If you are planning on writing a non-fiction book of your very own, it is important that you know what you are doing. This is especially true if you are just a beginner. As a rule, you should have a set strategy. By doing so, you will be able to write a non-fiction book with as little hassle as possible. Before we start on the guide, let’s define what a non-fiction book really is.

What is non-fiction?

Non-fiction is a literary piece that is based on facts, statistics, and other references. This type of book entails the author to do a great deal of research. If the research work is subpar, then the facts in the book are inaccurate.

This could lead readers to call out the author. As a rule, you should make sure that your research work is as perfect as possible. Here are some key tips when writing a non-fiction book for the very first time.

1. Choose a non-fiction genre

If you are going to write a non-fiction book of your very own, it is important that you choose your non-fiction genre carefully. Remember that there are various genres that you could choose, and they are all very different from each other. Here are some examples of non-fiction genres.

  • Autobiography

This non-fiction recounts the life of the author. It is solely written by the author, and is very detail oriented. The dates and events should be in chronological order.

  • History 

This type of non-fiction revolves around a historical event or person. If you are going to write historical non-fiction, you should be as accurate with your dates, facts, and the people involved in the event.

  • Memoir

A memoir is similar to an autobiography because it recounts the author’s life from his or her perspective. However, a memoir does not need to follow a chronological order. Instead, it could contain aspects of the author’s life.

  • Travel Writing

This kind of non-fiction centers the author’s travels. It could be divided into sub-genres, namely travelogues and travel guides. A travelogue is like a memoir wherein the author recounts his or her travels. Travel guides on the other hand offer detailed information and reviews on a specific place.

  • Religion 

This non-fiction genre revolves around the author’s religious beliefs, and aims to teach readers about this particular religion.

  • Cookbook

The cookbook genre is much loved by professional chefs and home cooks alike. Through this genre, they share their recipes and concepts on the culinary arts.

  • Self-help

This genre is very popular, and aims to help the author on the path to self-improvement. These books usually tackle various concepts such as health, financial independence and seeking happiness, etc.

2. Be clear on your writing goal

After you finish choosing your non-fiction genre, you should choose your writing goal. What do you expect to achieve by writing this non-fiction book? Who are you writing for? What message are you trying to spread with your non-fiction book? By clarifying your main goals for writing your non-fiction book, you will be able to focus more on the writing process.

3. Decide on a word count

When you choose your writing goal, it is also important that you decide on a specific word count for your book. As you write your non-fiction book, you will be investing a good deal of time on your writing sessions. 

However, you might run out of motivation if there is no end in sight. By having a word count, you will at least have a rough estimate on how long you will need to work, and how many words you need to write.

Choosing a word count could be a bit tricky, however, you could never go wrong with setting a minimum of 100,000 words for yourself. Remember this is a rough estimate and you could lower and increase the number of words as you see fit.

4. Research is key

No matter what non-fiction genre you choose, it is very important that you do as much research as possible. Remember that your non-fiction book is supposed to be based on fact. Take the time to check on multiple sources.

Don’t just use the first bit of fact that you find. Remember that not all facts and resources that you see on the internet are right. You must take notes of all these sources, and make sure these sources are trustworthy.

5. Avoid sharing too much information

When it comes to writing a non-fiction book, it is important that you write in an informative way. However, this does not mean that you should bombard your readers with as much information as possible.

This is especially true if you are writing a history or autobiography. If you want your readers to truly be immersed in your work, it is important that you set the stage. With every chapter, you should provide context to the readers. That way they will actually know what you are talking about.

6. Use chapter outlines

While writing your non-fiction book, it is very important that you make an outline for each chapter. When writing your non-fiction book, you should remember that you have a lot of references to use. If you don’t have an outline, your writing might be all over the place.

Before you even start the writing process, you should take the time to draft a rough outline of your work. Each chapter should have a specific setting, and address a specific issue or concept.

By having a systematic view on writing, you will be able to make sense of all the facts, dates, statistics, and other references that you have on hand.

7. Don’t rush the process

When you write your non-fiction book, you should remember to take your time. Even if you have a deadline set for you, it is never a good idea to rush.

Rushing the process will have you making mistakes in the long run. So take your time with the process. Double check your facts and sources. This will ensure that your non-fiction book will be in the best condition possible.


When it comes to writing a non-fiction book, it is important that you know what you are doing. Compared to a fiction book, a non-fiction book is very research oriented and takes a great deal of planning to write. With this article, you’ll know how to write a non-fiction book of your very own.