help keep your writing consistent. If you’ve worked with both US English and UK English, you might notice that certain things get spelled differently, i.e. ‘color’ versus ‘colour’. You should choose the variation that best suits your target audience, depending on where they’re based. A manual of style would help ensure you keep to one of those versions, along with some other details like whether you use the Oxford or serial comma, single or double quotation marks, or how to list your references. A popular guide that you might find useful is the Chicago Manual of Style . 

Why do things like this matter? Firstly, a proper guide matters to a nonfiction book because this book is supposed to be factual and accurate. Whether you’re writing popular self-help or more academic pieces, referencing will be a crucial part of your credibility, so you’ll want to nail it from the moment you start. Secondly, being consistent as you write will only help you in the editing process, preventing you from having to correct the same mistakes over and over again. 

Now the planning’s out of the way, there’s nowhere left to run: it’s time to actually sit down and write your first draft. Luckily, we've got plenty of writing tips to help you out!

Use storytelling techniques 

Almost anything is more comprehensible and memorable when told as a story. Stories are easier to follow along, they get readers invested in the topic and curious about what happens next, and they tend to be more memorable than just hard facts. Which is why you should think about the stories that you can tell through your nonfiction book, and how to get the most out of them. 

So when you use anecdotal evidence, think about the person (a.k.a. character) involved, what their motivations and feelings are. How can those motives and sensations be linked to your main point? If you can, the fact that you’re sharing will be that much more meaningful to the reader because they've associated it with a story. Of course, you shouldn’t embellish facts and end up in the realm of fiction, but an eye for narrative detail is a big asset for a nonfiction author.

Hear it from another author: Harry Freedman shared his process with us in this Reedsy Live! 

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Include dialogue 

Continuing on from the previous point, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t use dialogue in your nonfiction writing. It’s a given that you’d use it in creative nonfiction, but it’s also a great way to break up dense texts and add a human voice to your book. If you have a transcript or a record of a direct quote, you can write it as dialogue . If not, feel free to refer to what was being said as something you’ve been told, rather than something someone said. The difference is subtle (as you can see in the example below), but either way, including conversations make the writing more accessible and interesting to read. 

“I bought a lot of ice cream that week where there was a heatwave,” Joe said.  Hot weather makes people crave ice cream — I remember my neighbor, Joe, stocking up in preparation for a heatwave. 

Of course, it goes without saying that in academic writing this might not be the most conventional or professional option. But if you have a clear recording of the conversation, and you see the value of including it in your book, then you can do it. Note, however, that the formatting for dialogues in academic writing especially may be different from the ones you see in fiction writing (this is why we cannot emphasize enough the need to find an appropriate editor). 

Avoid jargon 

This just might be the most important piece of advice we can give you: keep your use of jargon and complicated language to a minimum. This does not mean that you have to cut away every expert term you have in your vocabulary, it just means you should use them mindfully. Remember that you may be writing for a quite a big audience, many of whom might not know what you’re talking about. Not only will they need you to explain the term when you first introduce it, they’ll also be less likely to remember these terms if they’ve only just met them. 

As such, you want to minimize the use of jargon in your writing. If there’s a simpler way to express something, use it. It might feel like you’re killing your darlings , but it will most likely be appreciated by your readers.If you must use specialist vocab, be sure to define it and add refreshers where necessary.

Have a writing schedule 

Our final tip is one for your process: create a writing schedule for yourself, whichever fits your own timetable and writing habits the most. Perhaps you have a day job and work best when you have a specific time to write at the end of the day. Or maybe you work better with a monthly goal of finishing certain sections and chapters in mind. Either way, setting out time to write regularly will help you progress and keep you from losing motivation.  

If you think learning how to write a nonfiction book is all about the actual writing, you’re forgetting another crucial dimension of the book business: editing. Most manuscripts go through several rounds of revisions before they reach their final form, and the first round should always be a self-edit. So don’t hold back: it’s time for you to ruthlessly edit your book . Here are some of our best tips for you. 

Double-check your facts 

It should go without saying, but this is probably the most important part of editing your nonfiction book. Whenever you refer to a fact, a historical event, or an argument that another academic has previously made, you have to make sure that it’s accurate. On top of that, you’ll have to add a footnote and reference at the end, listing your sources. You don’t want to be sharing false facts or accused of paraphrasing other’s works! 

As such, combing through and checking your facts is essential. It can be quite a tedious task, and you can never be too careful, so having a second pair of eyes on your manuscript is always a good idea.

Perfect your manuscript with professional help

The top nonfiction editors are on Reedsy, and you can meet them for free

Learn how Reedsy can help you craft a beautiful book.

Cut down on excessive information 

While we’re on the topic of facts, let’s talk about being overly informative. Can a book that’s supposed to educate ever be provide too much information? Turns out too much of anything can be bad. 

Everything in your book should link back to the main problem that you’re addressing. Sometimes it’s tempting to drop in a fun fact or anecdote that you think readers might find entertaining, but it’s important to balance that with the coherence of your book. So as you reread your first draft, think about the purpose behind the pieces of information you lay out, and remove those that don’t aid in answering the main question of your book. 

Shorten your sentences

The style guide you picked at the beginning will probably have you covered in terms of punctuation and grammar. What it can’t cover is your sentence length. Most sentences in first drafts err on the longer side — we tend to use more conjunctions than necessary to connect phrases and ideas that are interlinked. However, it’s often easier for readers to take in the details bit by bit. 

Aim for 20-30 words sentences, which should max out at about two lines in the standard Times New Roman, 12-point font. Anything longer than 50 words should be avoided as much as possible. 

Looking for more tips to refine your nonfiction writing? Reedsy editor Jenn Lien shared plenty in this seminar! 

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Self-edits all done? That means you’re ready for the next steps of your publishing journey. The next question to ask yourself is how you’ll be putting this book of yours into the world: will it be through a publisher, or will you produce the book independently? There’s a lot to consider when debating the pros and cons of traditional and self-publishing , but as a nonfiction writer, you might find doing it yourself beneficial, because:

  • Publishing is much faster without having to go through agents and publishers;
  • You probably have or are building an online presence already and can use that to effectively market your book ;
  • You get most of the royalties. 

That said, we’ll share some tips to get you ready for either pathway below. And if you’re still on the fence about the next steps, maybe this little quiz can help you out! 

Is self-publishing or traditional publishing right for you?

Takes one minute!

Self-publishing 

If you’ve decided to become an indie author , here are some things you might want to do once you finish your manuscript. (Remember that although you’re self-publishing, you won’t have to do everything by yourself! Professional help is at hand.) 

✍ Hire an editor (if you haven’t already). At the risk of sounding like a broken record, we can’t recommend hiring a professional editor enough. A fresh perspective will always help when it comes to the nitty gritty details. 

🎨 Work with a professional cover designer. In the digital age, the decision to buy a book is arguably more heavily influenced by the appeal of the cover — it’s the thumbnails on Amazon that do much of the work! Artistic book covers like these are guaranteed to catch the eye of browsers, which is why you should definitely work with a designer. 

🌐 Get to know Amazon. We know, its influence on our lives is uncanny, but there’s hardly a better place to reach your audience than Amazon. From printing the books to promoting it, there are all the tools you need on this platform to achieve self-publishing success. This guide on Amazon self-publishing will shed some light on how that can be done. 

Traditional publishing 

Going down the traditional route means that the publisher will take care of most areas of finishing up the product, from the edit to cover design. However, to get to that point, you’ll need to follow some pretty standard steps. 

📬 Query an agent. Most large publishers don’t accept unsolicited submissions from authors, meaning they require representation from a literary agent. Some resources we have for those looking to query are:

  • Writing a Nonfiction Query Letter (with Free Sample) (blog post)
  • The Best Nonfiction Literary Agents to Submit to (directory) 

📖 Submit a book proposal. Together with an agent, you’ll have to pitch a publisher with a book proposal. This proposal includes your book’s synopsis, its target audience and competitive titles, as well as a sample of one or two of the chapters. So while you don’t need a complete manuscript before you submit, a rough draft will no doubt be helpful. For a bit more detail on the process, check out our free course on how to submit a nonfiction proposal. 

Free course: How to submit a book proposal

Get publishers excited about your nonfiction book in this 10-day online course.

Now that you know how to write a nonfiction book, the publishing world is your oyster! Whatever path you take, we wish you the best of luck. And if you do decide to publish, we can’t wait to see what you’ve created. 

David Irvine says:

05/12/2019 – 16:58

I self-published all my books for free using the Amazon KDP software. It was a bit of a high learning curve but worth the time and effort. You can also create a really nice front cover using their cover creator. Anyway, nice write up with plenty of good tips for writers seeking to get published.

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Home / Guides / Book Publishing / How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 2023: The Ultimate Guide for Authors

How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 2023: The Ultimate Guide for Authors

  • Part 2: Outline the Book
  • Part 3: Write the Book
  • Part 4: Edit the Book
  • Part 5: Publish & Market Your Book

If you want to be a nonfiction author, we’ve got the perfect guide for you. 

This ultimate guide will walk you through the entire process of creating your nonfiction book, from the initial idea to the final publication.

  • How to ensure your idea will sell
  • How to outline and write your nonfiction book
  • How to polish your book to make it perfect
  • How to publish and market your book for maximum success

Links in this article may give me a small commission if you use them to purchase products. There’s NO extra cost to you, and it helps me continue to write handy articles like this one.

Determine What Problem Your Nonfiction Book Solves

When it comes to nonfiction writing, it's common for beginning ideas to be a bit vague. It's easy to have a general concept in mind, but to truly make your book a success, you need to do market research to ensure there's an audience for your work. 

This research will help you narrow down your focus and identify the specific problem your book will solve.

In most cases, nonfiction books are written to solve a specific problem . Whether it's a how-to guide on a particular topic, or a self-help book addressing a certain issue, these types of books are meant to provide readers with valuable information that can help them in some way. 

Side note: there are some genres, such as history books, creative nonfiction, or memoirs, that don't quite fit into this mold. But even in these cases, it's still important to understand why people want to read it.

When doing market research, it's important to answer the five W's of your book: the who, what, where, when, and why. 

By answering these questions, you'll be able to identify your niche and craft a book that truly resonates with readers.

Validate Your Book Idea

Before you completely narrow down your story or topic, you need to know if it's a good idea or not. To do this, you need to run through four steps:

  • Step 1: Learn if and how many people search for your book idea
  • Step 2: Learn if the idea is profitable during the book topic validation process
  • Step 3: Discover how hard the competition is for your book
  • Step 4: Rinse and repeat

If you find your book topic is not profitable, you can still write it. But if that's the case, you will have to resort to different marketing tactics. You will need to focus on finding the right market somewhere other than Amazon, and getting them interested in reading your book.

Read more in our article on book idea validation .

Determine Your Audience

When it comes to market research for your book, the most important part is understanding your audience. Without a clear understanding of who you're writing for, it will be difficult to create a book that truly resonates with readers. Counterintuitively, you want to narrow down your audience as much as possible. 

One of the best ways to narrow down your audience is by creating a customer avatar. This is a single person that represents your ideal reader. 

The more specific you can make this person, the better. 

It's important to think about things like their gender, age, background, education level, family situation, and even how much money they make. 

The more specific you can get, the more you'll understand about the kinds of problems they're facing, and how your book can help them.

Having a customer avatar in mind can help you make important decisions about your book, such as what types of information to include, what tone to use, and even what types of marketing to do. 

It also helps to think of your customer avatar when you are writing as well so you are writing with a specific person in mind and that will help you to keep your writing more focused. 

Outlining is the next part, and is particularly important for nonfiction books.

You want to make sure you are covering all the subjects thoroughly in your nonfiction book outline, and nothing is lost in translation. Here are some ideas to help.

Brainstorm Ideas

Once you have a clear understanding of your target audience and the problem your book will solve, it's time to start brainstorming ideas. If you already know what your book is about, this is the time to think about how to structure your book and what to include in it. 

If you're still not sure what your book is about, this is the time to explore different possibilities.

When brainstorming ideas, it's important not to hold back. Write down everything that comes to mind, even if it doesn't seem like a good fit at first. 

To help generate ideas, try brainstorming with a group of people, whether it's friends, family or other nonfiction writers. They may have insights you haven’t considered and the exchange of thoughts can be very productive. Also, you could explore other books in your niche and look for inspiration, or research the latest trends and best practices in your niche.

Ultimately, don't be afraid to experiment and try out different things. Brainstorming is a creative process and the more ideas you have to work with, the better your final book will be.

After brainstorming ideas, it's time to dive into research. Research is the best way to truly understand what your book should talk about.

If you find that no one has written about your topic before, it might be a sign that the topic may not be as helpful as you think. So, it's important to be open to the possibility of changing the topic or pivoting in a different direction.

The research process should involve looking through a variety of sources such as books written by others, online articles, podcasts and YouTube videos, interviews, and anything else that may be relevant to your topic. This will give you a good idea of what to cover, but also what gaps in knowledge still exist.

As you research, make sure to gather all unique pieces of data into your notes. Organize the information by topic or subtopic, and make sure to include the source of each piece of information. This will be useful later when you're writing your book and need to cite your sources or refer back to specific information.

Research is a crucial step in the book-writing process, and the more time you spend doing it, the more valuable your book will be. 

It will help you to understand your topic more deeply and help you to better serve your readers. Remember, research is not just to back your claims but to improve the credibility of your book.

Use Nonfiction Story Structures

We often talk about story structure when it comes to fiction, but nonfiction books can benefit from using story structures as well. There are many different types of nonfiction story structures you can use, but here are a few examples to get you started.

  • Manipulating Time: With this structure, your story starts in the middle, and shows how you got there in flashback-type sequences. This is great if you're using your own story or something from one of your clients. It allows you to show how your protagonist got to where they are, using the principles you outlined in the book.
  • Hook, Story, Offer: This is a great framework from Russell Brunson that I like to use. It consists of three different steps: Hook, which is the thing that gets your readers interested; Story, which is the thing that connects your readers with the emotional truths you're trying to convey; and Offer, where you present the solution to the problem you outlined in your story.
  • Circular Structure: Similar to manipulating time, this structure starts at the end, and shows how you got there.
  • Parallel Structure: With this structure, you might have two or more stories that you are weaving together. They might seem separate at first, but you tie them together by the end. This is a great way of interweaving your personal story with the principles in your nonfiction book.

Using nonfiction story structures can be a great way to engage your readers and make your book more compelling. By using one of these structures, you can help your readers understand and connect with the information you're presenting in a more meaningful way.

Put it All Together

Once you have your structure in place and your notes organized, it's time to weave it all together into something coherent. 

This can be a challenging step, as you'll need to take all the information you've gathered and figure out how to present it in a logical and easy-to-understand way. 

It's important to be selective with the information you include, as you'll likely have more than you can include in your book. This means that some things may need to be left out, as hard as that may be.

Once you have that all fleshed out and ready to go, it’s time to move on to the next step…

Writing a book is the single most important step on this list, and often the hardest. So I’ve assembled a few tips to get you started.

Determine the Best Writing Software

Choose the best book writing software for individual project, consider software like Atticus, Scrivener, Ulysses and Microsoft word or Google Docs.

Atticus is the best book writing software for overall capability, including tracking software and formatting. It costs $147 as a one-time fee and works on multiple platforms. 

It is our #1 recommendation for authors who want to write and format books of any kind!

Scrivener is the next best option for organization and customization, but it has a steep learning curve and costs $49 (one-time) for Mac or Windows. $19.99 for iOS devices and reduced pricing of $41.65 is available for “students & academics”.

Use Kindlepreneur’s unique discount code (KINDLEPRENEUR) to get 20% OFF your purchase.

  • Download Scrivener 3 for Mac
  • Download Scrivener 1 for Windows , which is on par with Scrivener 2 for Mac (update coming in 2021)
  • Download Scrivener 1 for iOS , which is also on par with Scrivener 2 on Mac (a handy tool for on-the-go writing with an iPad or iPhone )

Ulysses is a customizable and sleek book writing software that syncs automatically and has a drag-and-drop functionality, but only works on Apple products and costs $5.99/month or $49.99/year, but with a free 2-week trial. 

Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is industry standard for word processing, but not ideal for novel writing, often used because of its ubiquity, but it is cumbersome for writing a book, and costs $139.99 as a one-time purchase or $6.99/month for a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Write the Book Fast

When it comes to nonfiction and fiction alike, I firmly believe that getting the book out as fast as possible is the best way to go. Writing fast allows you to get the first draft on the table and start the editing process. 

Important: The goal at this stage is not to create a perfect product, but simply to get the words down so you can work with them later.

One of the main advantages of writing quickly is that it helps to overcome writer's block and other forms of procrastination. When you're not focusing on making everything perfect, it's easier to simply get words down on the page. 

It's also useful to remember that the first draft is not meant to be perfect, it's meant to be a starting point, it's where you will put down the ideas that you want to explore further, and decide which direction you want to take.

Some quick tips to write fast include

  • Set good goals
  • Work in manageable chunks
  • Develop writing habits
  • Right at the same time everyday
  • Use a timer
  • Try dictation

We have a whole list of other ways to write faster in this article.

Use Storytelling

Storytelling is often seen as something that is only relevant to fiction writing, but it's equally important in nonfiction. Stories allow you to draw readers in and make them emotionally connected with your subject matter.

There are many ways to incorporate stories into your nonfiction book. You can mine stories from your own life, the lives of your clients, history, or even current events. 

The key is to find stories that are relevant to the topic of your book and that will help to illustrate the points you're trying to make.

Keep the Writing Simple

For nonfiction, it's important to keep the language simple and easy to understand. Unless you are speaking to a highly educated audience, this will almost always be the case. 

This is because nonfiction books often have the goal of conveying information to a wide audience, which means that the language must be accessible to a general reader.

Using simple and easy-to-understand language not only makes your book more accessible to a wider audience, but it also makes it more likely that your readers will retain the information you're trying to convey. 

Avoid using jargon and technical terms that might not be familiar to your general audience. Instead, explain them in simple terms or provide definitions. 

The more complex your topic, the more you want to be able to explain that topic in simple terms.

Editing the book is when you take that rough product and polish it. It’s an important step that should be done with care.

Self-edit the Book

Let's be honest, self-editing is not everyone's favorite part of the writing process. However, it is an important step that should not be overlooked. Before you send your work to beta readers or an editor, it's a good idea to have at least one self-edit. 

This will give you an opportunity to catch any errors and make sure your ideas flow well, your arguments are tight and the book feels coherent.

The key is to approach self-editing with an open mind and a critical eye. Take the time to read through your work carefully and consider whether each sentence and paragraph adds value to the book. Look for ways to tighten up the writing, eliminate redundancy and make sure that the book is clear and easy to understand. 

Fact Check Everything

In today's age of misinformation, fact checking is more important than ever. It's crucial that the information in your nonfiction book is accurate and reliable, otherwise it risks losing credibility with your readers. 

The good news is that if you did your research well, and documented everything, this step will be greatly simplified. You should have sources and citations to back up every claim you make in your book. 

By double-checking these sources and making sure that the information is still accurate, you'll ensure that your book is reliable and trustworthy.

Send to Editors

After you've given your manuscript a thorough self-edit, it's time to send it to an editor . An editor is one of your most important resources when it comes to producing a polished and professional book. 

They can provide valuable feedback and make suggestions that will help to improve the overall quality of your manuscript.

It's important to keep in mind that editing can be one of the more expensive parts of the book writing process. However, investing in an editor's expertise is well worth the effort. 

An editor can help you to turn your manuscript into a polished and professional book that will stand out among the competition.

Send to Beta Readers

Once you have a decent product, it's time to send it out to beta readers. Beta readers are a valuable resource that can help you to identify problems you might not have thought of. 

Beta readers can also help you to understand if the stories you used in your manuscript worked and if any of them were confusing. They will give you an idea of how the general audience might receive your work. They can point out if certain parts of the manuscript are too complex or if certain sections don't flow well.

This feedback is essential to help you to make necessary adjustments before your book is ready for publication.

Part 5: Publish & Market Your Book

Writing the book is just part of the process. With any book, but especially with nonfiction books, publishing and marketing is crucial.

Research Your Title and Subtitle

When it comes to writing a nonfiction book, finding the right title and subtitle is crucial. This is because a well-crafted title and subtitle can help to attract readers and increase the visibility of your book.

One effective way to determine your title and subtitle is by doing keyword research.

Keyword research can be done by extensively crawling through Amazon's listings. This can help you to understand what people are searching for, and what kind of titles and subtitles are most effective. 

Pro Tip: The key is to figure out what people are searching for, and use this information to choose a title and subtitle that will resonate with your target audience.

Unfortunately, manual searches can be tedious when done manually. However, there's a tool out there called Publisher Rocket that will automate this process and make it faster and easier. 

This tool can help you to analyze your competition, uncover the best keywords, and optimize your title and subtitle for maximum visibility.

Publish Your Nonfiction Book

After all the hard work of researching, writing, editing and fact-checking, it's finally time to publish your book. It can be a daunting process, but with the right guidance, it can be done seamlessly. 

If you're planning to publish your book on Amazon, we have an article that can be extremely helpful. 

It provides an in-depth guide on how to publish your book on Amazon, detailing the different options and services available, and how to use them.

Market Your Book to Your Audience

When you publish your book, make sure you  format your book correctly , nail your  back cover blurb , have a  stellar book cover  (traditional publishers will usually pay for this), and properly organize the  front matter and back matter . Hopefully, you know that you have to start marketing your book long before it hits shelves and the online marketplace. Here are some articles you can read to learn more about book marketing:

  • Book Marketing 101
  • Kindle Keywords for Self-Publishers
  • Ultimate List of the Best Book Review Blogs
  • How to Use Surveys to Sell More Books
  • Best Email Services for Authors
  • How to Sell Your Books in an Indie Bookstore

Jason Hamilton

Related posts, black friday deals for writers 2022, launching a book: the ultimate step by step guide, how to publish a book on amazon: the full step-by-step guide, sell more books on amazon, amazon kindle rankings e-book.

Learn how to rank your Kindle book #1 on Amazon with our collection of time-tested tips and tricks.

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The Write Practice

7 Types of Nonfiction Books

by Joe Bunting | 0 comments

While people have been telling stories and delivering speeches for thousands of years, the history of nonfiction book writing is fairly brief. Still, over the last 500 years or so, patterns have begun to emerge, tried and true ways of writing nonfiction books, depending on the author's goals.

non fiction books to write

Nonfiction encompasses a variety of kinds of books, from travel guides to business books to how to approach creative writing or historical nonfiction. Each nonfiction category approaches information differently. By studying and applying the lessons of these structures, you can write a better nonfiction book in much less time. 

Need a step-by-step process for planning and writing your book ? Check out my comprehensive article on how to write a book .

In this post, I'm going to share the seven main types of nonfiction books. We'll also talk about how each of these types of nonfiction writing is usually structured. 

Which type of nonfiction book are you writing?

1. How-to Books and Self-Help

How-to and self-help books guide people to solve a particular problem or achieve a particular goal in their lives. This is an extremely popular category of nonfiction book. 

Most how-to and self-help books will have chapters that flow through the following pattern:

  • Problem OR Promise. What problem is your reader experiencing? Or what promise do you offer if they apply what you're going to talk about in this book?
  • Story . The story either illustrates the problem and/or promise, or it acts as a solution story for how the solution to the readers' problem was discovered.
  • Principle . Finally, a universal principle or process is shared that will solve the readers' problem.

Here are some other features found in How-To and Self-Help books:

  • Introduction focuses on the problem or promise, solution story, and principles or steps will be covered in book
  • Chapters focus on 5-12 principles or steps
  • May have caveats/objections/applications section
  • Conclusion focuses on exhortation and/or a promise

Examples of a Self-Help Book:

  • The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss
  • Whole Brain Child by Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Dr. Stephen Covey

2. Investigative

Investigative nonfiction books are trying to understand what is really going on in the world and in people's lives. They may share some universal principles or solve people's problems, but the primary aim is to better understand one aspect of the world. Sometimes they cover controversial topics or aim at cultural criticism, but in the end, they all begin with curiosity about something. 

True crime or forensic psychology books follow this structure, but it's also used by writers like Chip and Dan Heath and Malcolm Gladwell .

Investigative books will have chapters that flow through the following pattern:

  • Story . The story brings up an attention grabbing or misunderstood subject for investigation.
  • Investigation or Analysis. Next, the author delves into what's really going on with this subject.
  • Principle or Result. Finally, a universal principle or the result of the investigation is shared. Sometimes, this result may be applicable to the readers' lives or work.

Here are some other patterns found in investigative books:

  • Introduction focuses on the topic of investigation, who the book is for, and what principles will be covered
  • Chapters organized by questions
  • Often includes principles but not steps
  • Conclude with “here’s what have we learned”

Examples of Investigative Books:

  • Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath
  • Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner

3. Reference

Reference books collect definitions, terms, and practices for a specific field. Examples of reference books include dictionaries, recipe books, craft books, and even many writing guides.

Reference books will have chapters that flow through the following pattern:

  • Define . Define the term or focus for the chapter, e.g adobo street tacos or nonfiction book types.
  • Expand . Give context on that term, either through a story, illustration, history, or some other way.
  • Process, Steps, or Tips, if applicable . What steps, process, or tips will help the reader better understand the subject or reproduce its results.
  • Examples . Share examples, if applicable.

Examples of Reference books:

  • The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman
  • The Write Structure by Joe Bunting (that's me!)

4. Inspirational/“How to” Memoir

Inspirational or “How-to Memoir” is a book type similar to how-to/self-help but with a greater emphasis on narrative and story telling and exhortation. They can rely on personal experience or collect other true stories to explore their themes. 

Most inspirational books will have chapters that flow through the following pattern:

  • Story. The story either illustrates the problem and/or promise, or it acts as a solution story for how the solution to the readers' problem was discovered.
  • Problem . What problem is your reader experiencing? Or what promise do you offer if they apply what you're going to talk about in this book?
  • Exhortation . The exhortation not only solves the readers problem but exhorts them to go solve it.

Examples of Inspirational books include:

  • Real Artists Don't Starve by Jeff Goins
  • Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis
  • Most religious books

The riff is a type of book usually by an expert in a field that may combine pieces from each of the above book types in varied patterns and lengths.

For example, On Writing is everything Stephen King thinks about the craft of writing. Or New Seeds of Contemplation is everything Thomas Merton knows about prayer and God.

It may combine stories, exhortation, problems, and principles, but does it in a varied pattern and with chapters of various lengths.

6. Biography

Autobiography is a particular style of narrative book that often combines personal stories and historical context to tell the story of one person's life from their own perspective. It's the author's take on their own life. 

Examples of autobiography include:

Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing  by Matthew Perry

Educated by Tara Westover

Biography is the story of one person's (or entity's) life, centered around real events which may or may not include historical events. It must be true, and it usually contains the complete life story, from birth until death (or the person's life thus far, in case they are still alive). Biography will be written by someone other than the person who the book is about. 

In all but rare occurrences, biographies are written about notable people and celebrities, which differs from memoir (see below).

Biography is usually organized chronologically, following a person from their key early experiences to death (or current time period if still alive). 

Examples of biography include :

The Grimkés: The Legacy of Slavery in an American Family by Kerri K. Greenidge

King: A Life by Jonathan Eig

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer by Kai Bird and Martin J. Sherwin

7. Academic

Academic books are informational books designed to give specialized knowledge on a tightly defined topic. The structure will vary based on the field of study, but academic books can include textbooks, field manuals, and other reference books. The main difference in this category is the target audience: academic books are typically written by and for experts and for students studying in a particular field. 

Not included here: Memoir

Memoir is a specific style of nonfiction writing that is based on the writers' own life but much narrower in focus than autobiography. Thus, memoir has much more in common with the novel than most nonfiction books, and most writers will benefit more from learning about the types of story here than nonfiction book types.

However, some memoirs are more instructional and inspirational focused, and if so, these writers will find the Inspirational book type most useful.

These are seven of the most common types of nonfiction books, and hopefully you identified the one that best aligns with your project. Looking through a few books in your genre or category can always help you with both structure and content. 

Which nonfiction book type are you writing? Let us know in the comments below.

For today's practice, choose the type of nonfiction book that most interests you from the list above or that best describes your current project. If there is a pattern to the chapters listed, set your timer for 15 minutes and write out the strongest story or principle that guides your book. When finished, share in the Pro Practice Workshop and leave feedback for a few other writers. 

Not a member? Join us ! 

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Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris , a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

Want best-seller coaching? Book Joe here.

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How to Write a Nonfiction Book: 6 Step Guide

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Hannah Yang

how to write a nonfiction book

Table of Contents

6 steps to writing a nonfiction book, conclusion on how to write a nonfiction book.

There are many reasons you might want to write a nonfiction book. Publishing a book can help you grow your business, to tell your personal story, or simply to share your knowledge.  

But it’s not easy to write an entire manuscript on your own. So, how exactly do you write a great nonfiction book?

The short answer is that it takes a lot of time and perseverance, but you can do it successfully if you know the right steps to follow.

In this article, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide for how to write a nonfiction book.

Writing nonfiction can be broken down into six steps:

Start by defining your goal

Do your research

Structure the book

Plan your writing schedule

Write the first draft

Revise and edit

Let’s take a closer look at how to complete each of these steps.

How to Start a Nonfiction Book

Before you put your pen to paper, you have to know what you’re writing about. You need to figure out the goal of your book—the reason why you’re writing it.

Start by asking yourself three important questions:

What’s the topic of your book?

Who’s your target audience?

Why do you need to write this book?

For example, maybe the topic of the book is the secret lives of plants, your target audience is amateur botanists, and you need to write it because you want to inspire people to respect the environment.

Or maybe you’re writing a memoir about your journey to becoming a successful CEO, your target audience is anyone who’s interested in business, and you need to write it because you want to share your life lessons with future generations.

You can get even more specific with these questions by asking more detailed questions about your answers to each one.

For the first question, you might ask: what questions do you hope to answer with your book? What makes your book stand out from the crowd?

For the second question, you might ask: does your target audience prefer serious books or humorous books? How much do they already know about this topic before reading your book?

For the third question, you might ask: what expertise or life experience can you bring to the table that no other authors would have? How do you hope readers will be impacted by reading your book?

Regardless of what type of book you’re writing, the answers to these questions will give you a clear goal that keeps you on track throughout the writing process.

steps to write a nonfiction book

How to Research a Nonfiction Book

When you write a book, you’re not building a knowledge base from scratch. Instead, you’re adding your voice to an existing field of expertise.

It’s important to understand what’s already out there before you add to it, so you don’t reinvent the wheel. So, do as much research as you can on the topic you’re writing about.

Go to your local library, tell them about your manuscript, and ask the librarians if they have books they’d recommend. Academic libraries can also be a great resource if you have access to them.

Another great option is to look up experts on your topic and ask if they’d be willing to schedule an interview. Sure, a few will say no, but many will be honored that you asked for their help.

Finally, don’t forget to read other nonfiction books that are similar to the one you’re planning to write. How do they tackle the questions you’re trying to address? What can you learn from them, both in terms of content and in terms of style?

Remember that doing your research can be an ongoing process. You can keep adding to your research throughout the outlining and editing stages, especially if new research topics arise after you get started.  

How to Structure a Nonfiction Book

If you want your book to make an impact, you need to make sure it has a clear, coherent structure that readers can easily understand.

There are many different ways to accomplish that goal. Different nonfiction writers choose different systems of dividing their books into parts, chapters, sections, and even subsections. 

If you’re writing narrative nonfiction, such as a memoir or a biography, you’ll need to figure out how to structure the story you’re telling.

Consider the following questions:

How can you organize your story into a clear beginning, middle, and end?

Is there an inciting incident that kicks off the story?

Is there a climactic moment when the story reaches its breaking point?

How can you ensure consistent pacing? Are there any sections that aren’t necessary for the story?

Do you want to tell your story in chronological order, or is it best told in a different order? 

Since writing narrative nonfiction is often similar to writing fiction, you can consider studying some of the plot structures used by fiction writers, such as the traditional three-act story structure or Freytag’s pyramid.

On the other hand, if you’re writing expository nonfiction, such as textbooks and self-help books, you won’t be telling a story. Instead, you’ll need to figure out how to organize your ideas.

What big-picture questions are you hoping to answer in your book?

How can those big-picture questions be broken down into smaller subtopics?

How much space does each subtopic need?

What’s a logical order for these subtopics to be arranged in?

Is there any overlap between subtopics that might become redundant?

Make an outline with your questions and subtopics. A simple bullet-point list is a good place to start. That way, you can get a bird’s-eye view of your book before you actually write it, which will save time in the long run.   

non fiction books to write

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

How to Plan Your Writing Schedule

Many people start writing a book, but few ever make it to the finish line. That’s because it takes a lot of time and dedication to complete an entire manuscript, and it’s easy to lose steam in the middle.

The best way to ensure you finish your book is by setting a realistic writing schedule.

You should choose a schedule that fits your personal writing preferences. Would you prefer to write for 30 minutes every day or for a few hours every weekend? Would you prefer to write at home or at a public space like a library or a coffeeshop?

If you know when you want to finish your first draft, you can even plan your daily word count based on that deadline.

For example, if you know you want to write a 60,000-word book in 100 days, that means you’ll need to write an average of 600 words every day. That’s not a trivial number, but it’s an achievable one if you carve out time for it.

Consider using a calendar to make sure you’re staying on schedule. Block out writing time on your calendar, the same way you would schedule a coffee date or a doctor’s appointment, so you know you’ll stick to it.

You can even mark the dates when you expect to hit certain milestones, like finishing the first chapter, reaching 10,000 words, or reaching the halfway point. That way, you can celebrate small milestones along the way to keep yourself motivated.

Finally, consider finding an accountability buddy to check in on you and make sure you’re sticking to your writing schedule. Writing doesn’t have to be a lonely task—it’s a lot more fun if you involve your friends or colleagues in the process!

How to Draft Your Nonfiction Book

Once you have your outline and your writing schedule planned out, it’s time to start drafting.

You can choose your favorite word processing software to draft in. Some popular options for nonfiction authors include Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Scrivener, and the Reedsy Book Editor.

Here are some tips you can follow while drafting:

Lean into your authentic voice. If you normally use a lot of sarcastic humor in daily conversation, for example, don’t be afraid to let that shine through in the book

Make sure to “show, don’t tell” by describing an immersive scene for your readers instead of simply telling them what happened

Create three-dimensional characters that your readers can relate to. Even if you’re writing expository nonfiction, you can use characters to illustrate your points

Use dialogue. Showing real conversations on the page is a great way to hook readers in and break up long passages of exposition

Cite reliable sources. It’s important to give yourself credibility by citing trustworthy sources, especially if you’re positioning yourself as an expert in a specific field

If your book strays from the outline, don’t stress out. You might be discovering a better direction for your book, so try steering into the skid

Finally, remember that the first draft doesn’t have to be perfect—you just have to keep writing. In fact, it can be helpful to aim for a messy draft on purpose so you don’t lose momentum.

How to Use ProWritingAid to Edit Your Book

Even if you’re an experienced writer, it’s unlikely you’ll churn out a flawless first draft on the first go. It’s critical to edit your work so you can create a book that’s ready for publication.  

Start by figuring out the best style guide to use. A style guide will give you clear guidelines for questions related to grammar, capitalization, abbreviations, punctuation, and more.

If you’re planning to get your book traditionally published, you should follow whichever style guide your publisher uses. If you’re self-publishing, you can choose one that makes sense for your topic. Some popular options include:

The Associated Press Stylebook (AP Style)

The Chicago Manual of Style (Chicago style)

The MLA Handbook (MLA style)

In addition to simply checking for errors, you should also make sure your prose is as strong as possible. Here are a few tips for editing your language:

Use active voice rather than passive voice

Keep your language simple and easily readable

Vary the lengths of your sentences to better engage the reader

Avoid using filler words like “really” and “just”

Remove redundant words and phrases to keep your writing concise

ProWritingAid can help identify areas in your manuscript where you’re not following these rules, and help you figure out how to improve them. You can use the grammar checker throughout the editing process to make sure your writing is as clear and effective as possible.

Another tip you can try is to read your work out loud. That way, you can see if your writing flows naturally, and identify any sentences that feel awkward or confusing.   

Finally, you should also consider sharing your manuscript with a trusted friend or family member or fellow writer. Asking for feedback is a great way to find errors you wouldn’t catch on your own.

There you have it—a complete guide for how to write a successful nonfiction book.

Here’s a quick recap of the six steps:

Start by defining your goals for the book and why you want to write it

Do your research by going to the library, interviewing experts, and more

Choose a clear and coherent structure for your book and create an outline in advance

Set a realistic writing schedule to make sure you can hit your writing goals

Write a messy first draft to keep up momentum, knowing that it doesn't have to be perfect

Edit your book to make sure it’s polished and ready to enter the publishing process

Whether you’re writing a memoir, a self-help book, or some other type of nonfiction, you can follow this step-by-step process to make it to the finish line.

Good luck, and happy writing!

Hannah is a speculative fiction writer who loves all things strange and surreal. She holds a BA from Yale University and lives in Colorado. When she’s not busy writing, you can find her painting watercolors, playing her ukulele, or hiking in the Rockies. Follow her work on hannahyang.com or on Twitter at @hannahxyang.

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This copy is for your personal, noncommercial use only.

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Writing a non-fiction book - These 10 strategies will make you a convincing expert

  • At 02 May 2021

Get an overview of the market

Do you already have a manuscript in the drawer or are you sitting on an idea? If you want to write a non-fiction book, take a look at the non-fiction market in advance.

The non-fiction market has a range of different genres such as society, politics and economics, business and careers, medicine, literature, etc. These categories can be divided into sub-categories: Political History, International Politics etc. We can currently find according to  directory of available books  assume that there are a good 150,000 printed non-fiction books on the German book market, apart from countless E-books in this genre.

Non-fiction books are  according to the Society of Publishers and Booksellers Alongside fiction, children's and young people's books and guidebooks, this is one of the segments with the highest sales. With a sales share of around 11 % in the book trade in 2020, with total sales of 9.3 billion euros with books and trade magazines in the book market in 2020 (in the book market there are always only retrospective figures).

Promising segments are business, politics, society, religion and philosophy, nature and technology - while others are declining in sales such as history, spirituality and esotericism, art and literature.  

Keep that in mind as you get started with concept and nonfiction writing. You're publishing in a high-selling segment. At the same time, your book is competing with a huge number and variety of titles. By way of comparison, around 70,500 new book titles come onto the German market every year (2019), a lot of which are non-fiction. Only those who deliver new content in a professional and exceptional design have a chance here. Ask yourself best before the writing how you can place yourself in this hotly contested market. Get an overview of the competition and evaluate them for your own concept.

Before writing nonfiction: Sift through competition

You can only succeed in this competitive market if your book stands out. Therefore, the first questions you should ask yourself before you start writing nonfiction are: Does the topic I plan to cover in my guidebook have a real chance? What about the competition? Is the book project up to it?

Give it some thought in advance

  • In which genre or subgenre does my book belong?
  • How many titles are there in my subcategory on Amazon, for example?
  • Which topics are not yet covered in the corresponding segment and does my title belong to them?
  • Are there many similar titles published in my subject area or am I contributing something new?
  • Which target group do I want to address?

View competitor titles

  • Why do certain books stand out?
  • What do these authors do particularly well? What do the covers, metadata, short descriptions, readings look like and what pluses and negatives can I evaluate and apply to my own book project?
  • What makes my book stand out from titles in the same segment? Why should readers read my book in particular?

Focus on the added value of your concept. Don't publish a non-fiction book that exists in a similar form, but deliver something new and present it better than the competition. A competitor analysis helps to determine whether your book has a chance on the market. After that, it's all about a good concept and content before publishing.

How do you develop a nonfiction book?

Once you've surveyed the market and determined that your topic has opportunity, perhaps even a unique selling proposition, you're off to the concept stage. A first draft of the concept is necessary before you can write your non-fiction book.

To do this, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • What do I want to achieve with my book? Should it be a tool for own seminars, inform about innovations or impart knowledge etc.?
  • What is the main thesis and how do I want to convey it?
  • Who am I writing my nonfiction for?
  • What informational benefit does my book represent to my readers?

From these questions, the first Ideas , develop a concept outline and the main argument of your nonfiction book. To do this, you can first write down the selling points that make your book special. With the help of a mind map, brainstorming or similar tools, you can record and structure all the concepts and themes that belong to your book title. These points are the common thread. As soon as you have developed a concept, you can start writing your non-fiction book.

Test the concept with a test audience beforehand. Present your book project within three minutes. Is the topic interesting? Can you convince them of the novelty of your non-fiction project? Then the book is ready for writing!

Writing Nonfiction: What does the table of contents look like?

From your first draft of the text, you can develop a detailed table of contents. This will provide your readers with an overview of the topic. A convincing and clear table of contents should provide incentives for the book purchase. After all, anyone who is interested in your non-fiction book will, after looking at the cover and the Blurb next, take a look at the table of contents.

Chapter headings should make it clear what the reader can expect in each chapter. This does not mean that the table of contents has to be dry and boring. Creativity is just as important here as expertise. A structured and appealing table of contents can make or break a book purchase. It should provide an overall view, but not be too coarse or small.

Example of a good table of contents

Trigger me, please

What makes this table of contents good?

Grigor Nussbaumer does not choose a traditional type of table of contents, but designs it in a modern way. He begins with a provocative thesis that arouses curiosity: "Why I didn't want to write this book". A perfect start. This introduction triggers initial incentives to buy. Even the table of contents arouses interest, poses questions and hints at opinions.

Further, Gigor Nussbaumer summarizes subtopics clearly. Keywords on the topics, fear, priming, framing show what the individual chapters are about. This allows the reader to jump directly to a topic. In this way, the book also serves as a reference book. The chapters are ended by tips on the keyword in question. A clever way to introduce topics and clarify added value for the reader. In this way, the author makes the reader want to learn more.

Our tip: Move away from boring textbook characters - get creative with your non-fiction book's table of contents.

How do you write a non-fiction book?

Make sure that the common thread of your argumentation does not get lost in the writing. The structure of the text should be logically structured and arranged so that your readers can follow. Before writing, take another look at your target group. The added value for the reader should always be in the foreground.

Structure of a non-fiction book

Introduction.

The introduction provides a brief overview of the topic and the author's approach in an engaging and not too sprawling manner. It is ideal if it makes you want to read on. It gives a general overview of what happens next and what the reader can expect in the book.

The main part contains the theses on individual sub-areas of the specialist subject, the basics of the subject for understanding, practical and application examples, etc. Always following the thread, here the author presents his argumentation and leads the reader step by step to the conclusion.

Each chapter should offer a gain in knowledge. Tips and advice at the end of chapters on the respective topics give readers added value and help to put the knowledge into practice.

The final conclusion formulates a conclusion to the main thesis of the book and summarizes the topic in a rounding way. The conclusion should find its way back to the beginning and, if necessary, answer the initial question.

Writing a non-fiction book in the right writing style

When writing a non-fiction book, always think about your target audience when it comes to writing style. For example, even as a university professor, don't throw around foreign words if your target audience is high school or college students who need to learn the vocabulary. Don't overwhelm your readers, but keep them interested with a stimulating style. A short summary at the end of a chapter is helpful for the reader, who may also use the book several times for further reference (keyword added value!).

When it comes to writing style, you should pay special attention to the following things:

  • Clear language and understandable vocabulary packed into simple and clear sentences
  • Style suitable for the target group
  • Avoid passive constructions and repetitions
  • Do not artificially inflate the text, but deliver facts and knowledge in a neutral tone, without empty phrases and anecdotes.
  • Stay on topic, don't digress
  • Write vividly and explain insights. Provide examples that keep your readers happy. Knowledge transfer can be exciting and entertaining!
  • Be creative - a non-fiction book doesn't mean readers won't be surprised or provoked in it, or be able to laugh sometimes.

What does the cover of a nonfiction book look like?

The cover is the figurehead in the book trade. It should vividly demonstrate what the book is about and the added knowledge value it contains for a reader. The cover should be straightforward, clarify the topic and match the book style. It is important to stand out from the competition, but remain true to genre characteristics. The overall impression should be tidy and clear and not appear chaotic.

Example: If you're writing a travelogue and all the books in the genre showcase their respective destinations on the cover, you won't stand out much with a plain, monochrome cover that doesn't have a picture. That's why it's important to sift through the competition beforehand. What do the cover designs of the top sellers look like and how can you score with your own cover next to them?

Metadata for a perfect placement on the market

Even more than with a work of fiction, with a non-fiction or technical book it is important that you use the metadata to ensure optimal findability in online shops and good rankings. Subtitle, short description, book cover and author description are the flagships of your non-fiction book.

Metadata at a glance

  • The  Book title and the subtitle  should be chosen precisely and in line with the target group and contain the most important keywords.
  • The  Brief description  is the advertising platform for your non-fiction book. In a nutshell, you can introduce it here, highlight the added value for readers and present what makes your book special. The short description should also contain keywords or so-called SEO keywords so that it can be found.
  • Also the  Keywords  should reflect exactly these keywords. Quality is more important here than quantity. Many online shops only consider seven keywords. Pay attention to significant words that fit the topic. Something like "exciting" or "novel" have no place here.

Get a professional SEO analyst to help you with your metadata. It's worth the investment for better findability.

How do I make my nonfiction book discoverable?

One way to increase the discoverability of your book is to place it in specific subcategories. If you place in specific subcategories instead of the most popular topic categories, you'll compete with fewer titles and have a better chance of making your book discoverable.

Marketing: How do I find readers for my non-fiction book?

You want to publish your expertise, for example to offer participants of your seminars a compact summary on the topic or to build up an expert status in this subject area? Why not approach readers while you are still writing and build the future reading community? Then readers and journalists, as well as other experts, will eagerly await publication and sales are assured.

For example, while you're writing, start a blog or social media presence where you share your expertise. Or create a newsletter that provides prospective readers with aspects of your topic - and, incidentally, tells them about the upcoming book release. And talk to clients or seminar attendees about the book release to pique their curiosity.

Using your own personality as a brand

The best non-fiction book doesn't sell without the appropriate  marketing . A crucial point that distinguishes technical and non-fiction authors from fiction authors is that here the author often stands in the foreground as an expert in his or her subject area. There is a close connection between the subject and the author. You can use this potential to establish yourself as a brand. After all, with a non-fiction book, your own personality has an impact. A good example of self-marketing is tredition author  Albert Warnecke  with his successful book "Der Finanzwesir 2.0". His book, along with his blog, podcast, seminars and coaching, is a way for him to reach people. From being a successful financial blogger, Warnecke has grown through seminars as well as top rankings on Google and Amazon into  the  voice in the field of finance.

How do I market my nonfiction book?

  • Maintain your author profile in all popular platforms, on your author page in the shop, on Amazon, on your own homepage and on your social media channels.
  • The author images also matter! Your face stands for your brand. Therefore, you should pay attention to professionalism and sympathy in your photos.
  • You could introduce yourself in a powerful video that showcases your personality and expertise.
  • Actively participate in platforms, forums and seminars on your subject and present your book there. The more often you appear on a topic, the more your readers will perceive you as a specialist.

How do I publish my nonfiction book?

Publisher or self-publishing  - which publishing channel is the best option for your non-fiction book? It is often difficult to be represented as an author in a popular publishing house at all. The waiting times until publication are sometimes very long, and perhaps your topic has already lost its relevance by then. That is why the choice of a  Self-publishing service provider  in many cases the better one.  Self-Publishing  offers a number of advantages for your non-fiction publication. You decide on all aspects such as cover and layout yourself and can publish the book promptly.

As a nonfiction author, you're building yourself as a brand. Therefore, a well-planned concept is just as important as an overview of the competing titles. Formulate a meaningful table of contents and grab the attention of your readers with the cover. To offer them added value, you can summarize the most important points at the end of a chapter. In addition to participating in forums and seminars in your field, you can use a blog or your social media presence as marketing tools.

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Book Review: Solitary writer ruminates on grief, love and writing during pandemic’s first spring

This cover image released by Riverhead Books shows “The Vulnerables” by Sigrid Nunez. (Riverhead Books via AP)

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The flood of pandemic literature shows no sign of letting up. In the three-plus years since the COVID-19 lockdown, we have seen fiction from the likes of Gary Shteyngart, Elizabeth Strout and many others. Now Sigrid Nunez, author of “Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag” and the National Book Award-winning “The Friend,” has written a pandemic novel called “The Vulnerables.”

The title refers to the groups of people, including the elderly, considered at high risk of getting severely ill at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020. The unnamed narrator, a stand-in for the 72-year-old author, is among them.

In the publishing world “The Vulnerables” is classified as a novel but it more often reads like an elegant, funny essay about what it felt like to be stuck in New York City in the early days of the lockdown, when your wealthier friends fled to their country houses, leaving you alone with a bad case of writer’s block.

The narrator broods about the writing life even though she knows that “whenever I write something about writing or being a writer, I am annoying the hell out of some people.” Indeed, self-awareness is a great part of her charm. “For the writer,” she muses, “obsessive rumination is a must.”

This cover image released by Grand Central Publishing shows "The Sun Sets in Singapore" by Kehinde Fadipe. (Grand Central Publishing via AP)

About halfway through the book, Nunez stumbles on something like a plot: the narrator is asked to take care of a male parrot named Eureka for a couple stranded in California by the pandemic. The college student who had agreed to do it has fled the city, too, in a worrying display of Gen Z irresponsibility. Then he returns, in part because he missed the bird. “We’re bros, he explained, to make me feel even more left out.”

Initially antagonistic, they slowly form a bond over edibles, vegan ice cream and microdoses of psilocybin. I briefly wondered whether Nunez was heading into “Harold and Maude” territory, the 1971 movie about a troubled young man who falls in love with a much older woman.

But as a writer and academic thoroughly steeped in literary theory, Nunez knows that a conventional marriage plot is not an option in contemporary fiction, not “with the world on fire and its systems collapsing… with hope after hope turning out to have been merely false hope.” Plus, someone like her likely would have thought that he was not just too troubled but also too young. And so, their unlikely friendship becomes just one more oddball incident in this elegiac essay-novel.

AP book reviews: https://apnews.com/hub/book-reviews

18 best nonfiction books for fans of Madonna, memoirs or cultural histories

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Call it Peak Gift Book: For whatever reason (perhaps pandemic delays), 2023 has witnessed a major nonfiction groundswell of memoirs, biographies and cultural histories that are both substantial and a lot of fun.

The pop revolutions of the 20th century work their way through biographies of Madonna and Lou Reed, memoirs by Sly Stone and Werner Herzog, histories of High Times magazine and Toni Morrison’s brilliant circle. More recent books trace the rise of streaming TV, cool beauty products, American Apparel and whatever it is Julia Fox represents.

Throw in some big-idea books about time, conspiracy politics and the climate crisis. With virtually a book for every interest, you can’t go wrong.

If you make a purchase using some of our links, the L.A. Times may be compensated.

gift guide 2023

Working on your holiday shopping? We’ve got you covered with recommendations for the best gifts to find in L.A.

Madonna: A Rebel Life

Book cover of "Madonna: A Rebel Life" by Mary Gabriel

Dishy tell-all or serious cultural biography? Author Mary Gabriel won’t make you choose. Her weighty volume captures Madonna’s astonishing rise from working-class roots through New York’s blazing 1980s nightclub scene and on to a level of superstardom that allows the author to bear down on why, exactly, the performer matters so much. It’s not authorized — it’s authoritative. It’s also north of 800 pages, but it’s a big life.

$38 from Little, Brown

non fiction books to write

Down the Drain

Book cover of "Down the Drain" by Julia Fox

You heard it first from the actor, fashionista and former Kanye companion: At last year’s Vanity Fair Oscar party, Julia Fox told a red-carpet reporter her forthcoming memoir was going to be “a masterpiece.” Well, it’s here, and it’s … incredibly engrossing. Fox has been through a whole lot of darkness — abuse, prison, addiction — and come through it with a voice (and an accent) uniquely her own. Think of it as the millennial “Basketball Diaries,” and buy it for someone who won’t try this at home.

$29 from Simon & Schuster

Strip Tees: A Memoir of Millennial Los Angeles

Book cover of "Strip Tees" by Kate Flannery

Remember American Apparel? The aura of retro cool girls, sleazy ads and, as it turned out, sexual exploitation? Author Kate Flannery brings it all back in an account of her own journey through the company that proclaimed sex positivity even as it trafficked in crass capitalism and worse. It’s a fun, dark, sad, seedy story — an only-in-L.A. experience with cultural implications far beyond one cheapo fast-fashion brand.

$28 from Henry Holt

Book cover of "Glossy" by Marisa Meltzer

Glossier marked a different kind of capitalist venture, a reclamation of the beauty business in the mold of the girlboss. Emily Weiss, the Glossier chief executive officer, learned the lingo of tech and put beauty on par with fashion as a font of luxury, niche products and unattainable cool. But Marisa Meltzer, who has written books about everything from riot grrrls to Weight Watchers, tells a large story too — about the limitations of white feminism and the double standard toward women in business.

$29 from Atria

Zines from the L.A. Times shop

Explore the most captivating experiences in California, whip up 12 days of holiday cookies, find recipes for the best jams and preserves and much more with gifts from Shop L.A. Times.

Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin): A Memoir

Book cover of "Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again)" by Sly Stone

This year’s big offering from Questlove’s book imprint is an antidote of sorts to many boomer accounts of the ’60s or ’70s, including those from rock stars more favorably treated by, say, Jann Wenner. With an assist from veteran music journalist Ben Greenman, Sly Stone, the former frontman of Sly and the Family Stone, narrates the funk revolution from the inside, unsparing about the costs of fame and the perils of the high life.

$30 from Macmillan

Agents of Chaos: Thomas King Forçade, High Times, and the Paranoid End of the 1970s

Book cover of "Agents of Chaos" by Sean Howe

Speaking of the high life, if you or a loved one are looking for a more journalistic approach to the era — in method and tone as well as in subject matter — Sean Howe’s story of the mysterious hell-bound founder of High Times magazine, as well as the scandals, tragedies and FBI informants that followed in his dank wake, is both wild fun and essential cultural history. When it comes to the marijuana business, we’ve come a long, hazy way.

$30 from Hachette

Lou Reed: The King of New York

Book cover of "Lou Reed: The King of New York" by Will Hermes

The snazzy Warhol-esque sleeve cover clues you in to what’s in store: a definitive biography of the prototypical art rocker, who died 10 years ago, that nails the milieu he shaped and was shaped by. Laurie Anderson, his Velvet Underground bandmates and Warhol himself all circle around, but this is not just a nostalgia trip through New York at its best and worst. Author Will Hermes counts up our debt to Reed for so much of what we take for granted, from fluid sexuality to rock-star excess.

$35 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Pandora’s Box: How Guts, Guile and Greed Upended TV

Book cover of "Pandora's Box" by Peter Biskind

Hollywood industry obsessives probably will get the most out of author Peter Biskind’s latest immersion into the dream factory. You wouldn’t say that about his classic, “Easy Riders, Raging Bulls,” which chronicled the film-studio revolution with scads of scandalous detail. This one, on HBO’s rise and the streaming era that followed, turns on executive maneuverings. It does, however, lay the groundwork for our year of strikes — when, after decades of Peak TV, it really did feel as though something broke.

$33 from William Morrow

Book cover of "Elon Musk" by Walter Isaacson

People either love or hate the hyper-ambitious, egomaniacal, sometimes richest man on Earth. Both types will find fodder, intrigue and surprisingly brisk reading in Walter Isaacson’s new biography, which lays out the case for Musk as both groundbreaking genius and “demon mode” chaos agent. His rich material veers from childhood trauma to wild personal hijinks (car crashes, rocket explosions, multiple semi-families) and madcap business negotiations. Think of “Succession,” with Elon playing every role.

$35 from Simon & Schuster

Every Man for Himself and God Against All: A Memoir

Book cover of "Every Man For Himself and God Against All" by Werner Herzog

At 80, the German filmmaker is virtually a parody of the old-school auteur. (Can’t you hear his documentary voice-over in your head right now?) He’s written books before, but Werner Herzog’s first full-on memoir is a must-have for cineastes or anyone who appreciates well-told, highly digressive tales with perhaps a grain or two of untruth. Flitting from odd jobs to famously disastrous productions to notes on aesthetics, the only thing it’s short on are dull moments.

$30 from Penguin Press

Doppelganger: A Trip Into the Mirror World

Book cover of "Doppelganger" by Naomi Klein

What begins as a joke — the leftist author of “No Logo” is often confused with Naomi Wolf, the (mostly) leftist author of “The Beauty Myth” — widens out to explore the culture of paranoia exemplified by Wolf’s turn to anti-vax conspiracies. In concentric circles, Klein builds up to the theory that social media and COVID-19 have fueled an escape from reality that threatens our health and freedom. Ultimately this is (or should be) the big-idea book of the year.

$30 from Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Creep: Accusations and Confessions

A book cover for "Creep" shows Myriam Gurba, her serious face illuminated by sunshine, looking like she's about to speak

Ideal for fans of memoir, criticism or just fierce writing, Myriam Gurba’s essay collection takes on sacred cows like Joan Didion, personal legacies of abuse, Mexican literature and the inescapable marine layer. If you know the writer only from her screed against the novel “American Dirt,” it’s time to dig a lot deeper. Pairs well with Gurba’s debut memoir, “Mean.”

$27 from Avid Reader

How to Say Babylon: A Memoir

Book cover of "How to Say Babylon" by Safiya Sinclair

Forget what you think you know about the Rastafari faith. Safiya Sinclair was raised by strict adherents in Jamaica, only to chafe at its patriarchal dictates and find escape through poetry — first Sylvia Plath’s and then her own. But this is no general screed; Sinclair’s stormy father, brilliant but perpetually stoned mother and fiercely loyal siblings leap off the page, as does the island in all its vegetal, stifling richness.

$29 from 37 Ink

The Sisterhood: How a Network of Black Women Writers Changed American Culture

Book cover of "The Sisterhood" by Courtney Thorsson

The firepower of historian Courtney Thorsson’s deep-dive lies in the names: Toni Morrison, Ntozake Shange, Alice Walker, Margo Jefferson. But the story itself puts the lie to the notion that revolutions arise from individual geniuses. The Sisterhood was a group of these and other Black feminists who met once a month in the late ’70s. The conclave was short-lived, but it grew new strains of literature and academic thought that are still exploding conceived ideas decades later.

$29 from Columbia University Press

Los Angeles Times Community Fund

The Los Angeles Times Community Fund builds vital service programs and initiatives within The Times and Greater L.A. Tax-deductible donations support literacy programs, local charities and more. Donate now .

King: A Life

Book cover of 'King: A Life' by Jonathan Eig

What more is there to know about Martin Luther King Jr.? Much has been unearthed in the 40 years since the last major biography. In the interim, King’s legacy has been sanded down, misinterpreted as a paragon of moderation by opponents of actual change. Author Jonathan Eig uses fresh first-hand documents to paint the picture of a more radical and complicated man — and an essential book for any history buff who takes their history seriously.

Saving Time: Discovering a Life Beyond the Clock

Book cover of "Saving Time" by Jenny Odell

Author Jenny Odell’s follow-up to her more practically minded bestseller, “How to Do Nothing,” may disappoint readers looking for more quick fixes. But that is exactly the point. In a work both magisterial and elliptical, Odell takes on the concept of “time” from every conceivable angle, and ultimately lands on the greatest tragedy: We experience time weirdly — we act shortsightedly — because we’re mortal. This is both an irresistible big-idea book and a guide to rethinking a burning world.

$29 from Random House

The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth

Book cover of "The Quickening" by Elizabeth Rush

Elizabeth Rush, a longtime journalist, sails right into the heart of the tragic gap between human experience and climate crisis — literally, tagging along with a boat to visit Antarctica’s Thwaites Glacier, whose melting might well cause environmental collapse. In the research team aboard she finds hope for a form of collaboration that might save us, just as she contemplates the question of whether she should bring a child into a world in great peril.

$30 from Milkweed Editions

A Living Remedy

Book cover of "A Living Memory" by Nicole Chung

Grief memoirs, at their best, help reassure others that they are not alone. Author Nicole Chung’s memoir of, as she calls it, “grieving under capitalism” succeeds in doing so not with emotional generalities but by weaving her specific story — losing both adoptive parents in quick succession — into a social fabric tearing at the seams. Addressing a broken healthcare system, COVID-19 isolation and misconceptions about adoption, she targets her grief at systems and beliefs badly in need of course correction.

$30 from Ecco

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19 cozy gifts for the hygge lovers in your world — or yourself

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Boris Kachka is the books editor of the Los Angeles Times and the author, most recently, of “Becoming a Producer.”

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‘Killers of the Flower Moon’ Author David Grann Picks the Three Best Movies Based on Nonfiction Books (That He Didn't Write)

By Vince Mancini

1976 Promotional portrait of Robert Redford right and Dustin Hoffman standing in front of the Washington Post Building...

Anyone who reads a lot of popular non-fiction is accustomed to the inevitable disappointment of the movie version. Stinkers like Unbroken , In The Heart of the Sea , and He’s Just Not That Into Yo u… (and the list goes on ) are barely-remembered for a reason, but even relatively-successful, positively-reviewed films like The Blind Side , Moneyball , or Into The Wild still pale in comparison to the books that spawned them, at least for those of us who read them. “The book was better” isn’t just something book readers say to be pedantic; most of the time, it’s true.

That’s part of what makes Martin Scorsese ’s take on David Grann ’s 2017 best-seller Killers of the Flower Moon stand out. While it’s certainly a different story than the book, as all good non-fiction movie adaptations necessarily should be, Scorsese still gets to the heart of its most important themes (the banality of evil and the lawlessness of frontier capitalism especially) and lends them an emotional gravity and visual power beyond words that books can’t. This is especially true of the movie’s ending , which condenses hundreds of pages of often dense (and brilliant) historical exposition into a single, invented scene that somehow captures perfectly the commoditization of the Osage Reign of Terror without repeating any of the details, imbuing them with the added thump of Scorsese acknowledging his own mortality.

Simply put, it’s hard to remember a non-fiction movie adaptation as successful as Killers of the Flower Moon . (In this writer’s opinion, even the previous film based on a David Grann book—2016’s The Lost City of Z , by the much-loved director James Gray—doesn’t measure up.)

To help us remember some nonfiction-to-movie adaptations that did work, we turned to someone who’s both an expert at researching the recent past and someone who might have some opinions about book-to-movie adaptations: David Grann himself, who agreed to share a few of his favorites.

“I’ve grown a bit exhausted by films about serial killers, but this adaptation is about so much more. It is a deep exploration of the nature of obsession—of the killer’s fixations and our fixations with unraveling the mystery of the killer. And the movie grapples with a question that has always haunted me as a reporter: What happens when the facts we frantically seek to make sense of murderous evil—including the identity of the perpetrator—elude us?”

All the President’s Men

“I recently rewatched this film and I found it no less gripping than when I first saw it decades ago. The movie manages to capture not only the historic Watergate conspiracy but also the deep, unsettling paranoia that can eat away at society when institutions are unstable—something that feels unnervingly familiar today. Plus, the film helped to unleash a whole new generation of investigative reporters—though none of them looked quite like Robert Redford.”

“This ‘adaptation,’ if you can call it that, of Susan Orlean’s The Orchid Thief brilliantly and hysterically gets at the essential conundrum of transforming a work of facticity into a work of cinema. They are such wildly different mediums. One is bound by the literal truth, the author’s decisions dictated by the underlying source materials; the other is visual and elastic, with invented scenes and dialogue, illuminating realms inaccessible to a reporter or a historian. In the case of Adaptation , the screenwriter Charlie Kaufman madly shows what happens when these two equally passionate art forms collide.”

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Book Review: Solitary writer ruminates on grief, love and writing during pandemic's first spring

Sigrid Nunez, the National Book Award-winning author of “The Friend,” has written a pandemic novel called “The Vulnerables.”

This cover image released by Riverhead Books shows "The Vulnerables" by Sigrid Nunez. (Riverhead Books via AP)

The flood of pandemic literature shows no sign of letting up. In the three-plus years since the COVID-19 lockdown, we have seen fiction from the likes of Gary Shteyngart, Elizabeth Strout and many others. Now Sigrid Nunez, author of “Sempre Susan: A Memoir of Susan Sontag” and the National Book Award-winning “The Friend,” has written a pandemic novel called “The Vulnerables.”

The title refers to the groups of people, including the elderly, considered at high risk of getting severely ill at the start of the pandemic in spring 2020. The unnamed narrator, a stand-in for the 72-year-old author, is among them.

In the publishing world “The Vulnerables” is classified as a novel but it more often reads like an elegant, funny essay about what it felt like to be stuck in New York City in the early days of the lockdown, when your wealthier friends fled to their country houses, leaving you alone with a bad case of writer’s block.

The narrator broods about the writing life even though she knows that “whenever I write something about writing or being a writer, I am annoying the hell out of some people.” Indeed, self-awareness is a great part of her charm. “For the writer,” she muses, “obsessive rumination is a must.”

About halfway through the book, Nunez stumbles on something like a plot: the narrator is asked to take care of a male parrot named Eureka for a couple stranded in California by the pandemic. The college student who had agreed to do it has fled the city, too, in a worrying display of Gen Z irresponsibility. Then he returns, in part because he missed the bird. “We’re bros, he explained, to make me feel even more left out.”

Initially antagonistic, they slowly form a bond over edibles, vegan ice cream and microdoses of psilocybin. I briefly wondered whether Nunez was heading into “Harold and Maude” territory, the 1971 movie about a troubled young man who falls in love with a much older woman.

But as a writer and academic thoroughly steeped in literary theory, Nunez knows that a conventional marriage plot is not an option in contemporary fiction, not “with the world on fire and its systems collapsing… with hope after hope turning out to have been merely false hope.” Plus, someone like her likely would have thought that he was not just too troubled but also too young. And so, their unlikely friendship becomes just one more oddball incident in this elegiac essay-novel.

AP book reviews: https://apnews.com/hub/book-reviews

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  1. Fiction Books or Non-Fiction Books #whichone

  2. How to Read Non Fiction Books

  3. Non-Fiction Book Writing Surprise Number 4

  4. Belated Non Fiction Book Haul

  5. Developing A Global Mindset

  6. Are you ready to write a book

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  1. The 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2022

    The Invisible Kingdom, Meghan O'Rourke Beginning in the late 1990s, Meghan O'Rourke was tormented by mysterious symptoms that would consume her life for years to follow. She describes her wrenching...

  2. How To Write A Nonfiction Book: 21 Steps for Beginners

    What is a nonfiction book? What is the author's purpose in a work of nonfiction? How many words are in a nonfiction book? How long does it take to write a nonfiction book? How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 21 Steps

  3. The 60 Best Nonfiction Books of All Time

    📚 Which nonfiction book should you read next? Discover the perfect nonfiction book for you. Takes 30 seconds! Start quiz 1. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates Buy on Amazon Add to library

  4. On Writing Nonfiction (27 books)

    There seem to be so many books on writing fiction and so few about nonfiction. If, like me, you're struggling to find them and have come across one or two, add them to the list. flag All Votes Add Books To This List 27 books · 20 voters · list created August 13th, 2011 by Michael (votes) . Tags: nonfiction, writing Like

  5. The Best Books about Writing Nonfiction

    Writing the Damn Book: How to Start, Write & Publish a Non-Fiction Book for Creative People Who Have a Hard Time Finishing Things by Stacy Nelson (BadAss Publishing, 2016, 170 pages) "This isn't a formula—no book on creativity ever truly is. But it is a series of the un-Google-able steps which if actually taken, will end up with you ...

  6. How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 8 Steps

    Writing How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 8 Steps Written by MasterClass Last updated: Aug 9, 2021 • 4 min read Writing about others is no trivial act. It's not merely entertainment or a distraction.

  7. How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 6 Steps

    How to write a nonfiction book: 1. Determine what problem your book will solve 2. Outline your book with a logical structure 3. Choose a style guide to remain consistent 4. Blast through your messy first draft 5. Revise your manuscript and check your facts 6. Choose to publish traditionally or independently 1.

  8. How to Write a Nonfiction Book: A Step-by-Step Guide for Authors

    2. Understand the subgenre of nonfiction you're going to write Once you know what you want to achieve with your book, you need to figure out what kind of nonfiction book you're going to write. There are different subgenres of nonfiction. The one you choose will determine not only what you're going to say but also the way you will say it.

  9. 25 Tips To Make You a Better Nonfiction Writer

    The rainbow of little thumbs up everyone is so focused upon generating via social media? Well, first and foremost, there needs to be a pot of golden content. Isn't that what generates the rainbow? ( Learn the 8 Essential Elements of a Nonfiction Book Proposal) From my first word to my last, I work hard to service and reward my readers.

  10. 8 Rules for Writing Non-Fiction Books (and Reasons To ...

    Nonfiction readers pay less attention to price. 5. You can build a profitable business around a nonfiction book. 6. Nonfiction authors are branded as experts. 7. Nonfiction books can have a long shelf-life. 8. Nonfiction can allow you to make a difference in the world.

  11. How to Finally Write Your Nonfiction Book

    Don't write your book — yet. Many aspiring authors assume that getting started means cranking out tens of thousands of words before you approach an agent or publisher, but it might depend on ...

  12. How to Write a Nonfiction Book (13 Steps for Quality)

    A Nonfiction book is a piece of written document that is focused on facts. It's opposed to fictional stories such as Harry Potter or Chronicles of Narnia. It can be a memoir, a captivating biography, an instructional book on how to make a coffee table, a self-help book, or even a travel guide to Chile.

  13. How to Write a Nonfiction Book in 2023: The Ultimate ...

    In most cases, nonfiction books are written to solve a specific problem. Whether it's a how-to guide on a particular topic, or a self-help book addressing a certain issue, these types of books are meant to provide readers with valuable information that can help them in some way.

  14. Tips for Writing Nonfiction: Memoir, Autobiography, and Creative

    Written by MasterClass Last updated: Aug 19, 2021 • 7 min read The broad genre of nonfiction includes an array of appealing topics, from memoirs and self-help books to cookbooks and travelogues. Aspiring writers can use these nonfiction writing tips to learn how to navigate the writing process. Learn From the Best Oops, something went wrong...

  15. How to Write a Non-Fiction Book: 10 Crucial Steps

    Have you ever thought about writing a non-fiction book? Maybe you're worried that you need to be an "expert", or you feel daunted by the idea of writing so many words. But you can't quite let go of that dream of seeing your name on the cover of a finished book. You might have lots of different reasons for contemplating a non-fiction book. Maybe:

  16. How to Self-Publish Your Non-Fiction Book

    Use Headers and Section Breaks. On a basic level, you can use Microsoft Word to add footnotes, page numbers, the title of your book (at the top of even pages), and your author name (at the top of ...

  17. How to Write a Nonfiction Book Outline

    Writing a book outline doesn't have to be onerous. Here are a few recommendations to get you started. Tips on Writing A Nonfiction Book Outline Summarize Your Book. Ask yourself some pointed questions. Be honest and realistic with your answers. What is your book about? Why would someone want to read it?

  18. Non Fiction Book Lists

    Lists about: Books That Everyone Should Read At Least Once, Best Books of the 20th Century, Books That Exceeded Your Expectations, Best Non-Fiction (no b...

  19. 7 Types of Nonfiction Books

    Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis. Most religious books. 5. Riff. The riff is a type of book usually by an expert in a field that may combine pieces from each of the above book types in varied patterns and lengths. For example, On Writing is everything Stephen King thinks about the craft of writing.

  20. How To Write a Nonfiction Book that Sells: A Comprehensive Guide

    Some potential clients have asked me to write nonfiction books that don't align with what a high quality nonfiction book should look like. I discuss two of their mistakes in this article. But, I've further expanded on the effects of these mistakes and provided solutions below. I've also included another mistake.

  21. How to Write a Nonfiction Book: 6 Step Guide

    In this article, we'll give you a step-by-step guide for how to write a nonfiction book. 6 Steps to Writing a Nonfiction Book. Writing nonfiction can be broken down into six steps: Start by defining your goal. Do your research. Structure the book. Plan your writing schedule. Write the first draft. Revise and edit. Let's take a closer look ...

  22. Hardcover Nonfiction Books

    The New York Times Best Sellers are up-to-date and authoritative lists of the most popular books in the United States, based on sales in the past week, including fiction, non-fiction, paperbacks ...

  23. Writing a non-fiction book: How to convince as an expert

    If you want to write a non-fiction book, take a look at the non-fiction market in advance. The non-fiction market has a range of different genres such as society, politics and economics, business and careers, medicine, literature, etc. These categories can be divided into sub-categories: Political History, International Politics etc.

  24. Prominent psychologist provides writing advice for ASU students

    On Oct. 26, Arizona State University hosted Yale psychologist Woo-kyoung Ahn, author of "Thinking 101: How to Reason Better to Live Better," in a virtual event open to the public. Ahn shared her process of writing the book as well as some of the theories undergirding it. The popular, nonfiction book is the 2023-24 ASU Common Read.

  25. Book Review: Solitary writer ruminates on grief, love and writing

    The narrator broods about the writing life even though she knows that "whenever I write something about writing or being a writer, I am annoying the hell out of some people." Indeed, self-awareness is a great part of her charm. "For the writer," she muses, "obsessive rumination is a must."

  26. Best nonfiction books to gift this season

    18 best nonfiction books for fans of Madonna, memoirs or cultural histories ... Ideal for fans of memoir, criticism or just fierce writing, Myriam Gurba's essay collection takes on sacred cows ...

  27. 'Killers of the Flower Moon' Author David Grann Picks the ...

    "The book was better" isn't just something book readers say to be pedantic; most of the time, it's true. That's part of what makes Martin Scorsese 's take on David Grann 's 2017 best ...

  28. Book Review: Solitary writer ruminates on grief, love and writing

    Sigrid Nunez, the National Book Award-winning author of "The Friend," has written a pandemic novel called "The Vulnerables." The flood of pandemic literature shows no sign of letting up ...