Thursday, August 17, 2006

Successfully Write a How-To Book

Maybe you've dabbled in the nonfiction market here and there and have always been interested in putting your ideas for a fabulous how-to book on paper. You can think of a million excuses not to do it -- perhaps you don't have enough time, or maybe you're afraid of failure. Possibly, like many freelancers, you just don't know where to begin. The following guide aims to detail the essential components of a how-to book and ways you can get publishers to pay attention to your book proposal.

First and foremost, you MUST convince your readers that you know enough about their problem and that you can offer successful ways to resolve whatever issue they have. The proper credentials can vouch for your expertise when it comes to this. That doesn't mean you need a college degree. It simply means that you must be very knowledgeable about the subject matter, either because you've studied the topic extensively or it's in an area of expertise you know well.

Secondly, you want to be able to convey your message as clearly and concisely as possible. Stay away from technical verbage as much as possible, and write in a conversational, light hearted tone. You want your book to be entertaining and informative -- not a boring read!

You'll also want to create a strong hook that will draw your readers in and keep them reading until the last page. This might require a bit of practice to get the hang of, so check out a few books on the subject matter you're interested in writing about to see how other authors have tackled this. For a How-To book, you'll also want to come up with a creative title that will catch a reader's eye and compel them to buy the book. Make it informative!

Obviously, the content of your book must also pertain to your readership and contain information that's relevant and can be put to use. Create a rough outline of what you'd like the book to explain, and ensure the information is presented in a logical, cohesive fashion. An outline is an essential tool to help keep your book on track.

If you make the reader feel they can trust the information you present, you've done your job very well. Writing a book can feel like a daunting task, but stop making excuses! You know what you want to write about -- now, you can utilize the above tips to create a publishable work you'll be proud to show off.


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