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Writing a Non-Fiction Book

So, you’re thinking about writing a non-fiction book? Whether you’re writing a self-help guide, a life memoir, or an e-book to help scale your health business, you are probably wondering, “where the hell do I start?

Mini characters sitting on a laptop writing a book
Writing a Non-Fiction Book

Your Book Goals

Firstly, think about your reasons for writing a non-fiction book.

  • Is it something you have always yearned to do?

  • Is it a bucket list goal?

  • Do you have a valuable message to portray to others who might be going through similar life parallels to you?

  • Or maybe you simply want to write a short e-guide to showcase your expertise within your industry?

Whatever your goals, remember what they are when you’re writing. And most importantly…

Do Your Market Research

Before starting to write, a good exercise is to search your category on Amazon to see what else is out there. This is great to make sure your book is original. For example, maybe you want to write a hormonal nutrition guide but find that there are already a LOT of guides in this genre on sale already.

But don’t throw in the towel just yet. This doesn’t mean you shouldn't write a book. It just means that if you are dedicated to writing within this specific category then you are really going to have to niche down within your category and whack in a load of USP’s (Unique Selling Points) for good measure.

Download a few of your competitors’ books. Read them. Make notes. Make more notes about the language used, their specific target audience, their book’s overall vibe, what undertones and themes their book uses.

For example, there may be nutrition books that focus on following a strict diet, paralleled with other nutrition books that may show emphasis on following alternative herbal plans. Some books might sell based on their bullet pointed factual layout, whereas others might captivate their audience with the way the authors personality comes across throughout the guide.

What’s your USP? And what is your book’s personality?

Construct a Plan

Based on the information you discovered from your market research, create a plan for which niche you will choose to focus on and how your book will be structured to make it stand out from the crowd.

And of course, choose a catchy title that no one else has used!

Write Directly to Your Ideal Reader

Always have your ideal reader or target audience in mind when writing your book. Imagine they are in front of you and you’re personally telling your reader your message or information.

  • Think about the tone of your author’s voice and your delivery.

  • Don’t use strong industry-based jargon if you know your reader won’t understand a word you’re saying.

  • If you’re writing to a very specific audience, adjust your language accordingly.

  • Writing an easy-to-read guide needs to be just that – easy to read!

Keep Your Wordcount in Mind

Different book genres require slightly different word counts in order to appeal to your specific target market. A customer expecting to read a complete life memoir might be disappointed if the book looks more like a magazine than a life story. Keep these figures in mind when writing:

  • e-Book or Lead Magnet: 5,000 - 10,000 words

  • Self-help guide: 50,000 words approx.

  • Health memoir: 80,000 words approx.

Formulate a Writing Plan

You might be excited to embark on your venture towards becoming a published author or you might feel like it’s the next natural step in your career but lack the enthusiasm for putting pen to paper.

Hand circling a date on a calendar
Formulate a Writing Plan

It’s a good idea to have a brief writing plan to ensure you stay on track with your book. Do you have a deadline you need to meet? Break the wordcount down into daily or weekly chunks to meet your target.

For example, 1,000 words, two times a week. (8,000 words per month, an 80,000 word memoir would take 10 months to write). Click here for ideas of how to stay on target.

Ask For Help

Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Whether it’s from family members, from published authors or from fellow writers in Facebook groups. (We have our own Facebook Writer’s support group – click here to sign up).

If you are struggling with writing aspects such as how to structure your book, what to actually write or maybe with expressing your message clearly throughout your work, have you thought about contacting a writing coach?

A writing coach will help you with all the above and more. As well as holding you accountable to make sure you complete your writing project.

Click here to find out more about our writer’s coaching packages.

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