Now in paperback
Now in paperback

Now my latest book,  Writing Your Nonfiction Book: The Complete Guide to Becoming an Author is released, there is no better time to share with you a little of why and how it was written.

It is always pleasing to be asked to write a book; so affirming and motivating, especially when the request is not prescriptive or in any way limiting. Quite the reverse: the only stipulation was that it should be complete. I was told that research into available guides on producing a quality non-fiction book had revealed the lack of an up-to-date work that covered, with equal depth, the entire process: generating a marketable idea, planning, researching, writing, editing, assessing and implementing publishing options, and marketing. This book had to be complete. That was all.

I gulped. But a challenge is always irresistible. I’d already had seven non-fiction works in various genres successfully published; perhaps I could distill that process as the basis for further research.

For the rest of the provocation, I have only myself to blame.

As I tumbled ideas around in my mind – while ‘sleeping’ – two thoughts occurred to me: to be of real value, the guide must show how to write in a modern non-fiction style which is accessible and emotionally engaging – i.e. narrative nonfiction ­­– which is what publishers want; and I should explain specific techniques for a wide range of sub-genres including travel, history, memoir, biography and popular science, as well as documentary, how-to, and text books.

The first step, of course, is to ‘identify your readers’. An encouraging feature of digital technology, and its rapid spread across the planet, is that anyone with an internet connection, wherever they live, has access to a global market; I imagined my readers scattered all over the world, not only in Europe or America but in Africa, Asia and the Pacific, and I would have to bear their needs in mind. Having lived and worked in numerous countries, this part was not especially daunting, and I loved the idea of the book being a source of empowerment. But I felt the full impact of applying a global outlook when it came to the chapter on publishing options.

It was demanding enough to make sense of the moving target that publishing in the West has become, with its variety of players – from massive conglomerates to micro companies – all tussling for market share between print and digital forms, not to mention self-publishing and all its associated manifestations, opportunities and scams. But in some countries, publishing is still an emerging sector with minimal infrastructure; in others, traditions have grown differently and do not, for example, include the role of literary agents.

I designed Writing Your Nonfiction Book  as a step-by-step guide with practical details and lots of examples. It should be read straight through first to see the general landscape, then returning to the beginning with refining an idea, by the time you reach the end, you will have a shiny new manuscript, an author platform, your chosen publishing option in action, and a marketing plan.

As I worked through outlining, researching, and composing  this book, I felt quite exposed. A bit like a TV celebrity chef: talking about the ingredients and methods while demonstrating them on the page; placing the concoction into the ‘writing oven’ and hoping I’d got the proportions and seasonings right while waiting to see the results. My relief was palpable when the meal was tasted by editors and declared both nutritious and delicious. And there’s more: I’m delighted to tell you that the book has been adopted as a required text by an international writers’ college.

Over the last few months, I’ve been through a few less observable processes myself – from feeling boggled, stretched and exhausted, to finally, satisfied – during which the holiday season had to be postponed, along with a few blog posts. I will make up for that over the next few weeks with tips and extracts from the new book.

But soon, I will disappear for a week by the seaside to let my brain recover. In the meantime, I hope my efforts will enable you to write your book with rather less boggling. 

Happy writing!

Write Your Nonfiction Book

9 thoughts on “Write Your Nonfiction Book

  • January 20, 2014 at 10:49 pm

    Congratulations Trish! I love the cover with the extra little supportive ‘push’ on the right. I will look forward to reading it now. But the trouble will be that after all your patience and hard work all your reader will have to do is to follow suit and live up to your inspiration 🙂 xx

    • January 21, 2014 at 6:15 am

      Thank you, Sue. I do rather like the cover myself 🙂 It’s been an interesting experience to look over my shoulder – a bit like being two people – not something I’d want to do all the time. But I love the idea of encouraging others to write their books – I’ll be waiting for yours.

  • January 21, 2014 at 5:52 am

    Can’t wait to read tips from your new book Trish. Hope you enjoy your week at the seaside – you deserve it.

    all best wishes,

    Christina Gibbs

    • January 21, 2014 at 6:17 am

      Hello Christina, lovely to see you. You were one of the ‘readers’ I had in mind while writing this book, and you asked lots of excellent questions, so I hope you enjoy it and find in helpful, because I look forward to seeing your book, too.

  • January 30, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    Trish, If “Writing your non-fiction Book” is as inspiring as your “Inside Stories”
    it can’t fail to be a winner.
    Will there be a printed version later and when?
    Thank you,

    • January 30, 2014 at 12:34 pm

      Thank you Christina for your lovely comments.’ Writing Your Nonfiction Book’ is designed to inspire and build confidence as well as to guide – my hope is that it will be an empowering book. There will be a print version, later, but I don’t have a date for that as yet. If you do not have an electronic reading device, or don’t want to read it on a small s creen, you could download Amazon’s free ‘Kindle for PC’ software, then select that option when you buy the ebook, and read it on your computer. You can highlight, make notes, and shoot back and forth easily from one section to another with the linked list of contents. The link for ‘Kindle for PC’ is, for the UK: and for USA and rest of the world: If these links are not ‘live’, you can copy them and paste them into your browser. Let me know if you have any problmes. Happy writing!

      • February 1, 2014 at 6:06 am

        Thanks Trish for taking time in your busy schedule to reply (and always promptly too).
        When I read the ‘look inside’ on amazon some time ago re Journey to Bhutan, was hooked so bought & downloaded
        Kindle (I think).
        At the mo’ I’m trying to get my desktop where my printer lives, to access material from my laptop so I don’t need to
        re-type on before printing. Trying a CD but it’s only ‘half’ working! I’ll bet it’s something simple I’m doing or not doing.
        Congrats on getting the book accepted for educational purposes.
        Cheers, Christina

  • January 31, 2014 at 2:12 pm

    Just bought your book, Trish. Looking forward to reading it! As a fiction and non-fiction writer myself, I am always interested in picking up tips from others.
    Congratulations on the release of your new book.

    • January 31, 2014 at 2:24 pm

      Thank you very much for taking the trouble to tell me that, Brian. I hope you enjoy it, and I’d love to receive feedback from a fellow writer. Wishing you all the very best in your own endeavours.

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