Writing Tips

I’ve got a great idea for a non-fiction book.. or is it? Find out here.

Testing your idea for your non-fiction bookHow would you describe your book idea in 50 words?

Think of this as an elevator pitch that you use at networking meetings or with anyone you want to share your idea with. What will be on the back cover that will entice customers to buy it?
Take my idea for a non-fiction book which will have a title, something like:

‘How to publish a non-fiction book to give your business a boost’

By the way, starting your title with ‘How to…’ is a good thing as it makes you answer a need that some people have.

So, in 50 words:

Writing and self-publishing a book to showcase your expertise is one of the best ways

to promote your business and achieve success.

This book is a step-by-step guide, in plain English, with any jargon explained,

to help you easily publish a book that you are proud of.

Who will want to read your book?

Define your target audience.  Where are they? Are they tweeting on twitter? Perusing bookshops wearing anoraks? Holed up in monasteries trying to find inner peace?  At the school gate?
How many of them are there?  Are there enough to make it worth your while?

What’s the competition?  Is there an established author who’s already written a bestseller on the same subject?  If there is nothing on your subject out there, is there a demand for it?  (Go back to number two and find these people.)

It’s worth remembering that you are unique, and you may well have a different perspective on a subject that has not been written about before.  The important thing is to do it better than others.

Map out your content first.

Make sure you have the right amount of information for the length of book you want to achieve.

Use mind mapping as you brainstorm ideas. Once you have lots of ideas, put them into some sort of order, which will form your table of contents.  This will give you a plan for your book.

Write a synopsis for each chapter

Under each heading in your table of contents, write a short paragraph, which will be an overview of what that chapter contains.

This will give you a clearer picture of what your book will be and will help you to complete your planning. When you can see that the book is ‘real’ you will be motivated to start writing!

Don’t wait – Start building awareness of your book as you write it

Don’t wait until you have a printed copy in your hand. But start talking about it at networking meetings and on social media platforms, as well as amongst your friends and family. This way, by the time it’s published, it will be hotly awaited.

Do you need to add to your expertise to write your book?

This might just be about research, visiting libraries etc.. Or it might be that you want to consult an expert who would contribute to the book. You can all always acknowledge their contribution in your forward. For example, if you were writing about a health issue you might want to consult a doctor for the latest medical thinking.

Are there any spin-off books you could write?

The more books you write, the more books you will sell.  In marketing circles, the question asked is “has it got legs?” This means are there any other subjects on the same theme that you could write about.

So in my example, where I am writing about how to publish a non-fiction book, spinoffs might be:

  • how to write and publish a fiction book
  • how to market your non-fiction book
  • how to market your fiction book
  • the role of social media in promoting your books

How will you publish your book?

If you choose the self publishing route, once you have got to this stage, you can go ahead and start writing.

If you choose the traditional publishing route, only write a couple of chapters and create a book proposal, which will include all the information you have put together as a result of this blog.  Submit your book proposal to agents and publishers. Good luck!

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