The ABCs of Writing a Non-Fiction Book

Writing a Non-Fiction Book

Every so often, taking it back to the basics is exactly what you need to do to get something done. When it comes to non-fiction book writing that can certainly be the easiest way to get the job done.

First, what is a non-fiction? Well, it is essentially material that is true. As far as books go, the non-fiction space covers an incredibly diverse and wide range of topics including true crime, memoir, self-help, business, finance, fitness and health, and more. It can even include made up stories but they are designed to teach you a lesson. One of our clients, Peter Carriayanis wrote a book like this.

If you’re looking at your book writing project and are feeling overwhelmed, this article is exactly for you. 

Not too long ago, I released a video guide on using AI to market your book. In that guide, I asked for a list of video title ideas from my AI friend, Jasper. One of the titles I got was, you’ve guessed it, “The ABCs of Writing a Non-Fiction Book.” 

After getting the list I requested from Jasper.ai, I then asked it to draft a video script. Now, truth be told, the video script it generated was not my style. It felt lacking in substance and was only 250 words long. These days I use Claude to help me write things and ChatGPT to help me create a great list of potential video topics. Of course, if you have a topic you want us to shoot a video about, you should just reply to any of our newsletters. Here’s where you can sign up for our Book Launchers Launch Letter.

However, I still took the framework Jasper created to make a video based on that content. In other words, I used Jasper’s work as a shortcut. Check out the resulting video below.

Here are the ABCs of writing a non-fiction book, courtesy of Jasper.ai

Writing a non-fiction book can be challenging, but with the right tools and knowledge, it can also be incredibly rewarding. Here are the ABCs of writing a non-fiction book as instructed by Jasper and supplemented by me, Julie “The Book” Broad, author, and human.

A is for acquire 

Start by researching and gathering information through primary sources such as interviews, books, and newspapers.” – Jasper 

Not bad Jasper. But if this were my own structure, A would not be for acquire. If you’ve read Self-Publish & Succeed, you know the first thing you want to figure out is your reader. Therefore, I would say the A in the ABCs should actually be “audience.” 

You need to know who the audience of your book is going to be. And of course, we’re not simply talking about demographics. 

We’re talking about knowing the fears, aspirations, and those inner workings of your ideal reader. This includes doing enough research so you can get into their minds and start their book where they are right now, taking them to the outcome of the outcome that you can offer. 

Now, yes, that does require that you acquire information about that audience. So here’s what I’ll do, Jasper, we’ll say A is for acquiring intel on your audience.

B is for brainstorming 

Once you have acquired your material, take some time to brainstorm and develop your creative ideas. Write down everything that comes to mind, from random thoughts to fully fleshed-out concepts.” – Jasper 

Okay, Jasper. That’s not bad. Brainstorming all the ideas, steps, tools, stories, examples, and thoughts you might have about your book could work. It’s actually one of the things I recommend to people who book positioning strategy calls with me. 

When they ask how they can come to our service and the call prepared, I often say, “Brainstorm all the things that could go into your book so you have something to start with.” 

All that said, I’m not sure you can do that yet if you only know your audience. But maybe you could brainstorm all the ideas you have for a hook or topic. That could work. 

So I would maybe change this to a bigger-picture goal. After all, you need to have that big-picture vision of what success looks like to you as an author. 

What do you think? Should I give this one to Jasper or should I take it over? I’m gonna let Jasper keep this one, but I’m going to modify it a little bit. 

B is for brainstorm all the ways you can help that audience and how you’ll get them to the outcome of the outcome they’re laying awake at night thinking about

C is for construct 

This is when you begin to put ideas together in an organized manner. Start with an outline and then move on to writing drafts of each chapter. Make sure all the pieces fit together in a logical order.” – Jasper 

What I think Jasper’s trying to say here is to construct a book outline. So I’ll give this one to Jasper and we’ll say C is for construct a book outline.

D is for develop 

Once the framework of your book is complete, start working on content, style, and tone. You can also use AI algorithms such as NLP, which is natural language processing, or ML, machine learning, to help generate content or edit existing text.” – Jasper

Okay, Jasper, this one I’m changing. 

Let’s make this one D for “dump the content out of your head onto a page.” 

Develop is a word that could work, but it feels more like the second thing you do, not the first after you create an outline. So I’m going to choose something completely different here.

So to recap, we’ve got:

  • A for acquire intel on your audience. 
  • B for brainstorm all the content for your book, including the hook. 
  • C is for construct an outline, and 
  • D is for dump the content out of your head onto the page. 

Now, the final in the ABCs that Jasper gave me is: 

E is for evaluate 

Finally, once your project is almost complete, it’s time to evaluate what you’ve created. Take stock of all your hard work and adjust anything where necessary before sending off your book for professional reviews for publication.” – Jasper 

Hold on here, Jasper! The book is not ready to send to publication at this point. So I am going to say E could be for evaluate, but I think a much more appropriate word would be edit. 

E is for editing your brain dump

Read it and rewrite the areas that need work and fine-tuning. Make sure all the content is there, and then send it to a professional content or developmental editor

Let them work their magic on your manuscript so you create a #noboringbooks that is much more likely to be something people want to read.

Final thoughts on Jasper

Here was Jasper’s concluding line: 

By following these five steps, you will be well on your way toward creating an engaging non-fiction book that readers will love.” 

Well, I’m not sure you should take Jasper’s advice on how to write a non-fiction book. You will find much better tried and tested tips and advice in Self-Publish & Succeed or by downloading our free 7-Step Guide on Writing a Non-Fiction Book that Sells

However, I can tell you that the outline based on Jasper’s ideas made preparing for this content substantially faster and in some ways even more fun.

I’m not sure if you’d be keen to watch an entire channel of videos created by Jasper, but I can tell you with confidence that if you are feeling stuck staring at a blank page, you’ll find AI scripting a cool solution to get going.

Need help with your non-fiction book writing project? Schedule a call with Book Launchers and let’s talk about your book.

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