3 book styles for nonfiction authors

As well as having 4 writing styles to choose from, you also have 3 book styles to choose from too, so there’s plenty of flexibility to find something you’re happy with.

Tips books

A collection of short related ideas. This is a good approach if you plan to make use of your pre-written material like blog posts or detailed email responses – providing it meets reader needs. Don’t just add more tips simply to bump up your page count. An example of a tips book would be “101 negotiating techniques for sales professionals”. Each tip needs to work in its own right. Readers tend to dip into and revisit tips that interest them, rather than reading all the material from start to finish. They are written in a straight-forward way, using a factual (expository) style.

How to books

How to books describe how to master a topic using clear and simple writing (also using the expository style). They need to be more cohesive than a tips book. They tend to need to go into more depth to make sure the reader understands the concepts. The book needs to work as a whole. Readers tend to read these books from start to finish. Sometimes, it’s ok for your reader to “cherry pick” the chapters they want to read first, without risking misunderstanding the information. You can always add some advice for your readers in the “how to use this book” section in your introduction chapter, to let them know the best way to learn what you’re showing them. This means your readers can get the most benefit in the shortest amount of time.

Personal journey books

These books tend to have a more narrative or descriptive writing style. As these books are based on your own experience, it should be relatively easy to immerse yourself in the thoughts and feelings you had at the time. You might want to blend elements of a tips or how to book in your personal journey book to describe how your readers can overcome the challenges you faced, for example sharing quick win as a tip or providing a list of process steps to accomplish something.

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