This week’s guest post is by the lovely Sally Cronin who is discussing the option of writing Non-Fiction books.
Not everyone can dive into publishing with a best-selling novel, and most successful authors who have sold a million copies of their books are a rare breed.
Writing and then marketing our own books can be exciting but it can also be a daunting task. Whilst most of us who write love the process, we understand that we are competing with hundreds of thousands of other fiction titles that are published each year.
This is particularly true if you are writing within one of the most popular of the genres such as Thrillers, Mystery or Fantasy.
However, there is a way to break into publishing in a different direction, and that is through writing a non-fiction book.
One of the fastest-growing genres within non-fiction is memoirs or autobiographies, and whilst we usually consider these to be the domain of the famous or infamous; that is no longer true.
My first book was based on my journal I kept daily for the eighteen months charting my progress as I lost 11 stone. In the second part of the book, it featured the programme I designed for myself and for those I worked with as a nutritional therapist.
I began the publishing process 20 years ago and went the mainstream route for the first two years. The book was received well by the publishers my agent sent the manuscript to. But I didn’t have a high enough public profile for them to take a risk with the book. I eventually self-published Size Matters.
This was at the time when autobiographies written about weight loss were much fewer than today. Because of the scarcity, I got a lot of national publicity for the book, and it provided the springboard for the non-fiction and fiction books that followed.
I felt comfortable writing the story because it was about a topic I knew a great deal about…me!
The experiences were real and the programme I designed was tried and tested over five years. I did not have to worry about character development or plot and I could write from the heart.
What about you?
At this point, I would like to talk about past life regression! Not back two hundred years to when you might have been a scullery maid in a royal court, but just back into your own current lifetime.
Whatever your path in life you have gained knowledge and experience, and in the present day, there are people going through exactly the same thing. Let’s use parenthood as an example since that is a global condition that is filled with joys and terror!
What lessons did you learn as a young parent or as the mother of a teenager? Do you wish that someone had handed you a common sense manual, written by someone who has been through it themselves, to help you navigate the uncharted waters? Do you want all that experience and knowledge you have gained to go to waste?
There are an estimated 4 million babies born in the US each year and around 700,000 in the UK. Approximately 40% of these will be to first-time mothers.
That is nearly two million young mums going through the same worries, experiences and joys that you did. They do not want or need to reinvent the wheel… they can enjoy their parenthood a great deal more with your experience to back them up!
Whilst the market for parenting books may not be the size of the market for a fantasy book, it is still a substantial potential readership.
Of course, you will need to do some selective marketing to that group, but as with most non-fiction books, there are plenty of opportunities to accomplish that.
That is just one area that you might use your past knowledge and experience but there are so many others.
There is a niche market for most of the professions and here are some of the top-selling non-fiction genres:
- Reference books for schools and universities
- Biography, autobiography, memoir
- Health, Fitness, Medicine, Health
- Cooking and Entertaining,
- Business, Economics
However, if you would like your book to stand out then being a big fish in a small pond can sometimes be an advantage.
There are not actually a huge amount of books about media training and my book is listed fairly high on Amazon when you search for that topic. It is by no means a best seller, but because of the lack of books in the genre it does at least get noticed.
Here are some of the less populated genres that you might be able to take advantage of:
- Art, Architecture, design, photography.
- Crafts, hobbies, antiques, games
- House & Home, Gardening
Even if you have previously written fiction there is no reason why you cannot write a non-fiction book as well. This is particularly interesting if you already have a good following for your novels or short stories, as there is a ready-made potential readership.
A couple of things you will need to get your non-fiction book off the ground.
Credibility is important. Why do you consider yourself an expert in this field? You will need to reflect that in your author biography on sales sites. Also, if you have previously published fiction, you will need to adapt your current biography.
Your blurb on the back of the book and on the site is also a place that will establish that you know what you are talking about.
Having some form of online presence is important. One of the most productive as far as a non-fiction book is concerned is a blog. I have found that it has made a huge difference in the last three years to my sales by establishing Smorgasbord as a health blog.
I find that writing health posts works both ways. People who want to check me out before buying one of my health books can read my posts on the subject first, and that establishes my credibility for the book.
The other way is, of course, is that people read my posts and then head over and buy the books. My fiction books have benefited too from having a blog and social media to promote them.
Readers may enjoy a certain fiction genre but they also read non-fiction books, particularly if they reflect their own life experiences.
They say that we all have at least one book in us. I believe a great place to start is non-fiction writing about you, your knowledge and your experiences.
With Ebooks, the process can be easier, but if the book is to be successful it still needs to go through the same rigorous writing, editing and formatting as print books.
Marketing of books whether they are fiction or non-fiction can be a challenge but there is a huge amount of helpful information on that online.
The first step is to find that book inside you!
Source for statistics.
~ ~ ~ ~
About Sally Cronin
My name is Sally Georgina Cronin but you will find that I have had a number of variations online and for my books including Georgina Cronin and Sally Cronin.
After working in a number of industries for over 25 years, I decided that I wanted to pursue a completely different career, one that I had always been fascinated with. I began studying Nutrition and the human body twenty years ago and I opened my first diet advisory centre in Ireland in 1998.
Over the last 18 years, I have counselled men and women in Ireland and the UK as well as written columns, articles and radio programmes on health and nutrition.
I published my first book with a Canadian self-publisher in the late 90s and since then have republished that book and released eight others as part of our own self-publishing company. Apart from health I also enjoy writing fiction in the form of novels and short stories.
I am writing my latest non-fiction book weekly on my blog in chapters.
The R’s of Life – A guide to Survival in a Modern World. You can read it here:
~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~ ☆ ~
Big thanks to Sally for contributing to this blog, I hope you all enjoyed this. Do make sure you to check out her social media pages.