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builder
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PostSubject: Non fiction authors   Sat Apr 25, 2009 9:24 am

Hi

Just wanted to start a topic on non fiction as it seems to be more fiction writers on this site. And I would like to encourage all non fiction authors both published or in the process to contribute on non fiction writing.

I like non fiction and have some plans for books. In order for someone to write a non fiction book, they must have some kind of knowledge in the subject or more knowledgable than others. This is what I think. However, is this true? could there be writers who go and research a subject they don't know anything about and write it.

I ask this, because even though I enjoy the writing process, I believe my knowledge limits the amount of books I write. Also, will limit the number of subjects. Since we cannot be an expert on everything.

Do any non fiction writers face the same issue?

Also according to some famous non fiction authors, they tell us that we should bring out books related to the same subject as our previous book. I have thought about this. It seems to make book writing (to me) rather boring if we have to bring out the same book in a different angle every time. Just like Stephen King will usually only write Horror stories. But just changed in a different angle and story. I guess this is common sense, creates a following and builds up your reader base. Can writers give thoughts on this?

I am thinking of writing in a number of areas. But not sure if this is right. Some writers do write about multiple subjects but not sure about their actual success? What do you think?
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Sat Apr 25, 2009 6:21 pm

As a non-fiction writer, who crosses over to other genres, I believe that you can research something and write about it. I also think you can write about what you have experienced or know most about.

I don't believe that there is any set rule as to what subjects we should write.

I was blessed to channel my book, and the next one that is similar to it. I am finding that my other books are more difficult, especially the fiction, to write. But then that is me. With non-fiction the words just flow. With fiction I struggle. Maybe because I am not that enmeshed in it.

Stephen King also wrote a non-fiction book on writing. So he didn't stick to horror fiction either, did he? *grin*

Go with what YOU feel. Trust YOUR gut. You can't go wrong that way.
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builder
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Sun Apr 26, 2009 3:52 am

I so wish I could love fiction. But I don't. This may be because I know that stories are just made up. If you could turn me on to fiction some way, do try. Yes I do know Stephen King did wrote that non fiction book but was that late in his career. Just a one off book then.

You write non fiction too. Will you share with me what you wrote? As with you said go with what we feel, gut and we cannot go wrong, are u sure about that? Publishing is a business and writing a subject that very few people want to read wll make the book difficult to sell. But then we can't just write on hot topics because we have to be somewhat an expert on it.

I am not so keen on writing multiple subjects. But I will have to see how I do. Also, you seem experienced. Sometimes I think is it worth writing a book. How lucrative is this business? Could you give some comments on fiction and non fiction from your experience?
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Dick Stodghill
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Sun Apr 26, 2009 5:50 am

If you are in it for the money, there are many easier ways to make it. As Hemingway said, writing is the hardest job in the world.
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Sue
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Sun Apr 26, 2009 12:43 pm

I agree with Dick. If you are in it for the money, well.... I tell authors that come to me that if they are in it for the money then they have two choices: keep their day job or just plain give it up. It is rare, in these days, that an author can make a living writing. It can be done, but it is rare.

Pardon me if I am inaccurate here, but you sound as though patience is not one of your virtues. That is the main resource you need in order to be successful in any way with writing as a profession.

If you are writing strictly for profit, and not for yourself, then non-fiction is the genre, and research, research, research is your life.

Oh, yes, on your question about what I wrote. I wrote a motivational/self-help/spiritual book entitled Life is Like Making Chocolate Chip Cookies. You can learn more about it at my publishers site listed in my signature below.

Hope I have been able to help you somewhat.
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Sun Apr 26, 2009 2:45 pm

Fortunately non fiction is what I am interested in. Not that I wouldn't like to write fiction, just can't. I find reading a novel a challenge.

As for patience, I think we need that in anything we do in life. I will take a look at your book, I think I have heard of it.

Thanks
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W. Lane Rogers
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Mon Apr 27, 2009 12:23 pm

builder wrote: In order for someone to write a non fiction book, they must have some kind of knowledge in the subject....

It's helpful.
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builder
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Mon Apr 27, 2009 1:23 pm

is it
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Pam
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:00 pm

Builder, what area of non-fiction are you currently writing about (or thinking about)? In my experience, it always helped to start out with what I knew, and then to build on that through research, learn and teach about a topic as part of a way to learn more about it.

If you write non-fiction about a topic you do not have any expertise in, how will you make sure your content is enriched so that people can learn or benefit from it?

If you could share some of you thoughts, it'd be helpful.
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builder
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:54 am

I have written on business and I do have experience. I am considering other projects and again I have experience for those subjects. I have also thought about bringing a book out to follow on from the first business title. But not so easy cos for example a book on running a hotel or other business etc.

Many authors have written on business and have been one off titles. Any suggestions for the follow on title?
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 3:03 am

I think we would need to know the title being followed, wouldn't we?

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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:54 am

How to start and run a business
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builder
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:55 am

I have one, how to start and run a business for writers
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:42 am

My first book, "To Beirut and Back," is a true story. Nothing fabricated. Even with that true story, there was background information required, i.e., information of an historical nature to give the reader a perspective of the area and events occurring during the time of the story. I don't believe any story can be written without some research. Even a family history requires it.
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 7:26 am

I googled "How to start and run a business" and found nothing. Amazon drew a blank too. So, what is the title of your book?

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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 11:40 am

Thankyou for caring about my title
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 1:49 pm

builder wrote:
Thankyou for caring about my title
Funny title for a book. Why are you being so coy? If the book is on Amazon, why can we not check it out?

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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:27 pm

Is that you in the picture?
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Tue Apr 28, 2009 2:45 pm

Yes. My wee friend (from Brunei) is the daughter of one of my husband's former master degree students.

You should add a picture. We'd love to see you.

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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:32 am

builder wrote:
Thankyou for caring about my title

Builder,

You will find we are a very caring bunch.

I do not understand you plea for understanding.

Writers of non-fiction would absolutely have to know something about their topic or it would be a work of fiction.
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builder
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Wed Apr 29, 2009 8:38 am

Well thank you for your comment Alice. I am aware that in order to write non fiction we must know something about the topic. Do you write fiction or non fiction then?
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:13 am

What is the title of your book and the name of the author?

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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Wed Apr 29, 2009 10:56 am

builder wrote:
Well thank you for your comment Alice. I am aware that in order to write non fiction we must know something about the topic. Do you write fiction or non fiction then?

I wrote one non-fiction book. I am a retired accountant and book writing is too hard for me.

Crunching numbers is far easier and when you are through you know you are either right or wrong.

Perfection is easily attained in accounting. You know how far off you are.
You can choose to hunt for a dime or let it go--I loved the thrill of the chase.


Last edited by Alice on Wed Apr 29, 2009 12:34 pm; edited 2 times in total
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W. Lane Rogers
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:37 am

It's altogether possible, Shelagh, that there is no title, no book, no author.
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Abe F. March
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PostSubject: Re: Non fiction authors   Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:41 am

I was thinking the same thing. He has avoided Shelagh's question twice.
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