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What are some good ideas for writing books?

I hear it’s easier to make money writing nonfiction than fiction.....

But with fiction you can come up with new ideas....

With nonfiction, unless the book is about your own life, aren’t all the ideas taken?

How can you stand out with new or unique material?  

7 Answers

  • Amber
    Lv 6
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    With non-fiction you are expected to have experience and qualifications (high ones like PhD's) as people are reading to learn as well as be entertained. 

    You need to have experienced a history life event like the Holocaust, a major war, Titanic...something that would interest people to see what it was like for the everyday person surviving such an event. Don't saying you have to go back to old events, just that you need to have lived through something that stands out.

    Or you're some kind of celebrity. No one is interested in the "life" story of a 14 yr old girl with angst who suffered depression ( I see that a lot). The best you can do with that is upload it to some writing forum. Otherwise no one will be interested. 

    For fiction it's like making a cake. If you miss an ingredient the cake wont be as good. The skill of the writer is important, but so is the imagination. I've put down a few well written books because they were just cliche - nothing different. It takes work. You have to be well versed in the genre you're writing and see what hasn't been covered very much. What is the status que and why is it there? What could you add?

  • ?
    Lv 6
    1 month ago

    Write About What Pisses You Off Most. ...

    Do Something Remarkable, Then Write About It. ...

    Start a Blog and Write Chapters One Post at a Time. ...

    Create a Podcast and Write a Book Based on What You've Learned from Guests. ...

    Write and Self-Publish a Short eBook to Test the Waters.

  • 1 month ago

    Are you a celebrity?

    If not, the date on "non-fiction" making you money is heavily skewed.

    Unless you write kook books for right wingers, they'll throw their money at you.

  • 1 month ago

    Obvious answer is obvious. The way you stand out with new or unique material is to come up with something new and/or unique. Good luck with that.

    I agree with all the previous answers. Nonfiction requires qualifications, often educational, and direct experience. There's research and often interviews, travel to view original documents/sources/places. Organization around a core concept. Deciding on a message based on that core. And there's that nasty requirement about having something fresh to say.

    The way the few nonfiction authors I know do it is to become experts at something, often a very narrow something. (My acquaintance who's a Pulitzer Prize winner delved deeper into tax law and how if affects businesses than anyone had. He's a journalist, not a lawyer.) You learn everything there is to know about something that might be of public interest. And if it's not enduring interest (politics, social issues, etc. move fast), you work like a demon to get it out there while there's still any interest remaining.

    Bottom line, again agreeing with others, is that if your goal is to make a buck, this isn't going to do it for you.

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  • Marli
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    The big problems regarding writing non-fiction books are that you have to be qualified in the field you are writing about and you have to do a ton of research. 

    One writer with  whom I am  acquainted (very slightly but we know each others names and I have gone to her lectures)  has post-graduate degrees in history and food science, is a qualified chef, and has worked in historic houses as a cooking demonstrator and culinary researcher for years before she wrote her books about historical cookery.

    She is not just any fan of historical cookery, and her qualifications and work history make her two books sellable. One looks for those things in a non-fiction writer's blurb or on the internet.

    She does not live off her books. Culinary history is rather a niche subject.  I doubt many non-fiction wrters live off their royalty cheques alone.  

  • 1 month ago

    I'm sorry to sound negative, but clearly you *have* no "new ideas". Asking, "Aren't all the ideas taken?" only shows your complete unsuitability even to *think* about writing.

    I may be wrong. In any case, please read Zac Z's immensely sensible and realistic post very carefully.

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    I hate to be that guy but if you're in for the money, writing books is not a good idea.

    In all likelihood you'd be better off flipping burgers at McD. I'm serious here (and this isn't meant as a derogatory remark, as I myself have worked at McD as a young adult to make some money before going to college).

    Of course, one can make money writing books; and some make shitloads of money. But most aspiring writers don't.

    Judging from the details, I don't see what you have to offer in the non-fiction market that would make your book a money-generating bestseller.

    For example, I'll be interested in popular science books - by people who know what they are talking about!!! Researchers/scientists writing about their field. That kind of thing.

    Or also political books, again, written by competent people, such as journalists (or maybe a person with insider knowledge).

    No offense, but none of this seems to apply to you. You don't seem to have any (access to) knowledge that other random people not also have.

    Sure, you could start doing research about a special topic but that won't be of enough interest to generate the amount of sales to make loads of money.

    You could still be that one-in-a-million person who serendipitously finds a bestselling idea. But I doubt it. And you can't count on it.

    Hence my remark about working at McD which, if not known for turning people into millionaires, at least provides a stable income allowing you to, pardon the pun, put food on the table.

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