Not everyone is as lucky as fiction writers, who can get away with being pantsers.
That’s writer-speak for “drafting by the seat of your pants” instead of following an outline — and it’s virtually impossible in nonfiction.
Nonfiction demands the use of facts and flesh-and-blood experiences that can’t be dreamed up on the page. There’s no other way to keep your facts straight and build them into a compelling narrative: you have to know how to outline a nonfiction book.
In this article, I’ll show you exactly how to do that.
Even authors who’ve been writing and selling books for years can benefit from split-testing their book covers.
Take Trevol Swift, for example. Author of two previous books in the Justicar Jhee series, Swift took the third book to PickFu to find out which cover stood out best. Swift wisely tested with an audience of 50 fiction readers, stating that the book is a science fiction murder mystery.
Option A features a mysterious purple cover with a cityscape, water, and a moon (or two?).
In Option B, the cityscape changes. Swift does away with the enclosed feeling of the first cover but retains many of the same elements, including the super-cool type treatment of the author’s name and book title.
Have you ever run a poll on PickFu and received razor-close results? Even without a clear “winner,” it’s likely that once you take a closer look into the answers, you’ll find intriguing trends — just like one author recently did.
In this PickFu poll, author Michael Sean Comerford asked a general audience of 50 people, “Which book would you buy?”
For many authors, one of the most exciting parts of seeing their novels travel the road to publication is watching the creation of a book cover. In traditional publishing, the author rarely has any say in what the cover looks like. But that’s not true in self-publishing. And with PickFu, you can make sure the cover you choose for your book resonates with your target audience.
Take the case of a recent PickFu poll, in which an author tested covers for a time travel book aimed at tween girls. The poll asked a group of parents who are Christian and between the ages of 18 and 44 which fantasy book cover they prefer.
Option A shows the silhouettes of four girls striking a fierce pose.
Be careful what you name your book. Bad self-help book titles can be a real turn-off for potential readers. You’ve got to get your title just right.
One author recently discovered this lesson while testing titles for a self-help book on PickFu. This author wisely asked 100 people who read at least one book a month for votes and opinions on these three potential titles.