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How To Write Winning Non-Fiction: The Complete Writing and Publishing Handbook for Non-Fiction Authors [Paperback]

Joe Gregory , Suzan St Maur
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
RRP: 15.00
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Book Description

19 Feb 2010
A Non-Fiction Writing Coach in Your Pocket...Getting published is now easier than ever but the fundamental things that distinguish winning non-fiction from the pulp have never been more important. If you're serious about writing a high-quality non-fiction book, getting it published and making it commercially successful then this book treats you to a masterclass that covers all you need to know about creating, crafting, writing and pitching your next bestseller. When you read this book you will learn... 1. What every non-fiction book needs to be successful 2. How to get a good idea and how to turn it into a winning idea 3. Why so many books get started but not finished 4. How to plan your book so writing it is fast, painless and easy 5. Alternative publishing options and when you should pursue them 6. How to pitch your book to mainstream publishers 7. What happens from proposal to acceptance, to contract and beyond 8. How to devise a winning title for your non-fiction book 9. The mechanics for writing a book and meeting your obligations 10. When to get in outside help and how to find it Using real-life pitches, proposals, reviewer feedback, extensive links and even an entire sample contract, Suzan delivers in straight, honest terms what you need to do to succeed.

Frequently Bought Together

How To Write Winning Non-Fiction: The Complete Writing and Publishing Handbook for Non-Fiction Authors + How to Write a Non-Fiction Book in 60 Days + Write Fantastic Non-fiction: And Get it Published (Teach Yourself)
Price For All Three: 30.82

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Product details

  • Paperback: 212 pages
  • Publisher: Lean Marketing Press (19 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907498060
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907498060
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 12.7 x 1.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 344,512 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Suzan St Maur is a prolific author and expert nonfiction writer. Check out her rapidly-growing website that helps you get better results from all types of writing: HowToWriteBetter.net

Her background...

Canadian born Suzan St Maur (a.k.a. "Suze") was transported to the UK when a child and despite resultant cultural challenges managed to graduate from British high school, but with no talent for anything other than writing - so her career options were fairly clear cut. Afterwards she attended and graduated from the then-famous Watford Art School advertising writing course and worked in London ad agencies as a copywriter for a few years, before deciding she was far too bolshie to be an employee and so became a freelancer.

While comfortably paying her mortgage and bills, her freelance writing work took off into the areas of business theatre and corporate video, in which disciplines she became the Grandma Moses of corporate script and speechwriting for many years. Suze also developed useful skills as a conference and video producer, largely in emergencies caused by the actual practitioners' bunking off through illness, drunkenness, excessive use of recreational substances, etc. (It's amazing how fast you can learn to do a job if the person who should be doing it is in la-la-land and you have a 20-crew video shoot or 7-figure-budget convention about to begin.)

Her work today...

These days Suze still takes on commissioned text, speechwriting, scriptwriting plus author coaching and editing, in addition to running her very popular website HowToWriteBetter.net and of course, writing books. She is even about to embark upon fiction, with two novels in negotiation with a UK publisher who finally - phew - appreciates her acerbic sense of humour. She also is one of the core team writers on BirdsOnTheBlog.co.uk, judged by Forbes as one of the top 100 websites for women in the world.

Being a "jobbing writer" has meant that Suze can research and write about pretty well anything, and this is reflected in the somewhat eclectic mix of her numerous published titles:

*The Jewellery Book (with Norbert Streep) (Magnum)
*The Home Safety Book (Jill Norman Books)
*The A to Z of Video and AV Jargon (Routledge)
*Writing Words That Sell (with John Butman) (Management Books 2000)
*Writing Your Own Scripts and Speeches (McGraw Hill)
*The Horse Lover's Joke Book (Kenilworth Press)
*Powerwriting: the hidden skills you need to transform your business writing (Prentice Hall Business)
*Canine Capers: over 350 jokes to make your tail wag (Kenilworth Press)
*The Food Lover's Joke Book (ItsCooking.com)
*Get Yourself Published (LeanMarketing Press)
*The Easy Way To Be Brilliant At Business Writing (LeanMarketing Press)
*Wedding Speeches For Women (How To Books)
*The Country Lover's Joke Book (Merlin Unwin Books)
*The A to Z of Wedding Worries (How To Books)
*How To Get Married In Green (How To Books)
*Planning A Winter Wedding (How To Books)
*How To Write Winning Nonfiction (Publishing Academy, 2010)
*The A to Z of Wedding Wisdom (How To Books 2010)
*The MAMBA way to make your words sell (HowToWriteBetter.net)
*How To Write About Yourself (HowToWriteBetter.net)
*How To Write & Give Brilliant Speeches & Presentations (HowToWriteBetter.net)
*The Pony Lover's Joke Book (Kenilworth Press 2011)
*Successful Business Writing In English (HowToWriteBetter.net, due 2011)

Personal stuff...

On a less cheerful note, Suze has had cancer twice and is undergoing regular treatment for it. Wishing to lighten the load, a few years ago she started the blog CancerComicStrip.blogspot.com, which has become a popular stopping-off point for cancer patients, their carers, families and friends to relax and share a few laughs.

Suze lives in a village near the new city of Milton Keynes in central southern England with her student son plus numerous dogs, cats, a fox under the shed and a badger that visits whenever it manages to squeeze under the fence. When she isn't writing Suze is cooking, gardening, dog-walking, tending her orchids or planning her next trip "home" to Canada, while sipping a glass of decent Chablis.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An OK guide but a bit dissappointing 4 Nov 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
From the 5 star reviews before I was expecting a tome crammed with knowledge and ideas that would keep me thinking for weeks. In the end I read the book in a single sitting on the train and found myself wanting much more information. The chapters on seeking and working with a publisher were light in my opinion and even contains a "mini-advert" for one particular online service. 15 is too high a price for this book which is thin and light on detail in my opinion. It did not live up to my expectations.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish and over-priced 15 Dec 2010
By Dave
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Having read the numerous 5-star reviews for this book, I decided to put my doubts aside about the 15 price tag and purchase a copy. I was hoping this book would help me plan a non-fiction text I've been wanting to write for some time.

However, when 'How To Write Winning Non-Fiction' arrived in the post I was hugely disappointed. The look and feel of the book is very amateurish; it's main drawbacks are a badly designed cover and the font being printed on bright white paper.

What's written in the book isn't much better. I wanted tips on how to plan, produce and market a non-fiction text. Instead, there are several plugs for other books (also by the same publisher - surprise, surprise!) which the author explains will clarify certain points, like marketing, in more detail.

The final nail in the coffin comes when the author (who is Canadian) discusses the use of British and American English in non-fiction. Her opinion is that 'check' (American English) is better than 'cheque' (British English), because the spelling is more closely associated with how it sounds. Talk about a dumbing down of standards. I'll keep with British English and all its pecularities thank you very much!

I also felt that the recommended websites and contacts in the book's appendices were geared to an American audience. It's clear that the author and publisher want this book to sell in international markets but it comes at the expense of alienating first-time British writers. Most of us would be happy selling books in Britain before branching out into Europe and the rest of the world.

I sent this back and bought Jurgen Wolff's writing guide:
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, now. 28 Feb 2010
There is so much on the internet about writing from blogs to books. Having written some ebooks and then had them proof read, and then worked on them again and then reread, all I can say is if you are serious about writing ebooks and writing non fiction is READ THIS BOOK.

You will save time and energy and get results, having an advance copy of this really polished up our latest book. Suze's advice is exemplary and this is reflected in the books sales, sells threes times as fast as the original version!

Thank you Suze, this is a Godsend.

If you don't want to actually write a book and get it published I suggest you actually read something else, this book means you are going places.

Kevin Arrow
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Fancy Writing A Book? 22 Mar 2010
Whilst you are supping a pint or fancier beverage has the thought vaguely crossed your mind that it would be cool to have written a book? Something to show your mum? Something to help people? Make some money? Promote yourself? But then your mind wanders and you think:

"Well, it would be cool. But that is a lot of words! What would I write? How would I go about it? And who the hell would publish it?"

If you have ever vaguely entertained those thoughts then this book was designed for you. The focus is not on bamboozling you with the creative arts and how you must let your 'inner genius' shine through (like some writing manuals) and in truth, is all the better for it. Instead it is a practical guide written with a light touch, good humour and not a little common sense about how to write non-fiction from a writer who has 20 non-fiction titles to her credit.

Once you connect the dots about writing non-fiction (I have so far written and published one non-fiction book (more to come), so I have had a glimpse at the hallowed land of publishing). You really start to 'get' on an an instinctive level that if you have something genuinely valuable to share and a passion to share it that this is perfectly do-able. In reality the hardest part is getting started, and that is where books like this can help.

It takes a step by step approach from coming up with an idea for your book, figuring out the title (Sidenote - The title is generally less then 10 words, so even if you are taking 'baby steps' with writing then you can get that wrapped up and feel like you have accomplished something meaningful!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You want to write a book? Buy this one first. 8 April 2010
By Sofakat
There are dozens of 'How To...' books out there, but few which really get down to the truth of what it takes to write a book yourself. If I want to learn something new I'd rather go to someone who has mastered the art, several times over. And I'd want to know the whole truth. Suzan St Maur tells you the whole truth, and gives you the inside track, but the difference is she does it with immense style and good humour. This is no lazy publish-by-numbers book. It's the perfect blueprint.

This author knows her stuff, and she's never pompous or patronising about it. She is very funny and honest, cuts to the core of her subject, gives you all the information you need and provides you with a sane and sensible structure to work with. She is a master of her art, a superb writer and a wise and generous 'pal in print'.

You will have to work your butt off to get there. Writing a book is not an easy ride, but if you have this kind of expertise to hand - and you take her advice - you might actually achieve something truly worthwhile. You'll know the best angles, the pitfalls and the realities. You'll learn how to think things through properly - and you'll probably end up surprising yourself. If you are serious about getting yourself into print buy this book. Highly recommended.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Its just ok.
Published 23 days ago by Edwin Caldwell
1.0 out of 5 stars Not impressed
I found the book quite shoddy in design, as if it had been created on a computer and simply printed off - being printed in a sort of grey arial font on white paper. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Skywood
5.0 out of 5 stars From scraps of paper to a book in your hand - it's all possible
I can't really remember reading the reviews before buying this book in 2011 so I'm astonished to see now that so many people found a negative review useful. Read more
Published on 29 Jun 2012 by A Redpath
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for your business professional development library or every...
I am currently in the process of writing my first full book due to be published next year after having written many reports and several ebooks over the years. Read more
Published on 17 July 2011 by Mrs. Elizabeth A. Graney
5.0 out of 5 stars Straightforward, No-nonsense Advice
Suzan has written an excellent book, full of straightforward and useful hints and tips for writing non-fiction. Read more
Published on 24 Jan 2011 by Ms. E. Holmes-ievers
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect timing!
Suze's book could not have appeared at a better time. Like many other business-owners, I am currently writing my first non-fiction book. Read more
Published on 27 Oct 2010 by JA Barrie
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book for beginners and experienced writers alike!
I have really enjoyed reading this book. It is very well written, straightforward and practical. It is also the first book that has actually motivated me to get started! Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2010 by AMAZING BOOKS FOR YOU
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and informative
I really enjoyed this book. It's packed with information and put across in a humourous and conversational style which makes for easy reading. Read more
Published on 2 April 2010 by R. Terry
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book!
An excellent and informative book and I wish this book was around when I wrote mine......it would have saved me many wasted hours trying to find the right publisher. Read more
Published on 10 Mar 2010 by Darren Couchman
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