When starting a non-fiction book, your first step is to come up with a great idea for the book. Make sure it is broad enough to write a whole book about it. And, on the other hand, ensure that it isn’t too broad to be contained within just one volume. You want to estimate the size of your book pretty accurately. If it’s too short, you may have to turn it into a pamphlet or brochure. If it’s too broad, it will be more expensive to produce and will take longer to write.
Do a little market research… Before you get too far along in the process, go online to book stores or go to the nearest brick and mortar book store and research the topic of your book. Look to see how many other books there are on that same topic. Is the market flooded with books? If so, you may want to refine your topic. Are there books out there written by well-known authorities in the field? If so, would you rather buy their book or yours.
After you check out the marketability of your book and determine you want to write it, begin to put your ideas down on paper. Here are just the beginning steps of writing a non-fiction book:
1. Make a topic outline of the book. This means to list the title (working title) for your book at the top of the page and under it list the main topics in the most logical order. These will be your initial topics for your chapters. Under each main topic, list the points you will cover in that chapter. If you want to take it one step further, under each point, list as many details you can without doing research.
2. Take this outline and find research resources for each of them and list those resources under the appropriate chapter.
3. Read through the content of those resources, making notes about points you will want to cover in the book. You can do this on note cards or on the computer.
4. Organize the notes you’ve made under the appropriate chapters in the book.
5. Start writing a rough draft of the book from top to bottom.
These are the beginning steps of developing a non-fiction book. It takes quite a bit of time to get through these steps, so don’t be discouraged. By the time you make it through these steps, you’ll have a very rough draft for your book and be on your way.