Three Common Mistakes When Writing Your Nonfiction Book

book coaching writing Jul 20, 2023
three nonfiction book writing mistakes

Writing a book is a challenging experience - I get it. After taking three years to publish my first book through procrastination, doubt and expectations, I know first hand the major mistakes you can make when writing and publishing your nonfiction book. 

Sometimes our ambition gets the better of us and we're blindsided by acknowledging the process of book writing. This article poses three major mistakes (and how to avoid them) when writing your nonfiction book. The process of writing your book doesn't have to be difficult. Avoiding these three mistakes will help you get from A to B to C to D smoothly, so you can deliver a well-thought, impactful book to your audience. 


Mistake #1: Lack of Planning and Structure

Imagine this scenario: You're bursting at the seams with ideas and inspiration on your book idea, so you dive headfirst into the creative process without a clear plan or structure in mind. While enthusiasm is essential, a lack of planning can lead to a disjointed and chaotic manuscript. Without a well-thought-out outline, you may find yourself navigating a turbulent sea of ideas without a compass to guide you.

A house is built from the ground up, and so is a book. Without clear intentions on how your book takes shape, you'll aimlessly write words that hold a lack of confidence. Before writing each paragraph, ask yourself where it will lead to. Take time to develop a solid plan before you start writing. Craft a comprehensive outline that organises your thoughts, chapters, and themes. The blueprint will serve as your roadmap, ensuring coherence and direction throughout your writing journey. 


Mistake #2: Skipping Your Self-Edit

Congratulations, you've completed your first draft! But the journey doesn't end here. Many writers make the mistake of rushing to publish without dedicating enough time to the crucial editing and revision phase. Neglecting the editing step can prove detrimental to the quality of your book.

Editing and revising your work is KEY, making sure your ideas are effectively communicated, your narrative is coherent, and your writing is polished. Set your manuscript aside for a few days or weeks before diving into the editing process. The break allows you to return to your work with a fresh perspective, making it easier to identify inconsistencies, plot holes, and grammatical errors. 

Consider seeking professional editing assistance to add an extra layer of refinement to your book. A skilled editor can provide objective feedback, offer valuable suggestions, and help elevate your writing to a professional standard. Remember, revising is an iterative process; don't be afraid to make multiple passes until your manuscript shines bright. 

When you read over your work, you become accustomed to your voice and message you're trying to convey to your readers. Self-editing not only helps improve your writing, but you understand your book on a whole new level the more you shape it how you visualise.  

Pro tip: Never edit as you go, and always edit down the page to truly grasp your words.


Mistake #3: Not Solving Your Readers' Problem

Understanding your target audience is the bedrock of a successful book. As an entrepreneur, or someone with expertise in an area, you should know EXACTLY who your book will target. It's highly likely they're your own customers/clients. Neglecting to consider your readers' needs, preferences, and interests can leave you adrift in a sea of indifference. Knowing your audience allows you to tailor your content, style, and messaging to resonate with them on a personal level.

Before you start writing, understand your audiences pain points, desires, and motivations. Engage in conversations, surveys, and feedback sessions to gain valuable insights into what they seek in a book. By aligning your book with their expectations, you increase the chances of creating an emotional connection that makes your work unforgettable.

Your readers pick up a book for many reasons: entertainment, inspiration, information, but within all of the reasons - they are looking for a problem to be solved. Before writing your book, ask yourself:

 "Who am I writing this for?"

"What problem am I solving?"


Write Your Book!

Writing a book is a journey that demands dedication, passion, and a willingness to learn and improve. Avoiding the three mistakes - Lack of planning, skipping the edits, and overlooking your target audience - will help your book to make a significant impact in your personal and professional life. Embrace the process, hone your craft, and remember that each word you write brings you closer to creating something you're proud of and resonates in the heart and mind of your readers.




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