Most of the books I edit or coach people to write fall into the prescriptive nonfiction category. This means they offer guidance or direction on a particular topic. They might provide 10 steps for better sex, or 8 ways to better parenting or a guide to getting published, for example. The authors might be experts—or have interviewed experts—on how to lose weight, build a better solar home or get more business leads, for instance. If you can think of a topic, passion or interest, someone is an expert on it. I always say, everyone is an expert on something.
If you offer readers direction on a particular topic and you do so with authority, you can write a prescriptive nonfiction book. Better yet, you can blog such a book in 30 days (or less). If you are joining National Book Blogging Month (NaBoBloMo) just now, on day 12, you have 18 days to come up with 18 ways to do something. You can write a how-to book on anything about which you are an expert. You also can bring in outside resources, such as other experts or research, to support your case.
Here are a few ideas for prescriptive nonfiction books—all of which you could blog before month’s end:
- A how-to book (How to Write a Better Blog in a Week)
- A handbook (The Dog Owner’s Handbook)
- A guide book (A Guide to Pet Ownership)
- A rule book (18 Rules for a Perfect Marriage)
- A step book (18 Steps to Writing a Business Plan)
Now, how to get these books blogged before the month is over? Simple.
- Pick a topic.
- Ask yourself what you are an expert in or an authority on.
- Ask yourself what problem you could solve for people in that area or subject or what question you could answer for them.
- Ask yourself what you could teach people to do in that area of expertise.
- Decide on the structure of your book.
- Can you offer a certain number of rules or steps? If so, how many?
- Would this subject be better tackled as a guide or a handbook of some sort? In this case, you would be writing chapters on certain topics or answering a variety of questions, maybe one per chapter.
- Might you want to approach it as how-to book broken down into a system of some sort, much like steps?
- Break that structure down into a daily writing guide.
- You need to finish in 30 days (or less), so figure out how many steps, or rules or chapters you must complete per day.
- Write one post or more per day, depending upon how much time you have, and publish as many as necessary per day to get the project done by month’s end.
That’s it! You will be done blogging your prescriptive nonfiction book in 30 days or less. When finished, pick a publishing option for your blogged book. You can pursue traditional publishing or self-publishing avenues. If you take the latter option, the type of printing you choose will depend upon the length of your book. You can do an ebook, of course, and a printed book. If it is short, you can even produce it as a booklet on a booklet press inexpensively. (These are saddle stitched, or stapled.) Don’t forget to opt for professional editing and design. This ensures you end up with a professional-quality book.
If you missed the announcement, you can win a free, signed copy of How to Blog a Book by participating in NaBoBloMo. Here’s how. Write a post a day and get at least a 7,500-word manuscript completed in a month. That’s a 250-word post per day (or a longer post 5 days per week). Here are the rules/requirements: Send in your 7,500-word manuscript with a table of contents, a 50-word pitch, and an overview of the book (synopsis). It must arrive by 12 p.m. 4/30/12 Pacific Time. Email it to me at nina (at) ninaamir (dot) com.