Beginner's Guide To Writing A Nonfiction Book - 6 Simple Steps

Beginner's guide to nonfiction writing - 6 simple steps

A nonfiction book is a great way to share your experiences, insights, and wisdom with the world. It not only allows you to influence and support others but also provides a means for personal growth and reflection.

Nonfiction books can cover a wide range of topics, from your life’s important moments to navigating through challenges, sharing success stories, or providing practical guides for various aspects of life. The best part? You don’t need a literature degree to become an author; you just need to be yourself.

Many find nonfiction writing more approachable than fiction because you don’t have to invent a storyline or characters from scratch. However, this simplicity comes with its own challenge: you must have a clear roadmap from the beginning. You need to know where your book starts, where it ends, and how your narrative unfolds.

If you’re eager to share your life story but worry about your writing skills, don’t fret. We’ve got you covered with a straightforward guide on how to write a compelling, enjoyable, and well-structured nonfiction book. Don’t worry if you don’t have any idea about this, you can always hire a nonfiction book writing services expert like Hancock for help. 

8 Trending Topics For Nonfiction Books

Before we get into the step-by-step guide on how you can write a good nonfiction book, let us give you a quick overview on what are the topics that you can talk about in a nonfiction novel.

You can also use Google Trends to find the most in-demand and relevant topics for your nonfiction book. 

1. Memoir and Biographies

The first, and most common category is biographies and memoirs. These books are basically the life story of a person. Some authors write their own biographies, whereas sometimes other people write about that person to inspire people and tell them of all the great work the person had done in their life.

2. Science And Technology

These books are written for educational purposes. Great scientists and mathematicians write these books to talk about the work, experiments, and theories that have been done in the field of science and technology. So, people after them can start from where they left off.

3. History And Culture

History and culture books, as the name suggests, are written to talk about history and different cultures. History books revolve around one historic event and provide the readers with complete insight into how everything happened. Culture books, on the other hand, are written to educate the world about a specific culture. The books talk about their belief system, their life values, and everything else that makes that culture stand out from the rest.

4. Self-help And Development Books

If you are going through a hard time in life, then these books will help you figure out the issue. Be it anxiety, stress, or depression, these books will act as a bright light at the end of the tunnel. The books will help you come over negative emotions, and hold onto hope.

5. Health And Wellness

If you are into fitness and want to make sure that you are heading in the right direction with your diet and exercise, then these books will help you with that. Health and wellness books are written by professionals to help readers live a healthy life, by being physically and mentally fit.

6. Adventure And Travel

To embark on a journey is exciting. You can make it even more fun by being prepared for what to expect, and an adventure and travel book helps you with that. These books take you on a journey to different parts of the world and also act as a guide throughout your trip to an unknown country.

7. Business Entrepreneur

If you want to learn about how to begin a business, and how you can turn it into an empire, then these business books will be your guiding light. Written by the successors, in these books the author shares their tips and tricks on how you can also succeed in your line of business.

8. Art And Creativity

Lastly, the art and creativity books. These books hold the secret to being a successful artist. If you are a beginner artist, filmmaker, or musician, an art book will help you polish your skills and learn more about the form of art you are interested in.

For more topic suggestions to write your next nonfiction book, read our blog on 11 nonfiction topics for eBooks to help streamline your nonfiction book writing process.

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How To Write A Nonfiction Book In 6 Steps?

Now that we have covered all the major topics you can talk about in a nonfiction book, let us jump into the tips for aspiring nonfiction writers and a step-to-step guide on how they can write an impressive nonfiction book without being an expert writer.

1. Understanding The Vision Behind Your Book

  • List Down Your Ideas

If you want to write an interesting and impactful book, you must have the answers to these questions before you start writing it,

  • What is the book about?
  • Why are you writing it?
  • What audience do you plan to target from your book?

Once you have the answer to these questions, only then you will be able to justify it to your readers and produce a good nonfiction book for them. Also, once you have a clear picture of why you are writing the book, it is when you will be able to move to the next step.

  • Research About The Topic

Now that you know what your book is going to be about, and why you are writing it, you need proper facts and figures to justify every statement you make in it. For example, if you are writing a self-help book, then your techniques and facts must be legit. If you are writing a memoir or a biography, you will need to have the real story of the person, otherwise, the readers can mark your book as the wrong source of information.

2. Laying Out The Structure Of Your Book

In fiction writing a story structure, and how the narrative is being told is the deal breaker for the book. But this is not the case with nonfiction book writing. You need to grab the reader with your logic and facts. A nonfiction book is all about grabbing the readers and taking them to a message that will help them evolve as a human.

So, laying out a structure for your book is extremely important as you do not have any imaginary characters or magical events to lead you ahead. So, you will need to plan a complete structure and the following ways will help you with it:

  • Three-Act Structure

Here you tell a story and follow a chronological structure. You begin with a set-up act, where you give a detailed introduction to the book and what purpose it serves. It also introduces the main person of the book and sets their journey in motion. Then comes the middle part, where you describe the obstacles the person had to face during their journey.

It is here, where you can also introduce the antagonist. Keep in mind that an antagonist can be a person or even a situation. Once everything is set, you bring the protagonist and antagonist face-to-face and head to the climax. The story does not end at the climax, after the climax, you tie all the loose ends and conclude the book with an impactful message.

  • Time Manipulation

In this structure, you begin the story from somewhere in the middle and then take the readers back in time, and tell them about the events and decisions that have led the protagonist into such a situation. Or you can take the readers into the future, and then jump to an event of the past and build a connection between them. It is a risky structure that is only used when there is a chance that a straight story might bore the reader.

  • Circular Structure

The circular structure is where you begin the story from the final act. You explain the whole scenario, and then you take the readers back into the past and explain everything that has led the protagonist into such a situation.

  • The Parallel Stories

In this structure, you start with two completely separate stories. They have a completely different beginning, middle, and end. But in the conclusion, you need to give the readers something like a common message that ties both stories together.

3. Pick A Style Guide For Consistency

You must decide on a style guide before you begin writing your nonfiction book. If you do not know what a style guide is, it is a group of guidelines in order to bring consistency to your writing style. For example, the minor differences in US and UK English, such as different spellings for some words, different uses of double quotation marks, usage of Oxford or serial commas, or how will you list down the references.

You must be wondering, why do these things matter. A style guide is important because nonfiction books are based on facts and figures. If you are writing in both US and UK style, the readers will get confused, and ultimately drop the book. A consistent style also helps you with editing and formatting your book according to the target audience.

4. Write An Outline

Now that everything is planned out, the next thing to do is prepare an outline for the book. In the outline, you will break the whole book into different chapters, with each chapter dedicated to one section of the story. It will be a guide for you while writing the book, and help you with keeping tabs on what you have discussed, and how to move forward.

One thing you must keep in mind is that an outline must have a proper flow. Meaning, that each chapter must follow an arc. For example, if you are writing a self-help book, you must talk about the issues in the beginning chapter, explain what causes it and how it affects people, and then propose a solution to it.

5. Start Your First Draft

Once you have the outline ready, now is the time to sit and start writing your first draft. We suggest that you follow the storytelling technique, as it is easier for the readers to connect with a story rather than just general information.

The next trick, to make the reader invested in your book, is by adding dialogue to it. Dialogues keep the readers hooked to the story as they will understand it better if they see that other people have talked about it as well.

One thing you must avoid doing at all costs is having jargon in your book. Do not put too many difficult and heavy words there. It will not make you look smart, but it will scare the readers away. People read so they can relax and have a calming session, use of jargon will not make them more uncomfortable, it will also make them abandon your book.

Lastly, you need to have a writing schedule. Many writers start a book and never finish it because of inconsistency. When you start a book, you are filled with passion, which brings out more ideas. But if you take a break from the book without completing it, the motivation and passion will start to fade, and your book will be left incomplete. So, have a schedule and follow it to finish your book on time.

6. Revise And Check The Facts

Your work does not end with writing, you have just taken one step closer to the most crucial section of book writing which is editing. Once you have finished the final manuscript, you need to check it for errors, such as spelling and punctuation mistakes, sentence structure, double checking the facts, cutting down excessive and unnecessary information, and lastly concise your sentences to deliver the message as simply as you can.

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Choosing The Right Publishing Path For Your Book

Once the editing is finished, and you are sure that your book is free from all errors, then the next thing left to do is get the book out in the world and share it with the readers. 

To publish the book, you have two options. You can either publish it yourself or hire a professional publishing team to do the job for you. Publishing the book, yourself, can be a challenge, you have to arrange all the book sales, you need to get in touch with a printing company to print the book, and then getting it in the market is another hassle.

On the other hand, if you hire a publishing agent, such as Hancock Ghostwriters, you will not have to worry about any of that, because Hancock Ghostwriters have been working in the ghostwriting and publishing industry for years now. They have all the necessary contacts to get your book published and out in the market smoothly.

Wrapping Up…

Writing a nonfiction book requires a lot of practice and attention to detail. But this step-by-step will prove handy, and you will be able to write a nonfiction book under your name soon. We believe that every individual has what it takes to tell a good story, and for those who do not know how to express themselves, Hancock Ghostwriters provides expert nonfiction writing services to self-publishing authors so they can share their stories with the world.

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