Why writing nonfiction books is not just about books any more

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One of the best things about the current spread of media and publication options is that the basic content from your book can be shared in many more different ways than was the case 20 or even 10 years ago. I have mentioned quite a few of these en passant in my new book but it’s worth taking another look at the main ones, so you can bear them in mind.

woman sitting on bed with flying books

Who knows to what other communication treasures your book could lead you?

Blog to book and back again
Depending on the nature of your content, a series of blog posts form a very good basis for a book. I’ve done this a couple of times now and so have a number of other authors who contribute to How To Write Better. You get the double bite at the cherry. Don’t worry that people won’t buy the book if an equivalent but spaced-out version exists on your blog, by the way. They will buy the book because the formats are very different and will be used for different purposes. [Read more…]

Thinking of buying a book on how to write a book?

Here’s what the beta readers said about mine…

If you’re thinking about buying a book to guide you through the journey of devising, planning, writing and publishing a nonfiction book, I would recommend my new one.

Don’t just take my word for it…

“Love the narrative style, so live and speaks to me (I’ve often chosen to not read a book for the very reason of the narrative style not suiting me)… I very quickly get the impression you can actually help me get started. And I don’t have to gloss over terminology I don’t understand, as you’re explaining it. I feel I’m being guided to write ‘like me’ not what I think others want.”
V.L., counsellor and charity managerhow to write a brilliant nonfiction book“As someone with no experience of book authorship, I couldn’t have hoped for a more informative guide to the perils and pitfalls of writing and publishing – essential reading.
If you’re looking for someone to hold your hand through the process of writing a non-fiction book from start to finish, answer all your questions, and even ask you some searching ones, then look no further than this. [Read more…]

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…]

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