Authoring Books How to write a non-fiction book for the first time

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About how to write a non-fiction book for the first time

Guidelines on how to write a non-fiction book for the first time play Guidelines on how to write a non-fiction book for the first time (Wikihow)

Learning how to write a non-fiction book for the first time could be a daunting task. Therefore it is very fundamental to know and follow the right steps in order to get it right and achieve success in this normal quest.

1. Define the intention of the book

Before you jump into writing a book you need to define your goals. What is it that you want to achieve with the book?

Some authors just want to educate people, others want to correct an ill in the society, and others want to help people or give their opinion concerning something. You should avoid being too general or unspecific. This will make the readers unsatisfied since they are looking for something specific in the book. You will end up losing a big chunk of your audience instead of attracting it.

The intention goes concurrently with what you want to write about. What you write about should be informed by what you know most about and what you are most passionate about. This makes the piece authentic and engaging. The audience is expectant of truth and knowledge. You therefore should be an authority on your subject matter.

When you become an authority in that subject matter, it could open doors for you in your careers. Doors like speaking engagements and growing your clientele.

Do enough research and a meticulous background to know what is relevant to the audience. When you identify it, write it. This is how it can be done. You can address a current problem or need, presenting new information, or giving a new angle to existing information and presenting it in various contexts.

2. Carve out a roadmap for the chapters

Formulate a plan for each chapter which should include the topics you intend to cover within each chapter and also the subtopics. They should also help you plan the examples you plan to use, concepts, ideas and theories.

Choose the best way to draw out your plan in a way that only you can understand. Having an intricate plan for your chapters gives you a clear pathway. That is the pathway you will follow when you are in the writing process. It saves time and unnecessary pressure.

Book experts say that planning helps you avoid running out of words as you progress as you write. Book author and owner of the creative penn website and podcast writes that:

“When you’ve finished writing about the topics in the first section of the plan, you simply tick the off and move on to writing the next topic that you’ve earmarked.  This is particularly useful if you’ve taken a break in your writing for any length of time, you always now where you left off and can resume quickly.”

3. Plan your time well

play Good time-management is key when writing a non-fictional book for the first time (Newberg)


You should set a definite timeframe within which you will have drafted, written and published the book. Joanna Penn says that taking years to write a non-fiction book could render its concepts out of date pretty quickly. You can always release an updated version later.

4. Don’t be a loner

While we might be tempted to go about writing a book on our own, book expert Joanna Penn disputes that. She says it will be much better and beneficial to find a like-minded person to be accountable to.

According to Penn, “This could be anyone, but preferably someone who is also undertaking or has undertaken a writing project as they will be able to empathize with you and find mutual encouragement.

She recommends that an aspiring writer should join a writers circle or even persuade a friend to start a writing project.

These partners and friends will help to keep you on track in your writing journey. It fosters consistency and persistence.

5. Use a professional editor

Experienced authors advise that an aspiring author should hire the services of a professional editor. Ensure that the editor is affordable and understands non-fiction well enough.

6. Produce both a hardcover and ebook

With advent of technology in this day and age, it behooves an aspiring writer to leverage on this great tool. Websites like Amazon have made it easier for readers to purchase an ebook right at the comfort of their home.

You should also publish a hard cover copy for the book stores so as to tap into the traditional readers market.

7. Get a simple cover but attractive.

play Beautifully designed simple book cover (Pinterest)


Unlike fiction books which have very busy covers, as a non-fiction writer you should look for a simple and cleaner looking cover. Some covers can simply be creatively drafted text.

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