Monday, August 24, 2009

Let’s Try Some Non-Fiction This Time

Non-fiction authors sometimes have an easier time selling their work to publishers. After all, they have a built in audience, and they need only worry about a little more marketing than the average novelist does. This doesn’t make them slackers, though: non-fiction is difficult to write without a great degree of research, and it can be difficult to word non-fiction books so that they appeal to as wide an audience as possible without cheapening or oversimplifying content.

What makes non-fiction books so special? Now is your chance to find out. You have your pick of histories, biographies, true-to-life accounts, inspirational books, and religious books. You cannot use cookbooks, travel guides, or books that do not have a narrative. The key is to review a narrative that is drawn from real life, or that employs little or no fiction.

Critiquing a non-fiction book will also entail asking questions about how well-researched the subject matter is, how logical the book’s flow is, how engaging it is, how much you have learned, the book’s high and low points, the book’s format, and the book’s style. Be sure to write a balanced review, and don’t forget to tell your readers a little bit about the book’s content before you dive headlong into criticizing it.

These are only a few things for you to watch out for when you get that non-fiction book for your review. So pick it up from the bookstore, get it from your library, pull it out of your bookshelf, or simply borrow it from a friend. By reviewing a non-fiction book, you also widen your reading base and add to your knowledge. With a bigger knowledge base, who knows? You might write a better novel in the future.

Good luck, happy writing, and happy reviewing!

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