A blogger’s tips for publishing a non-fiction book

Cast Life book by Natalie TriceWant to publish a non-fiction book?

I had a dream to write a book.

For it to be published.

For people to buy it.

Read it.

Maybe even like it.

This year that dream came true.

Roald Dhal, Enid Blyton, Judy Bloom and Emily Brontë all fueled my imagination when I was growing up and whilst I’d planned to write a novel, life has taught me that the best-laid plans are there to be broken.

At nearly five months old, my second son, Lucas, was diagnosed with developmental dysplasia of the hip (DDH) and our lives went into free fall. DDH is a common condition where the hip socket fails to develop correctly and whilst it isn’t life threatening, it has certainly been life changing for us.

It’s fair to say that Lucas, who is now six and currently in a wheelchair recovering from his latest operation, has been through more pain and procedures than many of us will ever endure. The silver lining is that as well as being one step closer to healthy hips, he inspired me to write Cast Life – A Parent’s Guide to DDH: Developmental Dysplasia of the Hip Explained.

I’m not going to pretend to be a writing guru just because I’ve had one book published, but I hope I can inspire you to keep going and make your non-fiction dream a bookshelf reality.

  • Write everyday. Whether it’s press releases, blogging, keeping a journal, starting a novel or even jotting down poems in a notebook, just sit down and write.
  • Decide where and when you prefer to work. I wrote my entire book in my study, listening to Absolute radio and drinking coffee and ‘tried’ to keep to school hours.
  • Buy the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook. From how to contact agents and manage your finances to which media to pitch your book to, this is the ultimate authors companion and I’m never without the latest issue.
  • Find a niche, Cast Life is only one of two books for parents about DDH in the world. Spotting this gap in the market and knowing I had a captive, worldwide audience was key in securing my deal and getting my publisher interested.
  • Create a plan. This will not only have an overview of your book but also a list of chapters, the audience, PR and Marketing opportunities, ideas for a cover, your biography and potential retail outlets. I took a course with two established authors and the outcome was not only support and guidance, but also a plan that ultimately helped me secure my deal.
  • Decide whether you want a book deal or if you would prefer to take the self-publishing route. I personally wanted ‘the deal’. However, having worked with an Editor, when it comes to my novel I may well go down the self-publishing route which is becoming increasingly popular, professionally acceptable and it can be more lucrative.
  • Whatever else you do, don’t stop believing. Even when agents and publishers knocked me back because my subject matter was too niche, I knew there was a market for my book. I believed that parents needed the information I had to offer and today I am proud that people all over the world are buying Cast Life and getting through their DDH journey because I didn’t give up.

    About the author
    Natalie is an author, blogger and freelancer writer. As a mummy, wife, cat and dog owner she doesn’t get much free time but when she does she’ll be found drinking coffee, reading Grazia and dreaming of living by the sea. Lover of heals, wearer of trainers, she has many dresses but mainly goes out in her gym gear.

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    1 Comment

    1. 07 December 2015 / 11:24

      It’s great to read about your success Nat and your tips for other writers. You are our star student!

      Our next courses begin in January and cover writing a non-fiction book and learning how to pitch a feature to a national publication / website. Fancy writing in 2016? See http://www.pitchtopublication.com