Certain Nonfiction Book Structures (NBS) are ideal for fast short books.
Nonfiction Book Structures are templates used for short books that exist in the New Writing and Digital Publishing Universe.
In the New Writing and Digital Publishing Universe, there are books, eBooks, and web (PDF) books. Essentially all three are books with slight differences. Each book can be written and outlined the same way. There is nothing different you must do or no special way you must write a book, an eBook, or web (PDF) book because again, they are the same.
A book has a physical copy (paperback or hardback) and might not have an electronic version. A good length for this book is 60,000 words. (of course more or less is fine).
An eBook is simply an electronic (digital) book. That may or may not have a physical copy. A good length for this book is 25,000 words, although I have written eBooks with fewer words.
A web book. Some people simply refer to this as an eBook or PDF. I call it a web book because it’s a book you give away on your website, to build your email list. Or you might sell a web (PDF) book of value on a site like eJunkie or Gumroad.
This book can be just a couple of pages with a few thousand words, and it should be packed with a lot of value as to save the reader both time & money
It’s key to remember that they all three are books and must be written with the same high-quality standards and should have the goal to save the reader both time and money.
Books these days don’t have to be an all-encompassing THICK BOOK that no one will ever read in its entirety because either they don’t have the time or they don’t MAKE time.
There is a great demand for short, easily consumable books.
Below are 10 different types of nonfiction book structures that you can use to write a short Nonfiction Book. This list is by no means the end all be all.
Some of the books listed may fit into many nonfiction structure categories, and thus I have merged the books.
The Nonfiction Book Structures list should be very helpful when you sit down to write a nonfiction book.
LIST BOOK/TIP BOOK
A List and Tip book are very similar. It consists of a list of things or helpful tips about a subject.
A tip book features a list of tips. This could be 10 – 101 (or whatever amount the writer chooses).
Each tip is followed by facts, stats and research that supports it. Each tip could consist of a page or several pages.
An example of a TIP BOOK would be 50 Fitness Tips. Or 100 Tips to travel on a budget.
With a list book, the writer creates a list of things that a reader needs to know on a topic, then they churn out an essay that may include facts, stats, stories or other information as deemed necessary
A list book may be more heavily focused on the writer’s own ideas.
Start the chapter with a “tip” or something from a “list” and write about it.
Below is an example of a LIST BOOK.
In this book, the writer has chosen words that he finds fascinating. He begins each word entry with his own brief definition, then he shares a personal story, a hint of etymology and few quotes that demonstrate how the word is used.
Another example of a list or tip style book could be something like a list of recipes. For example 50 slimming summer recipes.
Or another example is this template book that I wrote. The book gives 12 Nonfiction Book Outline Templates which are like mini books.
LIFE EVENT (Memoir)
Share your story or share someone elses’.
This can be an uplifting story or a tragic story. If it’s a tragic story was there a lesson learned, did you emerge as a better person because of the tragedy.
Don’t focus on the story from A to Z, and instead, share highlights and if it’s a tragedy, the low lights.
Each book chapter focuses on major points of the story.
***This is not a real book*** I created it to give you an idea of a Life Event type of book.
ESSAY BOOK or BLOG BOOK
This type of book can be a collection of your writings. Such as a collection of your essays, journal, blog post, speeches, sermons, etc.
Each chapter could be a stand-alone theme/topic, or there could be one theme/topic that runs throughout the entire book. Similarly, each blog post could be stand alone.
In each essay share your wisdom or show-off your personal writing style.
You can also use other material as you deemed necessary (stats, research, stories, etc.).
Below is a collection of essays written by a young writer who died in a tragic car accident. (Although, this is not a short book, it could be with fewer essays.
The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan
An inspirational, motivational, sarcastic or humorous, book based on a quote (Or, word, passage, verse, poem, mantra theme, or word).
Each book chapter would start with a quote or something from the above list. You then write an essay that gives your interpretation of the quote.
You can use facts, stats, storytelling, history, dictionary definitions, etc. You can be uplifting, sarcastic, humorous or use whatever tone you prefer.
You do not have to rely solely on your interpretation or wisdom. You can use stories from history or present days to aid in the interpretation of the quote.
Below is an example of a “Quote” book. I haven’t had the opportunity to review the book but as of this writing, the book is FREE on Amazon.
PAIN SOLUTION (Rx) BOOK
This type of book solves a pain point for the reader. It’s your prescription to solve the reader’s problem. What is the pain point you want to solve for your reader? This book could focus on solving pain point around one particular subject.
The book could give/advice/tips/suggestions.
The below book solves the pain point of how to hire a ghostwriter (FYI: It’s my book).
This is a book with a lot of contributors in which they share a personal story around a common theme. If you are the orchestrator of the project, you may write the introduction, conclusion, and your own chapter. The rest of the chapters would be written by contributors.
An example of this type of book would be:
FAQS (is frequently asked questions) and SAQs is (Should ask questions). What are the most commonly asked questions you get in your industry, what questions should you be asked?
This book is structured so that each chapter title is an FAQ or SAQ. The content of the chapter provides the answer.
You can structure this type of book just like you would a “Tip” or “List” book.
BIG CONCEPT BOOK
What is the big concept (idea) that you’d love to share with readers and the world? Each chapter could be an off-shoot of the main idea. Or you could use one very short story (a parable) that teaches the idea of the book in segments.
You can use facts, stats, research, your own experience or the experience of someone you know to the back up your writing. If you rely heavily on your own experience, you big concept book might be a manifesto.
A big concept can be a word or a couple of words.
On Bullshit. Love. Happiness. Forgiveness. Acceptance. Endurance. Below is an example:
The Universe Doesn’t Give a Flying Fuck About You Johnny B. Truant
A benefit book discusses the benefits of something. Pick the thing and write about it. Below is an example. (The book is “free” as of this writing).
A benefit book would be a great lead magnet to build your email list on your website.
HOW – TO (INFORMATIONAL)
My outline book could also be considered a How-To (NBS)Book as it teaches people how to do something (how to outline). How-to Books are popular and the list of how-to topics are endless.
What type of Nonfiction Book Structure will you use?
Do tell in the comments sections below, what Nonfiction Book structure will you use to write your book?