Writing a nonfiction book: does it help to work with a buddy or two?

The prospect of writing a full-length nonfiction book can be a lonely one. Here are some options that could help you on your journey, involving a choice of partnerships…

Co-authors

If you are considering writing a book with one or more others, it’s worth working into your planning process exactly who does what, and on what criteria you will agree on structure, content, editing and so-on. (Saves arguments later!)

I have the experience of working with a co-author on two of my books. In both cases we split the proceeds 50-50, and I believe that’s customary when both co-authors contribute equal amounts to the project. This issue can be a tricky one if you don’t know what to watch out for, especially as people are likely to have differing views on what constitutes 50% of the effort.

One expert and one (topic-literate) writer: [Read more…]

How to write a great nonfiction book title: update

Writing a book, or looking into to options to do so? Book titles and taglines are even more important now than they ever were before. Why?

book titles and sales

If your book is going into bookshops and it’s displayed ‘spine out,’ all people will see is the title on the spine – not the tagline.

SEO. Much as we love to communicate directly with our readers we, as authors wanting to promote our books online, have to buckle down and accept that we’re communicating with ‘bots’ and other digital machines … not just humans, although they are still important.

Sets the scene for your writing project 

Some people like to leave the title until last, rather in the way that you ice a cake: the concept here is that you can’t ice a cake until you have prepared and baked its innards. But there are a couple of good reasons for creating the title right at the beginning of your book writing project. Here they are: [Read more…]

Is your new book’s content already on Google?

If readers can find easily, on Google, all or most of the information you intend to write in your book, don’t bother writing the book.

book content on Google

Can most or all of your book’s information be found on Google?

This is a somewhat hard lesson we authors have to take on board, but here it goes: if you want your book to sell make sure it offers readers a lot more than they could find just by searching for the information on Google or other search engines. [Read more…]

Does it matter who publishes your business or self-help book?

Let’s stop kidding ourselves: self-published books under a cool-sounding publishing company’s name probably do not fool anyone these days.

self-published books

Does the interior of the book look attractive and inviting to read?

Today what matters is that readers get full value for money with a book that looks, and is, professionally produced and published – not necessarily by whom.

Self-published books have come a long way since vanity publishing days

The last thing you want your book to be associated with is anything remotely connected with the vanity publishing ethos of print 5,000 copies of it as it came in unedited, send the books in boxes to the customer, bill them for a lot of money and disappear.’

But what about ‘confessing’ that your book is independently published, as Amazon now refers to it? [Read more…]

Why writing a business book is very good for business

If you listen to cynics you’ll probably have heard that having written a published business book is just an “expensive business card,” which is, well, the cynical view. But say what you like: being a published author on your particular business, therapy or other passion raises you up in your readers’ – and customers’ – estimation. And not many business cards can achieve that.
writing a business book is good for business

Your business book puts you into an elite club

[Read more…]

How to publish a useless nonfiction book

HTWB serious catWell, yeee-hah … these days all you need to do to magic up a nonfiction (e.g. business, self-help, etc.) book is to scribble some stuff down, or perhaps just chop your blog posts together (or buy some software that does it for you), upload it or pay some kiddie to set it up and voilà – you’re a respected, admired “published author.”

Since people published books in tablets of stone, it has never been easier for just about anyone to become a “published author” and use that handle to enhance their status and prestige.

A poor quality book is about as useful to your reputation and marketing as a conviction for shoplifting… [Read more…]

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