5 reasons why you should write a nonfiction book
Has the thought ever crossed your mind that you could write a nonfiction book? A guide book, a memoir, how-to, self-help, a cookbook. If not, why not? What’s holding you back?
Maybe you’re one of those people who has always felt they’ve got a book inside them, but have yet to take the first step?
Here at the Booksmith Academy, we believe anyone can write a nonfiction book and a great one at that. As a copy editor, in her two decades on the job, Jen has edited stacks of nonfiction books, seeing first hand how different backgrounds, interests and motivations play a part in each author’s ‘why’. What’s your why?
To write a great nonfiction book, you don’t have to be the next Stephen Hawking or Elizabeth Gilbert. You just have to be you.
Let’s look at the five main reasons why people write nonfiction books – which reason resonates with you?
1. Passion project—for the love of it
It’s enough to want to write a book for the love of writing. For the love of the creative process. For the love of the subject you’re writing about. Not only that, it’s an advantage! Writing a book is rewarding but it’s hard work. A passion for writing and for your subject will feed your motivation, commitment and drive to finish your book. And the reader will sense that passion emanating from the page.
2. Knowledge and know-how—you know your stuff
Whether you’re a world-class expert on cephalopods or a self-taught exotic fish hobbyist, you know your stuff. Your words, if written with authenticity and truth, will resonate with people whether you’re a college professor or the student.
So don’t assume you have to be a subject specialist to write a book. Your knowledge – from a formal education or the university of life – will tell your story and speak to people, not your use of big clever words and complicated sentence structure (in fact, avoid those last two things at all costs!).
3. An experience shared—helping you and others
Have you ever told someone about something that’s happened to you and they lean in with interest and ask loads of questions, desperate to find out more? Have you experienced something you feel others should hear about, to solve a problem or benefit them in some way? Do you think writing about an experience in your life will help to heal old wounds, process painful or difficult memories? Then it sounds like you have a book to write.
4. Money—a passive income generator
Hey, no judgement here. If you want to write a book to generate a side income, fair play to you. Just remember, writing a book isn’t something you can complete over night, especially if you want it to bring in the big bucks.
Writing a (good!) book will take time, effort, energy and focus, but if money is a big motivator for you, then bingo.
5. Bragging rights—status, kudos
Wouldn’t it be cool to turn up at your next client meeting, trade show, networking event, school reunion or catch-up down the pub and plonk a heap of books on the table with your name on the cover!
OK, maybe do it with a little more modesty. Nobody likes a smart ass.
But imagine the feeling of penning your own book and being able to refer people to it if they want to know more about your subject / experience / life / exotic fish!
It might be that in your line of work, having a self-penned book brings a level of gravitas and status. It might be that your book gives your professional profile credibility and trust. It might be that you never thought you’d be able to write your own book, so achieving the impossible is a massive win and worth shouting about.
Whatever the reason, you’ve earned bragging rights.
You see, there are so many reasons for writing a nonfiction book. Now you just have to take the first step.
If you’re thinking about writing a nonfiction book, find out how Booksmith Academy can help you unlock your story and master your craft with our 12-month immersive book-writing programme The Book Forge.