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How to Write a Nonfiction Book in a Few Steps

  1. Decide on the theme or category

You may have it very clear, but maybe you doubt between several options. Firstly, we should talk about the category of the book, which would be the shelf of the library (or store) in which it would be classified. If it is non-fiction, it could be put into literature or poetry. The theme of the book could be anything that you would feel comfortable writing about.

If you have decided that you want to write about self-help, history or even literature, let’s say barbados literature, keep always in mind that will need to have the necessary knowledge.

  1. Define your audience

Before continuing with the work of the book and its contents, it is essential that you think about who you are writing for. Who is your book for? Who has the problems you help solve and how you should address them. Because helping a 20-year-old person quit smoking is not the same as helping a 60-year-old, simply because you will address them differently and they have different life experiences.

It is essential that you create an ideal reader that you know very well and that, when you document and write, you do it thinking about what that person knows, what is the best way to talk to him or how you have to tell him things.

  1. Document yourself before writing a book

Of course, the next step before starting to write is to be clear about any aspect related to the topic you are going to deal with, with the specific problem you are going to solve. If you are an expert and you control the subject thoroughly, you should make a list of aspects to be discussed or essential content.

  1. Decide the content

Once you have made a first approximation to the documentation, it is time to decide what you will include in the book and discard what you are not going to use.

Do not definitively rule out the rest of the ideas. They may be for another book, but save them in a different file.

  1. Structure the content of your nonfiction book

Being clear about what you want the book to contain is not synonymous with knowing how you are going to present it to the reader. Although there may be a logical sequence to the explanation, this is not always the case, so at this point, you have to think about the structure. In a nonfiction book, the structure is the index, but you have to consider the division by chapters or sections and the internal structure of each of them.

  1. Write

When you already have a clear structure or method that you are going to explain, the time has come to start writing. You have the index and all the necessary documentation, so, your job will be to write.

Don’t forget the ideal reader

Writing is important, but never forget who you are writing for. Think about the referents of that person, in his tastes, his way of communicating and his needs. Write in a way that your ideal reader is satisfied with your book. You don’t want everyone to like you. It’s simply not possible.

Writing routine

The best way to finish a project is to have clear and feasible objectives. If you consider writing 5000 words every day and you don’t get it, you will give up very easily.

  • Create a calendar and follow it until you finish writing.
  • Use the formats.


  1. Rewrite

Once you have finished the first draft, it is time to rewrite it.

I recommend rewriting before correcting because it seems absurd to me to correct if later, I still delete or change things. So, before I start proofreading, or passing the manuscript to the proofreader, I dedicate myself to reading it and rewriting whatever is necessary.

In this phase, you have to make sure that there is no repeated information, that the structure you had thought of works well for the reader and that all the sentences read well. By this I mean that they have to be understood at first.

  1. Spelling correction

Now it’s time to make sure there are no misspellings in your finished book.

For me, correcting something that I have written is almost impossible, so I recommend that you hire a professional proofreader for this step. Writing a book is not complicated, what is really difficult is leaving it well corrected. And, I repeat, that is something that one cannot do alone.

Why is not that easy to correct what you write?

Because we don’t always distance ourselves enough from the text and I don’t mean to read it critically, but simply to read it.

You will need about two or three months to be able to read the text as if it was the first time you read it.

If you don’t wait for that time when it is very recent, your brain knows and remembers that text, so it facilitates the reading task by completing it.

Even if you want you will not read or see everything. It is impossible.

To correct yourself before those three months have passed, you must read the text slowly out loud. It’s the only way to make sure you read everything, and even then, you’ll miss a thousand things, because you wrote it, because it’s like that and…

Because we don’t always have the right knowledge to do it. Whether it’s spelling or grammar, we don’t always have the skills required to do it. Neither the time to learn them nor the time needed to proofread a manuscript.

Delegating this function allows you to save time, guarantee quality and give a professional image that will increase your credibility.

Yes, not all readers have the ability to spot mistakes, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to read something with mistakes; on the contrary. If they read well, something will remain, at least for those who are interested.

On the other hand, there are those who do notice because they read well and recognize bad spelling or bad punctuation. These readers will take it into account when forming an opinion about you. So have someone review your originals before you hit publish.

  1. Layout

The layout is very easy using both Scrivener and Ulysses. You can get a good eBook without having knowledge of the layout.

But make no mistake, they are not professional layouts, but they are totally acceptable for self-publishing an ebook. Anyway, it’s another step to writing a book that you can delegate ideally.

If you write books to earn money with passive income, my recommendation is that you focus on producing content and delegate these last steps to professionals, they will be the best investment, both in time to produce and in quality of the result.

Create an index

When you layout doesn’t forget to create an index. Books cannot be published on Kindle (Amazon) that do not include it, so it is an essential step.

Your index should be interactive, of course, don’t just write index and copy the contents below. The titles must be linked to the content.

This is easy to do if you use text formats, in word or another word processor you can create a dynamic table that includes the format you have chosen for the titles (h1, h2…)

  1. Design Cover

It is best to have a professional. If you want to save some money and you don’t control Photoshop or anything like that, you can use online programs, like Canva.

Design programs have predesigned formats in which you can create a cover by changing the photograph, fonts, colors, and more. The measurements and configuration of the image that is designed precisely to be an eBook cover.

Honestly, for a nonfiction book, a good tool like Canva is more than enough. But keep in mind that it is a program that is used by everyone and that its templates can be modified. Be sure to personalize your cover enough so that it is not like any other.

  1. Design synopsis and copy

The last step is to write a good synopsis and the copies with which you are going to sell the book. A short synopsis and a long synopsis for the cover, for Amazon, for the sales pages, for the ads or communications that you publish on your social networks…

I like to work on this last step from the beginning. Sometimes writing a good synopsis (for a non-fiction book) can give you clarity about its content and help you write a book that is more focused on what readers expect.

At this point you should be ready to upload your book to Amazon and start selling it.


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Hello my name's Nancy Venable and welcome to my blog.

Here I talk about lifestyle issues. For me, my world is centred around attention deficit disorder where my husband suffers from this.

I have created this blog as a means of expressing myself and also to do something together with my husband that will enable me to enrich our lives as well as our readers.

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