After three years of writing fiction, and only earning $25, I switched to nonfiction writing to make a living. Ten years later, I received an $18,000 check for a self-published nonfiction book.
Other reasons why you should write nonfiction:
1. Most Published Writing is Nonfiction. By some estimates, 90% of all published writing is nonfiction: articles, blogs, essays, fillers, features, travel, and more. The maws of those monstrous markets must be stuffed regularly, markedly increasing your chances of selling your writing.
2. Nonfiction Suits Every Ability Level. Nonfiction allows writers of almost every writing ability to sell their work–very basic to very polished–depending on the publication. See your name in print, make money, and receive incentive to write more. And better.
3. Nonfiction Encompasses All Ideas. Everything you could possibly be interested in is covered under nonfiction’s umbrella. I’ve sold pieces on toy tractors, gold in N.D., houseboating in Florida, world postal systems, and many more. You can, too.
4. Nonfiction Broadens Your Information Base. Writing nonfiction requires researching facts, opening up new worlds of information, and adding to your storehouse of knowledge–which can be reused in other pieces.
5. Nonfiction Books Are in Demand. Thousands of nonfiction books are published each year in the U.S. A good idea with concentrated energy and work can help you publish a nonfiction book, and earn a profit doing so.
6. The How of Nonfiction Writing Is Clearer. In nonfiction, you choose what you’re writing about, (a toy collector, say), what the piece will include (basic information about the collector, facts about his toys,) and how the piece will be laid out (solid beginning, middle laced with quotes and information, ending which satisfies the reader.) You acquire the information; you manipulate it; you sell it.
7. Nonfiction Writing Is Creative. Just about every fiction creative method–simile, metaphor, alliteration, rhyme, flights of word fancy, even development of character, can be used in nonfiction.
8. Nonfiction Writing Offers a Wide Variety of Types. It’s not unusual, during my writing day, to work on a combination of pieces: interview/profile, how-to, round-up, travel, historical, nostalgia, essay, or others. I hop from one to the next, so my mind stays fresher, I get more done, and I earn more money.
9. Nonfiction Increases Your Chances To Make Money. For the reasons listed above.
- Selling Short Non-Fiction Articles By Claudia Carver
- Publishing Other People’s Non-fiction Stories Can Get You Sued!
- How to Collect and Organize Stories for a Non-Fiction Book
- 10 Paying Creative Non-fiction Markets For Writers: How To Break Into Creative Non-Fiction Writing, Including Links To Paying Markets By Flora Ojow
- From Baseball To Barnyards: Land A Contract Writing Children’s Non-Fiction Books! By Tyler Omoth
Bill Vossler has been a full-time writer for 35 years, and has published more than 3,400 pieces in 231 magazines, along with 16 books. He is working on a memoir and a novel in addition to his regular work.
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