How to write a unique nonfiction book. Or, ‘Help! Someone has already written my book’

Have you ever read a fantastic book and thought ‘I wish I’d written that!’ or, ‘that was exactly what I was going to write about!’?

This is just a reminder that it’s ok to join the conversation that someone has already started!

With a background in telling research stories, I am pretty used to joining conversations.

Because no research is created in a vacuum. The whole point is to build on what’s gone before and make what are actually tiny steps in the progression of knowledge.

It’s the same with books.

Books on library shelf. No book is written in a vacuum. How to write a unique nonfiction book.
No book is written in a vacuum

So when aspiring authors come to me worried that their book has already been written, I’m confident that this isn’t the case.

Although sometimes it may feel like that when we start looking around to see where our book would sit on the shelf.

All authors will have a different angle, story, voice or experience.

And your book will be unique to you!

In fact, the more you can position your nonfiction book in the wider conversation, the better.

It only serves to make your argument stronger (and yes, you will have an argument). So it’s wonderful that other authors are writing about your topic!

Comparisonitis is a real problem for aspiring authors. But remember, all published authors were at the beginning of their journey once. We just need to be brave enough to join the conversation.

It was an absolute joy to dive into this topic with editor and nonfiction author Kris Emery when we chatted for my podcast.

Non-fiction editor Kris Emery on the podcast

We talked about what to do if you think your book has already been written, why conversational style isn’t the only way to write and the importance of citing your sources generously.

Kris also gives us a mini master class in hook writing.

Listen in and I’m sure you’ll learn as much as I did!

Comment below and let me know what you think and what else you’d like to hear about on the podcast!

Published by Dr Lizzy Tanguay

Editor | Writing Coach | Applied Linguist

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