If you’re a blogger, coach, creative, or healer, writing a nonfiction book is a great way to connect with potential clients and promote your business. You probably have tons of information circling around in your head from all of your research and experience, but how do you turn that into a book? Well, not to fear, below I’m going to outline the 5 types of nonfiction books you can write.
There are actually three stages of writing a book and for this article let’s assume you have already gone through the first stage, Discovery, meaning you have a clear topic and purpose for writing your book, you’ve identified your audience, and you know your point of view and what you want to say.
Now you must organize your material in such a way that drives your reader to the exact result you want them to achieve. After all, building a tribe of raving fans and clients is based on the value and improvement you add to their lives. So always keep in mind your goal or end result for your reader when choosing the format for your book.
5 types of nonfiction books you can write
1. Expert/Niche book – Niche is a word you hear a lot and it refers to a narrow topic and audience like “knitting for your pets”. The target audience may be smaller but they are often dedicated fans who are looking to learn as much as they can, so you can go deep into the topic. In this example you are an expert knitter. You probably know what the best tools and materials are. You might know how to design your own patterns. You also love animals and have made many sweaters for your own pets. What’s great about knowing a topic in depth is that you can turn your knowledge into several books like “Knitting for Dogs”, “Knitting for Cats”, or “How to Design Your Own Knitted Dog Sweaters”. The possibilities are endless.
Are you an expert in a particular niche? How can you break your knowledge down into a series of books for your audience?
2. Inspirational/Transformational book – This type of book covers a broader or more general subject matter such as spirituality, health, relationships, money, etc and they are designed to let the reader experience their own insights and a-has. You as the writer may have experienced your own transformation in regards to your subject and that qualifies you to guide others on their journey.
The interesting thing about the Inspirational/Transformational book is that it is more conceptual than the other types of books on this list. The reader is encouraged to adopt shifts in awareness that will ultimately lead to the results they desire. How or when the reader gets there is not the main focus. A great example of an author who utilized this format is Wayne Dyer who wrote many books including “The Power of Intention”.
Have you experienced a transformation in your own life? What qualities or values did you embody in order to make that shift?
3. Information (How-To) book – When my kids were in school they were given an assignment to describe how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, step by step. The purpose of the Information book is the same, to guide the reader along a specific path to reach a specific result.
You’ve probably seen these books on Amazon that teach you how to make sales calls, tap into your intuition, do a juice cleanse, or write a book!
Have you learned a proven process for getting from point A to point B on a specific subject? Can you clearly explain it to others?
4. Innovative/Collaborative book – These books are often written for early adopters who understand and value fresh new ideas. The purpose of the Innovative|Collaborative book is to get people to actively participate in an idea or movement. You’ve seen books like the Chicken Soup for the Soul series who have pulled together many authors to share their point of view on a particular subject or concept.
Some innovators step outside the norm when creating. Seth Godin for instance wrote a book encouraging his readers to add their ideas and disseminate it out to their own tribes.
Are you a person who is constantly thinking of new ways to do things? Do you love sharing ideas with others to see how they change and grow? How could you incorporate this into a book?
5. Personal Story book – Biographies, auto-biographies, and memoirs make up a type of book I like to call the Personal Story book. While all books should contain some personal stories, in this type of book the story itself is the main subject. Ideally your reader will feel connected to you through the events or emotions you describe and then be transformed or inspired in some way.
Have you lived through a difficult or intriguing time and come through it a changed person? Would other people be able to relate to your story and feel lifted and hopeful as a result of hearing it?
Nonfiction books are a powerful tool for you to help improve the lives of others and make the world a better place. When you are clear on your goals and objectives for your book, and use one of these formats to outline your book, it will be much easier to write your content and your readers will be able to visualize and follow through on your advice.
Do you plan on writing a nonfiction book? Share below.
Write more, write better, finish your book!
Enter your email below to receive the Focus & Flow Writer's Method Template and video training. You'll also receive my occasional newsletter on how to turn your passion into a published book!