4 Things You Need to Write a Successful Nonfiction Book Successful (2019)

It’s almost the New Year and time to start thinking about New Year’s Resolutions.  Yep, another year has gone by without you writing a book.  Your book isn’t outlined, written or published and you are still staring at the blank page.


For whatever reason, you didn’t get that book written last year, the year before that, or the year before that and whaddya know an entire decade has gone by, but still no book.

If I had a dollar for each time someone told me they wanted to write a nonfiction book; I’d be rich and spending lots of free time reading books, including their book, but oh wait, what’s that? Their book isn’t written, despite it bubbling inside of them.

It’s the story they are itching to tell. It has helped them or someone they know, heal, grow, transform, get rich, find freedom, find their voice, or something else, and the book is begging to be written.

Your book is the message the world needs to hear, or at least someone does.

For whatever excuse you are dishing out this year, like the dog ate your laptop or Scrivener software, you haven’t started your book. Or you’ve started it, but it’s a mess of a thing because you haven’t taken the time to outline.

As someone who lives and breathes the nonfiction book writing world, writers always have lots of questions for me like – how can they write and self-publish their own book.

The book I’ll write some day, Yeah Right!!!!


I mean that in the nicest way. I’ve heard enough remarkable stories to last a lifetime.  Yeah, I know yours is the remarkable “remarkable” story of inspiration, transformation, and the ultimate life experience.


It’s not that I don’t think your story is remarkable and shouldn’t be turned into a book because it probably is, but chances are you will never write it.

Since I’m not your therapist, your bartender, and in some cases not even your friend, not a close one anyway, do me a favor and don’t waste my time.

Case in point.  I met a woman, Kay,  at a Women’s Empowerment Conference.  She was one of the speakers, and she was dynamic. But let me back up a little, I kinda knew the woman before hearing her speak at the conference.

She was on on-air radio personality at a radio station that sponsored some of the writing workshops I taught at a community book fair. I believe she even attended one of the workshops.

After the conference, we had a conversation that went something like this. Me to Her. You are a dynamic speaker, I feel empowered.

Her to Me. You write books.  I want a write a book.

She asked for my number and if I could give her some book writing tips.

The first conversation we had, the first words out of her mouth was, “How much do you charge?”

I don’t charge anyone for book writing tips.  I love chatting books and the book writing process.

However, book consultation is one of the ways I earn money as a writer.  BOOK CONSULT.

As a freelancer, I created the service because writers and not just newbies often have a ton of questions about writing, marketing and self-publishing a book.  This is a way for me to help writers online.

Offline, after years of listening to family, friends and sometimes complete strangers ramble on about the great book they plan to write (after all 80% of people want to write a book), I begin teaching seasonal nonfiction book writing workshops.

Workshops help me help people want to write a book – it puts them in one place so that I can help them a group, which frees up my time to write my next book.

Back to the story.    Over the next few weeks, Kay and I spoke over the phone several times.  She told me all about this book she was going to write.

Instead of accepting a payment from her as I moved beyond book writing tips into book coaching, I asked her to make a small-ish donation to a charity I support, since she insisted on paying for my service.

I didn’t think Kay would turn out like the rest of them which is all talk and no book writing action. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened.  Kay talked a lot, but she never wrote.

When I inform Kay or others of the many steps it takes to plan, pen, and publish a book and give them homework,  a simple questionnaire to complete that I titled THE ONE NIGHT STAND BOOK WRITING PLAN, where there are no right or wrong answers – they disappear like a one night stand.  Thus, the reason for the plan’s title.

It’s easy to talk that I want to do (feel in the blank) crap until it’s actually time to do it.  I know because my “IT” is I (want to get healthy).  I am working on it.  I exercise.  I have good intentions.

But as you know the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

There are so many powerful reasons to write a book.

  • You Matter
  • To Heal
  • To Leave a Legacy
  • Life Changing
  • To earn extra income



Yeah, I know that’s original. But if you’ve never written a book, how would you know how to start writing one?

You must plan your book.  You must answer the Who, What, When and Where?

For who are you writing the book?  Who is your target audience?

What is the book about? How to self-publish an eBook or print book?

What is the cost or can you publish your book for free? What books have you read that are similar to the one you want to write?

When can you make the book happen? Where will you make it happen?

I’m a self-published author and prefer that method over traditional publishing, so the questions that I came up are for those who wish to self-publish.

You’ll notice that I didn’t go straight down the line and answer Who, What, When, and Where exactly. Those questions are simply meant to be a starting point.

The key takeaway is that writing a book, even a smaller eBook or a larger print book is one of the most important things you might do in your life.  That book will become a part of you like one of your children and especially if you are writing a personal memoir story.   Make a Baby, Write a Book, Have a plan.


Before becoming a ghostwriter, I rarely if ever outlined. My belief of outlining was connected to my school and college days in which outlining was painful and confusing.

I took everything I’d learned over the years about outlining and threw it in the cyber trash.  I created a  super easy book outlining process book.  I don’t believe in big, bad outlining.

Do not write your book without creating a super simple outline.  If you have a book that you didn’t create an outline for, I guarantee that it’s not complete or it’s a complete mess.

Create an Outline.


Start with an eBook.  Yes, an eBook is a book with tiny little differences.

They can be outlined and written the exact same way.  My eldest adult son has an amazing story of triumph to tragedy to more tragedy, to a strong path to healing.

I encouraged him to write his story and guess what he did.  He hand wrote a tiny little eBook just under 10,000 words.  It could be a memoir essay.  I am currently working with him doing a structural edit.  Sometime in the future should he want a hard copy I’ll work with him to get it to 50,000 words but for now he has a book.

Kay told me she wanted her book to be a New York Times Best Seller. We all do, but it’s OK to start with an eBook you self-publish on Amazon or Kobo.


Invest, time,  money or both.

I pay for my gym membership, and I use it.  Yep, this big-boned gal from the Midwest uses her gym membership.   When I became an eBook writer in 2012, I accessed free and paid eBooks and courses.

The free material was an investment in my time trying to figure out what was good content.

Successful book writers and online entrepreneurs are successful because they invest time and or money in their success.

CHEERS.  Here’s to your book writing success in the New Year. Don’t let another year pass you by without writing the book that’s burning inside of you.

If I can help in any way reach out to me fbk@fbkwrites.com

Click here if you are ready to outline.