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How to Write Non-Fiction: Turn Your Knowledge into Words

Books for Writers, Book 9
Narrated by: Caroline Holroyd
Length: 6 hrs and 12 mins
Categories: Business, Career Skills
4.5 out of 5 stars (82 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Do you want to write a non-fiction book but don't know where to start? Or perhaps you worry that you're not an expert or have enough authority in your niche to write a book on it? Are you ready to help other people and change your own life with your words? The first non-fiction book I wrote changed my life. Sure, it helped other people, but mostly it altered the course of my life - so much so that 10 years later, I make a living with my writing.

In this book, I'll share everything I've learned along the way and save you time, effort, and frustration on your author journey. This book includes the business models of writing non-fiction, mindset issues around writing, the details of how to research, write and edit your book, dictation and productivity tips, as well as publishing, product creation, and marketing.

©2018 Joanna Penn (P)2018 Joanna Penn

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Average Customer Ratings

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    5 out of 5 stars

Fabulous resource for all writers of non-fiction

Insightful and inspiring are the words which best describe Joanna Penn’s latest book, How to Write Non-Fiction. It is rich with anecdotes, key learning, recommended tools and services suitable for new and experienced writers.
She has researched the topic widely and is generous in sharing failures, ‘Ah Ha’ moments and tips for being more effective.

Readers will benefit from Joanna’s writing journey. At the time of writing this review she has 27 books. She is herself an avid reader and reflector and we are the beneficiaries of this.

Joanna talks to our concerns from who am I to write this book and the importance of checking in on our mindset. She speaks in a very authentic manner - (even though we hear Carolyn Holoroyd's voice). I appreciated her sharing personal stories around what she wants to do with her life and ‘Why she writes.’.

Joanna has a strong sense of abundance giving generously of her time and experience not only in her books but in her blogs and podcasts and believes that there is room for all to be authors in a global marketplace.

I need to admit that I am one of Joanna’s super fans. I attended a workshop she ran with Orna Ross giving me the motivation to get my nearly finished book across the line. The workshop and speeches are part of her author eco-system and she makes useful observations in the book about what is needed to be a full-time writer and how a book could be a part of a broader product and service offering.

'How to Write Non Fiction' is giving me additional inspiration to get my latest non- fiction book finished. I downloaded Joanna’s book via Audible and was reminded of how valuable a channel this was for absorbing content fast. Joanne mentions this in her book along with many other suggestions for improving efficiency, such as using dictation, which I have hovered around for ages and have now made the decision to use.

Like many authors I read widely about the magic and challenge of getting your ideas down in a book. I was a tad nervous that there would be a lot of content that I already knew. I was wrong as I have identified at least 20 new actions I can take to improve my writing and marketing activities We don’t know what we don’t know.

It took me ages to write my first non-fiction book, 'Engagement Whisperer'. If I had read Joanna’s book first I am sure that I would have produced it in a third of the time. She makes excellent points about how long it should take you to write, setting aside dedicated increments of time if only for 15 minutes, to get the thing written and of our mindsets around how long it should take to write a book versus quality of the final product.

In summary, if you plan to write a non-fiction book (or another one), you will learn from this book.
Easy five stars from me.
Tracy Stanley

15 of 15 people found this review helpful

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This will male your book possible.

If you wat to get your book done with specific "how to" info....this is it. I highly recommend tje listen and or read.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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wow!

As a fellow author, she nailed it! I will likely read this book 5 to 10 times over time.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Life saver

This book helped motivate me. I’m truly inspired and feel like maybe I can do this. Thank you so much!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Straight Forward and to the Point

This isn't a book filled with too much nonsense. It's fast paced, clear, and concise. In fact, it's almost like a rapid fire of information, so you really have to pay attention or her tips can come off as an afterthought. They aren't, so be prepared to take a LOT of notes or opt for a highlighter and buy the physical copy. There's so much information it was leaving me feel overwhelmed and was actually starting to discourage me, but then I remembered I've got nothing but time anyway so why not get to work? The instructions are all laid out in this audiobook. For the points she mentioned but didn't elaborate on, just do a Google search on the topics and you'll be able to get more in-depth info that way. I'm sure people are going to say it's not the best resource available, but I thought it was worth it. We'll see if it helps me in the long run though. Good luck in your endeavors!

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  • MB
  • USA
  • 08-22-19

Loved it!! Encouraging, organized, thorough.

Loved it!! Encouraging, organized, thorough. I really feel like I got my time and monies worth. Joanna's voice presentation is pleasant and easy to listen to - pace and cadence are agreeable. there is a notable amount if self promotion - BUT that is what the book is about - at least in part. A good value.

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good information just not my style

not a bad audiobook with not a bad audiobook with some useful information. too many quotes throughout the book felt like filler material rather than content.

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love it!!!

very useful book full of wise and transparent knowledge with the intent of helping those in fulfilling their dreams of creating a memorable book for those to read.

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This is my writing roadmap

My writers Bible. This is my first knowledge of Caroline but now I'm going to stalk her for every nugget of wisdom that she has worked diligently to discover and is generous enough to share . Now I want this book in print and will use it as guide as I listen again.

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Practical advice for authors.

This book is jam-packed with practical, real-world advice for authors. Joanna speaks from personal experience and shares her knowledge and advice in a well-written, easy read. She goes through the entire value chain from research, writing, publishing and marketing - with thought provoking questions at the end of each section to help the reader formalize his/her own plan.

I loved this book. I'm definitely going to follow this author on all her social media platforms and podcasts. Its a book I highly recommend and will return to it frequently as I grow my own writing business.

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  • Liz
  • 03-13-19

Not impressed

I purchased this expecting technical help after one hour I gave up! The author talks mostly about other books and authors. I wanted self help not other people's successful publication. I might persevere and review again if it gets any better not holding our much hope

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Wendy Jones
  • 11-27-19

Packed with Helpful Information

This book, like all of Penn's books is absolutely jam packed with useful information. The chapters are clearly laid out and take you through the process in an easy to follow manner. I did find the reading a little monotone but that could just be me. An excellent book which I can highly recommend.

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  • Connor whiteley
  • 11-25-19

amazing

personally I wasn't sure about getting this book because I know how to write nonfiction fiction but I'm so glad that I did buy it. the book was filled with amazing information and its very useful.

filled with useful information besides how to write nonfiction.

you need to read this book!

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  • revelator73
  • 06-18-18

Essential info for writing your non-fiction book

An excellent primer on all the major aspects of developing a non-fiction book idea into a complete, published work.

Joanna writes in an extremely clear manner that builds logically, precept upon precept. There is no fluff, and these are the principles Joanna herself has used to become a successful author.

As a regular listener of Joanna's excellent podcast The Creative Penn, I wasn't sure I'd connect with the narration being in an unfamiliar voice. But, Caroline Holroyd does a great job – and delivery is along similar lines to Joanna's quintessentially British tone.

Current, clear and concise. Well worth a listen.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • battleeditor
  • 06-17-18

An excellent resource for non-fiction writers

Joanna Penn has become the go-to mentor for writers aspiring to become professional authors, and this excellent guide reinforces that well-earned reputation.

Clearly narrated by Caroline Holroyd, who has superb diction and a discernible empathy for the subject matter, this book takes the listener through easily digestible stages of the process step-by-step. The subjects covered are wide ranging, covering everything from the initial inspiration to write a book, summoning the self-confidence to do so, the best way to research, organise and get the material onto the page, through to finding an agent or publisher or going the self-publishing route.

As a self-publishing star in her own right, Penn also has plenty of wisdom to pass on about the modern reality that faces ALL authors—marketing, whether you are traditionally published or not. The whole gamut is considered, from Amazon and Facebook ads, Bookbub promotions, email list building and blogging as an author, as well as social media, live events and a great deal more besides.

Easy to listen to, but with a plethora of information to digest and act upon, I’d suggest getting this as an accompaniment to the paperback or ebook version as well, to save you scribbling reams of notes!

For writers serious about publishing their work, this is highly recommended. Another worthwhile investment from the prolific Joanna Penn.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Renee
  • 01-20-19

info-packed

Lots of information about everything that goes into successfully publishing a non-fiction book. Doesn't get bogged down in the technical details of each segment but does give suggestions of where to find more. Aimed more at people who are considering writing or are yet to publish, though a good refresher for those with some experience.

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  • Tim Ozpagan
  • 06-26-18

My roadmap to writing non-fiction

Joanna Penn is a force majeure in the indie world of writers and this book does not disappoint. It is clear, focused and provides the step-by-step strategy for anyone wanting to know where to start. It is virtually a course in what to do through each stage of the non-fiction writer’s journey. I’ll be using this for years, starting now!