What are the most difficult parts of writing and self-publishing a non-fiction book? I found them to be the last chapter, the inter-connection between chapters, deciding on the amount of factual detail to include (or in fact what not to include), and finally the most difficult of all – marketing and promotion. So I will discuss each of these in turn in the coming weeks.
The Last Chapter
There are many theories on how one ‘rounds off’ one’s writing. Some writers make the last chapter very short – only a page or so, whereas others make the chapter a lengthy and sometimes boring summary and conclusion. How do you make it end so that it does not leave the reader just hanging there? I am not at all happy with my final chapter. It really became a character analysis of the two main characters in my historical bibliography, “Two Squatters” – what they were like, what they had achieved in life. I also placed most of my speculation on matters of their lives when no records are left. For example, who was his first wife, where did she come from. Historical records simply call her ‘Mrs Jennings’. What was her first name? I formed the view that in a non-fiction book you lose integrity if you simply create solutions. The only way therefore is to have a final section covering all these speculative situations, clearly labelled as speculation.
It did occur to me that perhaps one could write another shorter book in which you the author just created a novel around the skeleton of the facts – in fact that would be quite fun to do, although I suspect one would get bored by the repletion of the story.
The Next Book
Changing tacks a little, once I get the marketing and promotion of “Two Squatters” under control , I must get back to writing regularly again. The best way to get that discipline of a daily writing time will be to decide on the next book. Lots of ideas – but limited time.
Next time, I blog I will discuss the difficulties of good interconnection between chapters.
This is Marty Playne signing off for now.