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Writing Your Nonfiction Book Paperback – August 5, 2014
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Read author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more at the Amazon Book Review. Read it now
'A superb collection of everything one needs to know about writing ... if you're an author, I strongly recommend you go out and buy it.' Self Publishing Magazine
'Don't write before you read this.' -- Amazon review 'Essential how-to manual for writers of every sort.' -- Anne Stormont
From the Author
I strongly believe, like Dame Beryl Bainbridge, that everyone can write a book. I have written for most of my life, through several careers and a great deal of travelling. For examples of both memoir and travelogue, you can see my two other recent books: Journey in Bhutan: Himalayan Trek in the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, and Inside the Crocodile: the Papua New Guinea Journals. I hope Writing Your Nonfiction Book will bring you the immense pleasure and satisfaction that only writing your own book can bring - that is why I wrote it.
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Top Customer Reviews
We selected her book because most other books on this topic are written by American authors, and often don't include writing tips, or tips for how to write for various genres. Nicholson's book is written in UK English, and she provides helpful tools to improve the craft of writing. Her guidelines for what to think about when writing for the different genres are particularly helpful, as we have students wanting to write anything from travel stories to biographies.
This solid book provides everything the writer needs to go from idea to published book, and outlines various paths to publication (both digital and print) without dogmatically pursuing one route above another.
I assumed I'd fly through it quite quickly, so was taken aback (in a good way) when I found myself with a much longer read than I'd expected. It is so much more than just a guide to writing non-fiction - there is a substantial section about improving your writing craft that could equally apply to fiction, for example.
There is such a long section about choosing how to publish your finished manuscript that I wondered whether a fuller title might be helpful, e.g. "How to Write, Edit, Publish and Market Your Non-Fiction Book". (I know those subjects are addressed on the cover image, but when reading an ebook, you don't have the cover or blurb in front of you to remind you of what you're reading - you just keep turning the pages. Well, I do, anyway!)
If I'd read only the first part - about how to write non-fiction - I still would have felt I'd got my money's worth, had I bought the book. I really liked the way the author separated out the many kinds of non-fiction and suggested different approaches for each.
It was so comprehensive and constructive that I felt that even a reader picking it up who had never written anything and knew nothing about writing or publishing would be itching to pick up a pen and get started on his first non-fiction manuscript.
I felt slightly uncomfortable with the way the author spoke about vanity publishing and assisted publishing services. In particular, the reference to Author Solutions let them off a little lightly. But then that goes with the territory of the whole trade publishing vs self-publishing arena - there are no absolute definitions or absolute rights or wrongs.
But all in all, a useful book for the "how to" shelf of any aspiring non-fiction author, and I'm sure I'll return to reread parts of the first section (the part that focuses on actually writing non-fiction) when I'm in that writing mode.
Just one thing slightly irked me about it - and it's one of the perils of reading ebooks - is that I was surprised to find that a quarter of the book is in fact samples of the author's other books. I shouldn't have been surprised, because that's made very clear in the table of contents - but like many ebook readers, I'm in the habit of pacing myself in a book according to the % and time counter shown in the bottom corner of my ereader, and it's disconcerting to reach 75% and discover you're done. But I shouldn't sound so ungrateful, as I am actually interested to see what else she's written, so I will go back to read those samples in due course!
Not having read author Trish Nicholson’s published work, I can’t speak for her prowess as an author, but I can say that “Writing Your Nonfiction Book” is a superb collection of everything one needs to know about writing – from defining your subject through to marketing the finished product. Aimed at non-fiction writers, the content applies equally to fiction (e.g. writing style, narrators and points of view, plotting the action, writing people as characters).
The Contents pages are impressive – catchy and informative chapter titles and key points that outline exactly what one can expect to find. As with any good non-fiction book, each chapter ends with “What to do now”. Each chapter has plenty of examples (many from famous authors) to illustrate key points. The book is also extremely well edited.
As a successfully published author myself, I was still able to pick up really useful points – plus I actually learnt something. I was particularly impressed with the sections on grammar such as sentence construction, use of tense etc. I actually thought Nicholson had missed a point that had always perplexed me – the use of a dash (-) in a sentence. But no, there it was a few pages later.
“Must read” is too hackneyed a phrase to describe this book. If you’re an author, go out and buy it.