Writing a non-fiction book for your business, or to share a message or an interest, can be a daunting process.
You know that want to share your knowledge, but if you have never written a book before, you might not know how to begin. Where do you start?
It’s not as quick and easy as some would have you think, but you can do it.
Social media, networking and email subscription have long been on everyone’s marketing plan. Publishing a book is now the trend.
Many successful businesses have launched their business, or grew their business, by publishing a book.
A book can set a you or your business apart and show your expertise. It can show that you are an authority on a particular subject; that people can turn to you to find the answers they need, either by purchasing your book or by talking to you directly.
Most businesses that have published a book use it as a marketing tool, but not a source of income. A book will most likely not generate a huge profit on its own, but it can bring other benefits to your business.
‘What if I share my writing with someone else? What happens if they steal my idea?’
I get asked this all this time. It's natural for writers to be protective of their work.
But are these writers’ concerns warranted?
And what if you want to use song lyrics in your writing? Or you want to use a quote from someone long passed away that you found on a quote website? Can you?
Who doesn’t have a cookbook in their house? I know I have far too many, but I can’t help myself when I see a new one with beautiful images and yummy recipes. The beauty of a cookbook is that the result of using it is great-tasting food.
Cookbooks are one of the most popular non-fiction genres in publishing. They are in the top five selling categories for e-books on Amazon, despite the ease of googling for a recipe. There’s something comforting about opening a book, choosing a recipe based on pictures of mouth-watering food, and putting it on the stand as you are cooking.
You might buy a cookbook because it’s written by your favourite chef or a famous person, it teaches you new skills in the kitchen, it contains a new style of recipes you want to try, or you trust the author to write recipes that work. Whatever the reason, cookbooks are staying popular.
There are many ways to write a cookbook, but there are some elements that are important to get right.
I always feel like the semicolon is one of the more sophisticated punctuation marks, and also that it scares people a little.
It tends to be used more in formal writing, but it has its place in fiction too. It can be very useful to subtly convey a relationship between two thoughts without using more words.
And there is no need to fear it if you know how to use it correctly.
“Can you give me a quote?”
This is one of the first questions I am usually asked by a potential client.
And rightly so.
A writer will most likely have a budget to work within, and they may want to compare the fees of several editors.
Unfortunately, I can’t just give you a flat rate as a response.
Freelance editors mostly all run their own business and have their own ways of working out what they charge, but below are some of the things that editors take into consideration when working out a quote for a client.
When the student got to school, they realised they had forgotten their lunch.
There are three examples of the singular they in that sentence. Did you notice? Would you have written it any differently?
Of course, I could have written:
When the student got to school, he or she realised he or she had forgotten his or her lunch.
That’s a bit unwieldy! And potentially wrong. But definitely not inclusive.
Italic font was first used in presses in Italy the 1500s and was designed to replicate the handwritten manuscripts of the time. Italic font was used differentiate informal manuscripts created for leisure reading from formal manuscripts, which used Roman type. It wasn’t until the sixteenth century that italic font was used for emphasis.
Today it has several more uses, but it’s important to not overuse it, as this can lead to readability issues, especially when taking into account accessibility.
As an aside, the first letter of italics is pronounced the same as the i in sit – not as eye.
NZE: How to write times and dates.
We all know the rhyme 1, 2, buckle my shoe. 3, 4, knock on the door.
Or should it be One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, knock on the door?
This article is about how to use numbers and numerals within formal and informal writing to make sure it is consistent and easy to read. These rules are not applicable to very technical or scientific writing, and in those cases the appropriate style guide should be referred to.
When using numbers in writing, whether it’s fiction, non-fiction or business documents, the main issue is whether to spell out the number or whether to use figures, but there are some other rules and exceptions to consider.
We use abbreviations and acronyms every day without thinking about them, and we instantly know the meaning of many of them – abbreviations like FAQs, ETA, IQ, DVDs … And today's text language is full of abbreviations LOL (or lol if you are of the younger generation).
When writing, it can be confusing knowing how to write abbreviations and acronyms correctly, and as there are only small style variations, it doesn’t always look wrong to use one or the other.
However, to make your writing look professional, there are some style decisions you will need to make when writing in New Zealand English text, so we’ll have a look at what the options are.
As always, rule number one is to be consistent within a document, and even across all your writing. It doesn’t look professional, and can cause confusion, if you have, for example, 9 am in one place, but
9 a.m. in another.
But first things first: what are abbreviations and acronyms?
Marja Stack is a copy-editor and proofreader based in New Zealand. She is the owner of Clearlingo Editing and Proofreading, which caters to all writers of non-fiction books, business publications and cookbooks. For more information or enquiries for how she can help you make your book shine, please see her website:
New Zealand English Series
- NZE: How to use a semicolon
- NZE: The 'singular they'
- NZE: How to use italics
- NZE: How to write numbers
- NZE: How to write abbreviations
- NZE: How to punctuate dialogue
- NZE: hyphens, en dashes and em dashes
- NZE: How to write times and dates
- NZE: Possessives
- NZE: Is our spelling different?
- NZE: Burned vs Burnt
- NZE: Using Māori words in English text
- NZE: -ise vs -ize endings
- NZE: Single or double quote marks
- NZE: Punctuation inside or outside quotation marks?
The Editing Process
- How to write a non-fiction book that sells
- How to write a book to promote your business
- Copyright and Permissions
- How much does editing cost?
- How to self-publish your book in New Zealand
- When is my book ready for publishing?
- Types of editing
- 5 things to tell your editor
- The revision and editing process
- What are beta readers?
- What to expect when you get your manuscript back
- How to order the pages of a book
- Fact checking fiction writing
- Formatting your manuscript for submission
- How long does it take to edit a book?
- Why I belong to editing associations
- How to write recipes for cookbooks and blogs
- The basics of writing a cookbook
- How to use Tracked Changes in Word
- How to use basic Word Styles
- How to fix common formatting errors in Word