The best nonfiction books, and the ones that are memorable, are written with a goal in mind. Many authors dream of fame and glory when they write a nonfiction book. Others just have a message that they want to share with people. Whatever your reason for writing a nonfiction book, you might want to do what successful writers do…have a plan. Ideally, you should start developing a book marketing strategy before you even start working on your book. This gives you a template of sorts to stay on tasks.
To help improve your chances of success, you would be wise to ensure that the following factors exist before you even begin to put your words into a computer or on paper.
Have Personal Interest in the Topic. As a writer, passion for what you do is crucial. Too many people just go through life doing things they feel they have to do (e.g. a job) without having a burning desire to be successful and make a difference. As a nonfiction writer, such complacency will hinder any chances of success that you might have. If you are not truly passionate about your topic or subject matter, you will likely procrastinate when writing and producing your book. Later, you will probably postpone or ignore important marketing initiatives once the book is in print or in eBook format. All of this will undoubtedly lead to failure of the project.
Be An Expert on the Topic. Like anything else in life, those who succeed invest time and effort gaining knowledge and expertise in their chosen venture. It is no different as an author. Good nonfiction books are written by authors who have a depth of subject knowledge and expertise in their topic. As a nonfiction writer, you will need to demonstrate how what you know and are capable of is superior to all the other writers on the topic. An important way to demonstrate expertise is to continually do things that will help build your author platform and expand your personal brand.
Offer Something of Value to Readers. You will have to show potential readers that what you have to say will be beneficial to them and either improve their lives or provide knowledge or resources that they can use to help them in some way. Your words and ideas must add value for them if you expect them to part with money to buy your book.
Identify Your Target Market. One of the biggest mistakes that many non-fiction authors make is to fail to do a marketing analysis before they write. Take some time to visit libraries and peruse Amazon and other book sites for similar titles and topics. Also, check out the Internet for articles and blogs on related topic areas. Look for similar books that have already been written. If you find a topic underserved with content, you may have some unique opportunities to fill a gap. If you are writing on a crowded topic with a lot of competition, your chances for success potentially decrease.
By studying what else is available, you can research what has already been said and the approach that others have taken. There is no need to repeat the same thing that others have already said. You need to have a unique approach to the topic. This is especially crucial if you are going to approach an agent or publisher with your manuscript. Two things they will ask you are, “What competition exists?” and “How does your product differ from what is already available?”
With a bit of preplanning and some thoughtful application of your knowledge, there is no reason that you cannot be successful in your writing efforts.
For more ideas on improving your success as a nonfiction author, take a look at other topic postings on this blog and check out Make Money Writing Books: Proven Profit Making Strategies for Authors.