How to Write in the Non-Fiction style.
Writing is great fun. It can also be work and that means it needs focus and concentration to be able to say what you mean. When you write a Non-Fiction eBook you are sharing information with strangers, people who you have never met. You don’t know how they think or talk or why the bought your book. What you do know is who your ideal reader is – at least you should know this.
You are writing a Non-Fiction book, maybe with the How to do something angle about it, and you know that your reader is somebody who needs to get information quickly and use that information. Maybe they also want to use your book as a reference to turn to while they are working on a project or something.
So as far as style goes, you will write your book so that it is informative beyond a simple search result article but brief enough to be read quickly and in one or two sittings.
That’s about 40 to 120 pages depending on the subject.
The style or voice that you use should simply be your best teaching voice. Friendly and smooth, enjoyable to read and definitely with a flow to the words that makes the reader want to keep reading. There is nothing worse than a good book that is written in a joggy style ( which often comes from not enough editing).
In the past text book writers or Non-Fiction writers would do their utmost to keep it dry and factual – the dryness of text would be a natural by product of only writing the facts and not allowing the author (You) to enter into the opinion about facts.
Write your words with a touch of salt and pepper. Be yourself and allow the odd quip and joke. This is 2015 and people want to be entertained whilst being informed; foe the reader to remember the facts and your eBook, you want them to become engrossed in your writing, to like it for what it is and, yes, want more. They’ll buy another of your books if it gives them everything they want – a good read, information on how to do something well and entertain them at the same time.
Write in a way that is story telling style, when you can. Use metaphors to explain ideas, similes to quickly make a point and make them wish they could meet the author – you.
How to Format and upload your Book
Formatting your text is very important but not too difficult. You just need to concentrate on following the instructions in a good book on the subject or information that you find in the siftware that you are using to write.
I use Scrivener software. It’s great. You can get complicated with lots of note organising and scratchpads etc or keep it simple and use the index cards to plan the basics of your eBook.
Scrivener will show you how to format and prepare your eBook for publishing on Amazon and other platforms.
The thing I like about Scrivener is that I can just use it to write and keep notes. Maybe one day I’ll take a look at the really complicated side of it but right now I know it was a few bucks well spent on a software programme that helps me organise and keep my writing separate from everything else.
It also has this atmosphere that I like, a bit like a painter who after doing all the admin of the day, finally goes to the easel and when she smells the oil paint and touches the brushes, her mind just slots into place and it’s time to work and be creative. Scrivener is like that, it’s a place to go and get creative, that’s why Scrivener didn’t create it so that you can surf the web with it.
How to Make a Digital Book Cover
I use GIMP and it’s great – it’s Free too. Again, I’m not a Nerd type of person so I do things a step at a time when it comes to software programmes. I’m creative and visual too, so I like working with the basics of colour and line that GIMP offers. I can adjust things and tone colours to just the right degree, use texts and create a good cover for my eBooks. It takes a few minutes to figure out how to do this and after a little playing around with colour and texts, you’ll get it.
If you aren’t visually creative then use a designer to help you for a price. If your eBook is good then you will get your money back. If it’s your first eBook, you don’t know. So don’t spend on a book cover. Try your best, be honest with your creative limits and use what you see on Amazon and other book sites as a principle idea for design.
Big letters, often white, are totally in right now. Potential customers need to see your eBook immediately and get a strong impression of what it’s about before clicking. The cool book cover will make them click and want more information.
Check out GIMP for free. It’s great and you will discover that you can make excellent eBook covers within minutes.
How to Make the cogs spin when your book is out there
This is a big question that leaves many newbies scratching their heads. There are some things that you can do to help the eBook along.
- Use social media to promote your eBook. Do this in a tasteful way and avoid anything that smacks of spamming people. Some authors tweet a link twice or maybe three times a day – for a while but make sure that it’s not the only thing you tweet. Be a good Twitterer and post interesting and helpful links and ideas so that people can see that you want to give as well as be given to.
- Facebook has gone commercial; it seems that Facebook has now decided that it’s a commercial place and that if you want to gain a following and interest you will need to pay for traffic. Check out Mark Dawson for a really helpful podcast on promoting your book on Facebook.
- Learn how to build an email list. This is your life-blood and will ensure that you have people to contact when your book is finished and you are ready to publish.
- Check out this youtube video for great insight for just starting out.
- Check out my eBook on writing and publishing on Amazon
- Use Scrivener to organise your writing