Non Fiction Books: How To Write Them In 6 Steps

It does not matter how good or proficient you are in your area of expertise, or how much time you devoted to writing non fiction books or how many pages your original has. Publishers will not be inclined to public your book for any of those reasons. As they scan your manuscript, they will focus on certain aspects on which most authors of non fiction books fail. The following 6 steps will help you overcome those initial traps and will definitely bring you a bit closer to your dream of becoming a published author.

Step 1: Non Fiction Books Should Be Valuable
Before taking your non fiction books to the publisher make sure they are rich in content and interesting. Readers, as they reach the end of the books should feel that they have learnt something new, that they have received useful data and/or that they have learnt what they needed to develop any practical skill.

Readers should also find the book interesting. With this being said, remember that you have only one chance to make a good first impression and, therefore, it is of utmost importance that you grab the attention of your audience in every chapter. In order to achieve this, make sure your titles are catchy and impressive and that every opening paragraph entices your reader to go on reading as he is promised that a certain question will be answered or that a process will be explained.

Step 2: Non Fiction Books Must Be Clear
Non fiction books require an additional effort on behalf of their author: they have to be consistent and well written in the broadest sense of the word. With this being said, writers should not only pay attention to avoid grammar or spelling mistakes but they should also make sure the message or idea they are trying to convey is clearly grasped and understood by their readers.

Writers should always bear in mind that their audience may not be as acquainted as they are with technical words and procedures and that, therefore, all acronyms or terms should be explained and defined.

It is also important that your non fiction books look cohesive to the publisher. That is to say, that each chapter flows naturally from one another and that the book just does not seem like a collection of isolated articles all printed together. Needless to say, the information provided in each chapter should also be cohesive and flow naturally. Your readers should clearly understand that a certain result is the consequence of a certain process or that a result is an exception of a given process under certain conditions.

Step 3: Fool Proof Your Non Fiction Books
Publishers are tired of correcting non fiction books plagued with tons of mistakes and bloopers that make them doubt not only of your abilities as a writer but also as a professional in your areas of expertise. It is highly advisable that you check over and over again that any factual information you provide is accurate, that all proper names are well written and that your writings are prejudice free. If your non fiction books include case studies, make sure that they are broad and comprehensive and not biased at all.

Step 4: Make Friends With A Dictionary
Non fiction books writers should always have a good dictionary at hand while writing. It does not matter how good you were at spelling while you were at school, anybody can have a doubt and it is better to check it immediately than leaving it as it is and having to correct it later. It is also important for writers to make sure that there are no small and even trivial inconsistencies in their writings: check that the same term is used to refer to the same thing all the time, that any writer or scientist you quote is correctly mentioned all throughout the text and so on.

Step 5: Proofreading is Essential
Take your time to proofread your original as there are many minor mistakes or inconsistencies you may point out. If you do not trust your editing abilities, hire a professional proofreader or editor to do it for you. They are highly experienced in analyzing other people’s texts and they can be definitely helpful.

Step 6: Print Your Original Correctly
Believe it or not, many a time publishers are discouraged to publish non fiction books mainly because the writer just handed them a bunch of printed pages without checking first if there was not any page missing or if there wasn’t any page misplaced. Publishers can get really annoyed and pissed off if they have to spend hours on end rearranging the pages of your original draft or guessing why the names of your chapters do not match the ones in your table of contents.

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Self-Publishing Advice: Do You Earn More Writing Fiction or Non-Fiction eBooks?

I’ve been a self-publisher since 2002. To date (Spring 2015), I’ve written close to 100 eBooks; 50-60 fiction and almost 30 non-fiction (mostly romance). So, you may be thinking, “Which ones sell best – the fiction or the non-fiction?”

Like most things in any type of business, the answer is not so cut and dried. It depends on a host of factors. But let me say up front, I’ve earned the most – by far – writing in the non-fiction, how-to genre, eg, how to start a freelance SEO writing business; how to write and publish eBooks; how to make money online; etc.

Why I’ve Earned More Self-Publishing Non-Fiction Than Fiction: 4 Reasons

1. First-Hand Info: I tend to write what I know and first-hand information sells. Why? In my opinion, it’s because when people want to know about something, they seek information from someone who’s “been there and done that,” so to speak.

2. Never Underestimate Passion: Also, when you know about a subject and are dedicated enough to write a book about it, you tend to be more passionate about it. This comes across in the writing.

3. Real-Life Examples: Another thing is, you can cite real-life scenarios (and what you learned from them), which speaks to the “been there, done that” experience eBook buyers seek when they’re deciding between eBook A and eBook B. And finally…

4. Pricing: You can price non-fiction eBooks much higher than fiction eBooks. For example, most of my romance novels sell in the $2.99 to $3.99 price range. For my non-fiction eBooks, $9.99 is low. I’ve sold individual titles for as much as $99.95, although most fall in the $15 to $30 range.

Why Self-Publishing Fiction May Be More Lucrative

With all of that being said, however, I think there’s more money to be earned in fiction. Why? Simply because people buy more fiction than non-fiction; there’s a wider market.

As stated so brilliantly in the post, Should You Write Nonfiction or Fiction? on The Write Practice blog…

“James Patterson sells more copies of his books than Tim Ferriss [author of The New York Times best seller, The 4-Hour Work Week] does (about 200 times more). In the end, top tier fiction authors make more than top tier non-fiction authors.”
Conclusion: So Which Should You Write – Fiction or Non-Fiction

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on your interests, your desire to tell a story, your writing ability and a host of other factors. But I will say this… as my experience underscores, there’s no reason you can’t do both.

In fact, unless you just have a stomach-churning aversion to one genre over another, then try both. As for me, there was a time when I thought I’d give up non-fiction to just write fiction. But then, another idea for a non-fiction eBook would hit, then I’d say something to the effect of, “Let me go ahead and knock this one out.”

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