If you’ve done freelance content writing for a while, you’ve probably drifted into one or two specific niches where you concentrate most of your efforts. It’s been said that any good writer can write on any topic. Whether this is true or not, it’s certainly true that it’s easier to write about a subject if you already know what the heck you’re talking about. Writing and researching in one or two niches gives you that knowledge.
Writing on a weekly basis about restaurant management or the latest tech advances may give you a dazzling array of facts and figures that make you a hit during Jeopardy tournaments, but it really hasn’t given you any other financial advantage until now. With the advent of simple self-publishing at Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other book vendor sites, you can turn the knowledge from dozens of articles into fodder for a nonfiction book that sells and provides you income for years.
What to Write?
The more specific the better, when it comes to nonfiction titles. You’ll have little chance at breaking the top 100 listing with a book about grooming pets, but if you write a guide to every detail there is to know about grooming a Puli, it’s likely you won’t have much competition. Your reader base may be smaller, but you’ll have a better chance of capturing most of them as fans. Go through a number of your favorite articles, the ones that simply sang while you were writing them, and note down the subject matter. See how many sub-topics you can break this down into.
Writing the actual book is the easy part, if you’re writing in your niche. Think of the chapters as a series of related articles. Take the main title and break it down to a dozen or more smaller concepts and write a long article about each one. In the Puli example, you can start with bathing, clipping nails, skin care and whatever else goes into grooming a dog with dreadlocks. The idea is to narrow down the subtopics, then write a basic article about each one.
Get someone else to edit your book, even if you’re an editor yourself. Get beta readers by asking your friends in writer groups for their opinions. Once your book is in the best shape possible, format it according to the publisher’s guidelines. Amazon has a simple way to do it, PubIt! is just as easy, and Smashwords, which publishes on multiple formats at the same time, offers an entire book on how to format for them. Once the book is formatted, buy or create a book cover that fits the genre of your book.
Upload your manuscript to the sites you’ve chosen and wait for your book to go live. Publicize the book by talking about it on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and any other social media you use. Start writing another book, and wait for the royalties to come in every month.
Victoria B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.