The Ultimate Way to Become a Better Non-fiction Writer

By on February 27, 2016
How To Become A Better Nonfiction Writer - Writer's

How do you become a great non-fiction writer?

There is so much choice out there these days that being found, in order to be read is actually one of your most significant challenges.

You might have lots of interesting ideas and things to say, and you even might be able to convey these through brilliantly compelling writing, but without anyone being able to find your work, how would they ever know?

Becoming a better non-fiction writer, as with most things, is about practice, and careful, methodical planning. It is a learning curve and a craft which takes time to master. So if you want to become successful as a nonfiction writer, you must be willing to put the time and effort in.

Success is all about quality. You are providing a service to your readers, and if the quality of that service is high, they will appreciate it, recommend it, and come back for more.

These are the things you should think about before you start.

What is your book about?

Your book needs to have a clear idea, a purpose. Without this, you will start to write and get lost and off topic before you have even really begun You should be able to neatly and clearly summarise your idea and be able to tell someone exactly what your book is about in under 30 seconds and in under 50 words. Can you?!

Who are writing it for?

Make sure you understand your reader, and the potential size of your readership - this needs to be large enough to make writing the book worthwhile. If your subject is so niche that only a handful of people would ever find it interesting or useful, then you should ask yourself if it will, in fact, be worth your while.

Is it unique?

Check out your competition. Has your idea been done to death already? Do people need another book on this subject? If you think you have an original idea, or, at least, intend your content to look at a particular subject from an unusual angle or perspective, then that’s great. If there are vast numbers of books covering the same thing you should think about how you can make your book unique, rather than rehashing the same old content. Asking yourself whether your book is actually necessary, and being able to answer yourself honestly, is crucial if you are going to make a success of your book.

Can you fill a whole book with what you have to say

Are you sure you have enough material? No matter how passionate you are about your subject, you need to seriously consider whether you have enough content to fill an entire book. Create a content map before you start - does it all make sense and work together as one book? Organizing your ideas and coming up with a table of contents will help you decide if you have enough content to continue.

Are you the right person to write this book?

Can you really call yourself an authority on your books content? Are you willing to do the work to back up your claims with facts and historical data?

Just because you have a great idea, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are the right person to write a book about it. Make sure you have given this some thought before you start. If you don’t know enough about this subject then maybe think about getting some help. If you are completely unknown, do you think you will be able to get your book seen?

Are you willing to promote your book?

Authors rely heavily on self-promotion these days to get noticed. If you want your book to succeed you may well have to get out there and promote your work, are you willing, and do you have the necessary time to do this? If not how do you intend to sell your book?

Armed with this information, you should not only be able to write and market your book successfully but also make a decision about whether you should write it in the first place!

If you have a great idea for a nonfiction book, there is no reason, if you are willing to do the work, it can’t become a great success.

Bethany Cadman -contributor

Bethany Cadman -contributor


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