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How To Write Non-Fiction: Turn Your Knowledge Into Words (Books for Writers Book 9)

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Author: Joanna Penn

Published: May 31st 2018 by Curl Up Press

Format: Kindle Edition , 282 pages

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Do you want to write a non-fiction book but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you worry that you're not ‘the expert' or have enough authority in your niche to write a book on it? Are you ready to help other people and change your own life with your words? The first non-fiction book I wrote changed my life. Sure, it helped other people, but mostly it altered the cours Do you want to write a non-fiction book but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you worry that you're not ‘the expert' or have enough authority in your niche to write a book on it? Are you ready to help other people and change your own life with your words? The first non-fiction book I wrote changed my life. Sure, it helped other people, but mostly it altered the course of my life – so much so that 10 years later, I make a living with my writing. I've written seven other non-fiction books and co-written two more and built a multi-six-figure income around my non-fiction eco-system. In this book, I'll share everything I've learned along the way and save you time, effort and frustration on your author journey. The book includes: PART 1. Before You Write: Mindset Why write a non-fiction book? Can I write a book if I'm not the expert? Originality. Or, there are so many other books on this topic Who are you? Personal stories and the writer's voice The day a non-fiction book changed my life Fear and self-doubt PART 2. Before You Write: Business Types of non-fiction books Business models for non-fiction books Who is your book for? Identify your target market Decide on the topic for your book Decide on your book title Your author name and pseudonyms How long does your book have to be? How long will it take to write the book? Your perspective on time Writing a book proposal PART 3. Writing and Editing Gather and organize existing material Research, interviews, surveys, and social listening Structure and organize the book How to write the first draft How to dictate your book Turn your blog/podcasts/videos/talks into a book Speed and quality Focus and shiny object syndrome Writer's block Co-writing a non-fiction book How to turn a boring book into an engaging read Elements of fiction in non-fiction Truth and perfectionism Legal issues: Using real people, quotes, lyrics, images, and citing sources Self-editing a book How to find and work with professional editors PART 4. Publishing and Product Creation Your publishing options The different formats for your book Non-fiction book covers Book formatting for non-fiction Pricing your book Your book sales description Categories and keywords Turn your non-fiction book into a multimedia course Updating your books over time PART 5. Marketing Non-Fiction Two models of marketing and the importance of mindset Book-centered marketing Paid advertising for non-fiction books Author-centered marketing. The power of a personal brand Build your author website Build an email list Integrate email marketing with your book Content marketing for non-fiction books My non-fiction marketing journey Conclusion and your next steps. It's time to (finally) write your non-fiction book. Download a sample or buy now and start writing.

30 review for How To Write Non-Fiction: Turn Your Knowledge Into Words (Books for Writers Book 9)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Sherriff

    This is a great primer for anyone thinking about writing a non-fiction book. Penn covers all the basics and makes even the most reticent or inexperienced writer realise writing and publishing their own book is well within their abilities. Packed with links to useful stuff, my only criticism was that I’d kind of heard it all before on her podcasts. But, given that her podcasts are excellent, that’s no problem for anyone new to Penn’s world. * * * Patrick Sherriff publishes a monthly newsletter - ht This is a great primer for anyone thinking about writing a non-fiction book. Penn covers all the basics and makes even the most reticent or inexperienced writer realise writing and publishing their own book is well within their abilities. Packed with links to useful stuff, my only criticism was that I’d kind of heard it all before on her podcasts. But, given that her podcasts are excellent, that’s no problem for anyone new to Penn’s world. * * * Patrick Sherriff publishes a monthly newsletter - http://eepurl.com/bFkt0X - highlighting good fiction published in English about Japan. He lives in Abiko with his wife and two daughters.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

    Any book on writing or publishing by Joanna Penn is likely to be a standout in its field. This one is no exception. She has a great wealth of experience, knowledge, practical information, encouragement, good cheer, and generosity. Also, see Joanna Penn’s The Successful Suthor Mindset.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Evans

    Another fantastic guide for writers from Joanna Penn. Joanna outlines the steps needed to write, publish, and market a nonfiction book. I've already self-published some fiction, but I still learned some new ideas from this book. Check out the other writing books in this series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lily Bloom

    Great read! I highly recommend it! It helped me a lot to write my own book on writing. I recommended it (and The Creative Penn videos and website) to a lady sitting next to me in a cafe today.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Julie Cordiner

    Good advice as always from Joanna, with encouragement and in particular a lot of helpful links to further information. My only disappointment was that for a book entitled How to write non-fiction, I'd hoped for rather more on the writing aspect than 77 pages out of 353. You can read the general publishing and marketing advice in other books in the series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Courtney Novak

    This book is packed with information that takes you through the entire process of creating a nonfiction book, from deciding to write a book to the actual writing, revising, publishing and marketing. I listen to the author’s podcast The Creative Penn and have read most of her books, but I leaned a lot from this one. I will be recommending this book as a Must Read to anyone who wants to write a nonfiction book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Mehmet Yildiz

    I found this book comprehensive and touching all the key points to become a professional writer. The author is articulate and shares her personal experience effectively. Everything, as an author, in this book resonated with me. Joanna's life story related to writing is a great inspiration to aspiring authors. I give five stars to this great book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Suzan Jackson

    Very informative and helpful. Most of the book is about the actual writing, though she touches on topics related to publishing and marketing toward the end (and she has entirely separate books on those topics). I am a HUGE fan of her excellent podcast and helpful website, The Creative Penn.

  9. 5 out of 5

    A. Shoukry

    I would give it 3.5

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tracy Stanley

    Insightful and inspiring are the words which best describe Joanna Penn’s latest book, How to Write Non-Fiction. It is rich with anecdotes, key learning, recommended tools and services suitable for new and experienced writers. She has researched the topic widely and is generous in sharing failures, ‘Ah Ha’ moments and tips for being more effective. Readers will benefit from Joanna’s writing journey. At the time of writing this review she has 27 books. She is herself an avid reader and reflector an Insightful and inspiring are the words which best describe Joanna Penn’s latest book, How to Write Non-Fiction. It is rich with anecdotes, key learning, recommended tools and services suitable for new and experienced writers. She has researched the topic widely and is generous in sharing failures, ‘Ah Ha’ moments and tips for being more effective. Readers will benefit from Joanna’s writing journey. At the time of writing this review she has 27 books. She is herself an avid reader and reflector and we are the beneficiaries of this. Joanna talks to our concerns from who am I to write this book and the importance of checking in on our mindset. She speaks in a very authentic manner - (even though we hear Carolyn Holoroyd's voice). I appreciated her sharing personal stories around what she wants to do with her life and ‘Why she writes'. Joanna has a strong sense of abundance giving generously of her time and experience not only in her books but in her blogs and podcasts and believes that there is room for all to be authors in a global marketplace. I need to admit that I am one of Joanna’s super fans. I attended a workshop she ran with Orna Ross giving me the motivation to get my nearly finished book across the line. The workshop and speeches are part of her author eco-system and she makes useful observations in the book about what is needed to be a full-time writer and how a book could be a part of a broader product and service offering. 'How to Write Non Fiction' is giving me additional inspiration to get my latest non- fiction book finished. I downloaded Joanna’s book via Audible and was reminded of how valuable a channel this was for absorbing content fast. Joanne mentions this in her book along with many other suggestions for improving efficiency, such as using dictation, which I have hovered around for ages and have now made the decision to use. Like many authors I read widely about the magic and challenge of getting your ideas down in a book. I was a tad nervous that there would be a lot of content that I already knew. I was wrong as I have identified at least 20 new actions I can take to improve my writing and marketing activities We don’t know what we don’t know. It took me ages to write my first non-fiction book, 'Engagement Whisperer'. If I had read Joanna’s book first I am sure that I would have produced it in a third of the time. She makes excellent points about how long it should take you to write, setting aside dedicated increments of time if only for 15 minutes, to get the thing written and of our mindsets around how long it should take to write a book versus quality of the final product. In summary, if you plan to write a non-fiction book (or another one), you will learn from this book. Easy five stars from me.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Bob Wallner

    A pretty good book filled with many nuggets of wisdom and an excellent audiobook narration. As an aspiring writer, there were several things I took from this book. Much of the early part of the book is written about your writing purpose and why. I didn't find a lot of value in these chapters as I have a very clear vision of why I want to write my book. The author shares stories of how writing transformed her vision into what she wanted to do in the future. The back half of the book offered some A pretty good book filled with many nuggets of wisdom and an excellent audiobook narration. As an aspiring writer, there were several things I took from this book. Much of the early part of the book is written about your writing purpose and why. I didn't find a lot of value in these chapters as I have a very clear vision of why I want to write my book. The author shares stories of how writing transformed her vision into what she wanted to do in the future. The back half of the book offered some good advice on publishing and marketing options. It made me aware that I am short in these areas and there's quite a bit I need to continue to learn in parallel with my writing. From a stylistic standpoint, I was not a fan of the book. The first problem I had was it was overloaded with quotes that felt like filler material versus value-added material. I would much rather listen to a shorter book and have every minute of it be value-added than listen to a longer book filled with filler material. The second thing that I didn't care for was the continuous blitzing of her platform. It felt like a sales pitch and found very distracting. I understand this is how she makes her living and she needs to present her platform at every opportunity, I just felt overloaded and it's not my style. For these two stylistic reasons I am only comfortable giving the book 3 stars. Other readers who do not have problems with these issues will find this book to be a solid four star book. The author certainly has knowledge in the subject so I may choose to look up her books in the future; however, now that I know here style, I will not be expecting all facts and figures which is my personal preference.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This book has excellent chapters on developing your idea, finding the right structure and organization for your material, and for creating space in your life to sit in that chair. But Penn also has lots of great advice around mindset; in other words, she takes aim at all the excuses, and fears, that finish the sentence: I’d like to write non-fiction but ___. There is also mindset advice to help you keep writing such as avoiding shiny object syndrome and letting go of perfection and pursuing pers This book has excellent chapters on developing your idea, finding the right structure and organization for your material, and for creating space in your life to sit in that chair. But Penn also has lots of great advice around mindset; in other words, she takes aim at all the excuses, and fears, that finish the sentence: I’d like to write non-fiction but ___. There is also mindset advice to help you keep writing such as avoiding shiny object syndrome and letting go of perfection and pursuing personal excellence instead. I have read other books by this author and I always enjoy how down to earth she is, she doesn’t preach at you, she shares with you. And she’s credible, because she has done what she suggests we do. This new offering doesn’t stop at helping you plan and write your book, she also lays out all the options for publishing, and if you choose the indie route, the book offers ideas and resource links to do it well. She then continues with lots of marketing advice that feels doable even to a marketing resistant person like me. The last chapter goes deeper into her own story, and I must say it’s inspiring to see how she built her author business one step at a time, (starting before all the opportunity and exposure available through social media!). I highly recommend Joanna Penn’s books, blog and podcast to anyone interested in an indie author career.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I received an advance review copy of this book, and I absolutely loved it. I've written and self published seven non-fiction books, so I have a bit of experience writing non-fiction. I learned so much from reading this book, and I look forward to getting the workbook so I can use it as a reference and work through some of the questions the author asks. If you're interested in writing non-fiction, or improving the non-fiction books you already write, I highly recommend this book. It's full of use I received an advance review copy of this book, and I absolutely loved it. I've written and self published seven non-fiction books, so I have a bit of experience writing non-fiction. I learned so much from reading this book, and I look forward to getting the workbook so I can use it as a reference and work through some of the questions the author asks. If you're interested in writing non-fiction, or improving the non-fiction books you already write, I highly recommend this book. It's full of useful tips, examples, and resources for authors.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nina 321

    I’m writing an academic book so my context is slightly different from the mainly how-to, indie-published market that Joanna Penn focuses on. But possibly because of the surface differences, I found this a super fun and engaging read. I underlined loads of tips and musings. I enjoyed the interspersed quotes. I liked the glimpse of the non-academic publishing world. And many things are totally shared: blocking writing time, organising the material, thinking about length, doing your own marketing, I’m writing an academic book so my context is slightly different from the mainly how-to, indie-published market that Joanna Penn focuses on. But possibly because of the surface differences, I found this a super fun and engaging read. I underlined loads of tips and musings. I enjoyed the interspersed quotes. I liked the glimpse of the non-academic publishing world. And many things are totally shared: blocking writing time, organising the material, thinking about length, doing your own marketing, dealing with self-doubt, trusting your voice, sharing your passion. This is a very motivational book. I read the print-on-demand Amazon paperback which has a handy format, an interesting velvet-feel cover and crisp pages which are a pleasure to mark with pencil.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Zachariah Lewis

    I feel like anyone who goes through my books this year, my currently reading and what I've added as wanted to read will be able to pick up on one of the goals I've set for myself. This book is perfect for that goal. The author is open and honest about her own methods and provides practical, actionable advice. She explains her techniques for driving sales, building her brand and improving her writing - all of which are actually in the book. I can't fault this - absolutely fantastic.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Michael Mardel

    How to write non-fiction by Penn. What a wealth of information. Penn packs her book with everything one needs from researching a NF book to writing and even to marketing. There are references galore as she's journeyed on her creativeness to making a 6-figure living. It's all here and I thank her for it. I have followed her from her beginning as a creative. What more can she do? Write more fiction!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    A manual I intend to use and live by! Intimidated about publishing nonfiction? Be intimidated no more! In a breezy, hyperlinked style Joanna explains how to successfully get your nonfiction thoughts to publication. Furthermore, Joanna explains the work ethic involved in creating a career out of this. I have some ideas for Kindle, and will refer to my highlights as I write. I will also recommend this book to others who should make the leap into writing nonfiction!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Levi Borba

    It is a good book. It does have a lot of valuable recommendations of good apps or resources that can be used to write a book and publish it. But the author overpromotes herself and at some points it just look like you are reading a giant teaser to purchase other publications from her. This was not that bad since a lot of material is free. What was a bit annoying is that during a short book, the author mentioned at least 6 times that she have a successfull busines and make 6-figures. Seriously?

  19. 4 out of 5

    Curtis

    How To Write Non-Fiction: Turn Your Knowledge Into Words is a worthwhile "How to Write a Non-Fiction Book" 101. Author-entrepreneur Joanna Penn's no-frills manual is informative, well-structured, and full of practical strategies. She weaves insightful industry data and her own humble experiences into the text, which makes for an easily digestible and inspiring read. Recommended for non-fiction newbies.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    An excellent step-by-step guide, using great examples from the author's own experience, on how to conceive, develop and plan for a non-fiction book. In additional to the book information itself, the text also includes valuable information on supporting activities for supporting the sales and the branding around that non-fiction title (or titles), and a large list of great additional resources.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Catana

    A waste of money for me, but probably useful for anyone who's never written a book. Even then, it spends very little time on actually *writing* nonfiction, and entirely too much time on things like overcoming fears. Much fluff; little substance. I also found her persistent self-promotion in resources fairly obnoxious.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Christie Adams

    I’m a big fan and regular listener of the authors podcast. Her books are easy to read, not too weedy with unnecessary detail, and packed with helpful info. As she suggests you may be able to speed read some sections. I will be referring back as my projects develop. Recommended! You Tube review will follow.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Dennis Ostrowski

    I'll come back to this book often! Joanna Penn's personal experience and in-depth knowledge is exactly what I needed as I start my journey as a new non-fiction writer. I can't wait to delve deeper with her other books!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Clyde jack

    A whole lot of good information If you are an aspiring non-author. This book is loaded with very valuable information and resources that can help you reach your goal of becoming an author.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tre

    A great resource! I love how thorough she is about everything. This is the second book of hers I've read and I have already bought 3 more. She provides incredible value for the price. Joanna is clearly an expert in her subject.

  26. 4 out of 5

    ✨ B e t w e e n S h a d e s of B o o k s ✨

    Extremely wonderful and helpful guide as it guides you to understand everything from choosing a book cover to figuring out your audience. Joanna Penn writes with practicality but most importantly informational. This guide has helped me conquer my fears and be free to write!

  27. 4 out of 5

    David R. Herring

    painful self promoting The book is interesting and very helpful but OMG she constantly is trying to sell you all of her other stuff. She references her website and products too much. Can you say self absorbed much?

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jasonnnn Jasonnnn

    REVIEW COMING SOON

  29. 4 out of 5

    Vania Rheault

    Good information for any author thinking to write non-fiction!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Trina (aNovelReader)

    Excellent! Review to come.

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