How do you start writing a non-fiction book? So, you’ve always wanted to share your passion, experience and expertise with the world, right?
But you always wondered how do you start writing a non-fiction book?
This step-by-step formula will help you realise your dream even if you’ve never written anything before!
How do you start writing a non-fiction book?
I’m going to break it down in a few easy steps, as we have done quite a few non-fiction books now, and I tend to follow roughly the same formula.
And it really helps, because, at the end of the day, you want to sell more books, AND…
You want to help more people.
This post is all about how do you start writing a non-fiction book
What is non-fiction?
“Non-fiction is basically real life, whether it’s an autobiography, biography, it’s a how-to instructional book, it’s educating about business or skills.”
Say if it was maybe how to start a business online, the first thing will be to just introduce what you’re going to be covering in the book.
The next thing I would suggest is to identify your ‘why‘.
Why are you writing this book in particular?
What is your expertise? What do you hope the reader will get from it? Is it educational? Is it inspirational?
Do you want to really provide a specific step-by-step process as to how to help the reader?
Identify your target audience.
Is it aimed at women? Is it aimed at men? Is it aimed at women over 50? Is it aimed at new mums?
For example, when we publish our kid’s activity books, we always make sure we are ‘speaking to parents’ and using their language.
Here is an example:
In the description, we understand that parents are normally knackered most of the time and would love to have 5 minutes to themselves. (So we incorporated this into the text so that we showed that we spoke their language – we understood their pain points)
You are going to tailor your language towards your audience.
It’s a lot more effective if you use the specific language that your target audience does. It’s a bit like the psychological thing of when we hear our name when someone speaks to us, our ears prick up a little bit.
When people speak our language in a book, we tend to take more notice.
So, how you’re going to be speaking to doctors might be a lot different to how you’re speaking to young adults who are going to pursue an adventure of a lifetime somewhere, and you’re talking about the best places to go in a certain country. That will likely be more informal.
Do your research.
Now, this is the bit, for some reason, I enjoy the most.
It’s because I think it’s the most effective thing that you can do in order to make sure that your book answers all the questions that people want to know.
That is essentially why they’re buying a book.
They want answers.
There is no point in writing a book that you feel will be good, but no one else does.
How do I do this?
I head over to Amazon to see what the competition is.
Let’s pretend we want to write a book about starting a business.
Click the ‘Look Inside’ button until you get to the contents page.
Do this with 3-5 books in your niche and see what the common themes are.
Write them all down and order in a logical sequence.
I know that my audience wants to know more about these themes.
Also, what you can do is to go onto Google and just type in say, “How to start an online business.” See what the search has come up as because this is Google telling you that this is what people are typing in.
These are your golden nuggets to put in your book. People want to know this.
People forget to look at these on Google, but they are so useful for you.
These can be chapter headings. Google is telling us that people want to know the answer to these questions.
You can also go on to Quora.
This is also where people are asking questions that they want to be answered.
Head over to Quora, type in your area/niche and then click on Questions.
These can also be your chapter headings (just arrange them all in a logical order)
So if your book answers all of the top questions within your subject matter, and you do it in such a way that you’re speaking to your audience; you’ve got tips, you’ve got tricks, you’ve got hacks, then your book will do well.
Have your reader go through a journey from the beginning to an end product that they want.
So say if it was how to start an online business. They may not have a lot of money. They haven’t got a clue how to start. They’ve just got an idea.
You would talk them through, maybe brainstorming their ideas, finding out if their idea is, has any commercial intent.
And then you would take them through maybe building a website and their social media to start with.
Every page that they read, pull them through to the next stage, and by the end of the book, they reached the outcome.
If you put a question on each page, which can be your chapters, then just start jotting down some ideas of what you need to include that in this chapter.
Again, you can do a Google search where you can break those chapters down even further. See this example:
I searched this:
But when I scrolled down, it also showed me what else people were searching withing this same area:
So, within the chapter; How To Build A Website from Scratch, you can include the sub-headings under the ‘People also ask’ heading.
You’re guaranteed to be writing a non-fiction book that covers what people want.
Make sure that you answer the questions as in-depth as you can.
Put the reader first.
How Do You Start Writing a Non-Fiction Book…If you don’t like writing?
Now, there’s a quicker way of writing a book.
You can speak your answers on your phone.
After I’ve made my non-fiction book outline (all of the questions that my target audience want to be answered).
I ‘speak’ the answers and record them.
I head over to a website called Rev.com to get my recordings transcribed.
(Little secret; this blog post was produced in EXACTLY the same way!)
You can get it transcribed, and you can be doing that while you’re walking the dog, or I’m currently writing this blog
while I’m on an exercise, bike, believe it or not!
You can go through your questions, then break those chapters down further and think of what advice you can give practical steps.
People like things that are bite-size, manageable
Then you need to get it edited. You can either use Fiverr, you can pay an editor.
You can use a site like Grammarly, and then your book is good to go! Congrats!
You need to get a really good front cover.
Go on Amazon and see what are the best-selling books in your field?
What are the colours they’re using? What are the fonts they’re using? And you can go back onto Fiverr and you can get someone to do your front cover for you.
You have come up with a great non-fiction book idea, you’ve filled it with content that your readers are looking for, and you’ve written it without even having to write it!
Give yourself a big pat on the back!
You need to register with kindle direct publishing to upload your nonfiction book.
You’re an author!
This blog post took you all the way from not being sure to ‘How Do You Start Writing a Non-Fiction Book the Right Way?’
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