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How to write a good non-fiction book

February,27, 2020ByProwess Publications

Converting an idea, knowledge or experience into a non-fiction book is never easy. If you do not follow a systematic approach, you can get lost in the web of attention and research the craft demands.


At the bookstore, you must have noticed that the books in non-fiction section range from biography, travel, self-help, and cookbook to the every other topic one can imagine. If you do some research you will find out that most of the authors of these books are not professional writers; they are doers, they have a normal life – a job or business. So, how did they manage to write a bestseller? When did they find the time? How much research does it take? What about editing, proofreading? Well, there is no magic wand to such questions, but if you are determined and work according to a plan, you can have your book in the non-fiction section the next time you visit the bookstore. Here’s a step by step guide for writing a non-fiction book.


Begin with a proposal

Writing a book is similar to starting a business. If mission and vision statements of your book are not clear it will get lost in the crowd. So, how to write a unique book? The first step in the process is to write a proposal for your book – of less than 5000 words. Start with a single sentence, then convert the idea into a page and then into pages. You should narrow down your theme or idea to addressing a single question. The proposal should contain the core argument of the book and address some important questions like – Why anyone should buy your book? What’s unique about your book? Why is it necessary for readers? Why are you the right person to write the book? It will set the tone for the table of contents of the book and help you realize if you have enough content to complete the book or the extent of research and time the project will consume.


Know your reader

Before you begin pouring your ideas on paper, spend time knowing more about the person who will read your book. Imagine as a reader what  your expectations will be. Get into the details of research, presentation, colors, language, and photos the book needs. Discuss with as many people as possible about their expectations from such a book, boil down their expectations to categories and prepare bullet points to address them in your book. Remember, your book has a message or information for which someone will pay you. The reader expects value from the book. Like any other business, the success of your book will depend on how well you are able to understand your customer.


Create a routine

It’s every writer’s fantasy to complete a novel in one go. In reality, you will realize energy flows in waves, there will be highs and lows. You will face problems like low creativity, writer’s block or if you are writing for the first time you will need help. Writing is a solitary job. So, you will spend a lot of time alone. Self-discipline is a must when you are a lone warrior. Prepare a timetable according to your convenience and write daily. Some days will be tough, you might struggle to write a single sentence but sit through the session to maintain the ritual. Slowly, as your book takes shape you will realize the power of persistence.


Set Goals

Create realistic deadlines for completing your book. You can achieve your goals more comfortably if you avoid editing while writing. Let the ideas flow and write the first draft as soon as possible. Break down your final goal of completing the book into smaller goals of completing chapters. Achieving every milestone will boost your confidence to continue writing.


Your purpose for writing the book may vary from sharing the immense knowledge or experience you have on a subject to earning money. You could write a book like “A Brief History of Time” by famous scientist Stephen Hawking or a cookbook like “Everyone Can Cook” by celebrity chef Vikas Khanna depending on your area of expertise. If you face difficulties while writing your book and you need fresh ideas or tips on writing, feel free to visit the Writing Advice section on Prowess’ blog. For receiving more advice on writing subscribe to our email list.


Focus Keyword: Non-fiction

Meta Keywords: writing non-fiction, non-fiction book, writing tips, writing advice, self publishing, book publishing.



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