Researching Your Non-Fiction Book

non-fictionBefore you even commit a single word to page, consider what information is already available on your topic. “Know thy competition.”

  • Public Library Shelves – here you can find a taste of current releases and materials that have kept their “shelf value” to be maintained longer than a year of two
  • Academic Library Shelves – here you can find a wealth of current and older materials – IF the institution has classes that benefit from information on your topic
  • Book Stores – here you can find a wealth of current releases – some worthy of reading for your topic’s sake, and others worthy of reading to learn what pitfalls you should avoid in your approach to the topic. Don’t forget magazines and journals!
  • Internet search – try Amazon.com to see if there are additionals titles not found in the above resources. Also search for reviews of your favorite materials from browsing those same resources. Many nonfiction titles are springing up in eBook (only) format, because of the significant cost savings for publication. Also check for blogs… this is where “new” information and ideas on topics often gets trickled out in bits and pieces.

And most importantly, keep looking for newly released materials throughout your writing process. There’s nothing worse than opening up The Times on the day your book comes out and finding a huge expose on your topic that contains information you didn’t even touch on in your book!

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