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Book Writing for Non-fiction – How To Complete Your Manuscript – Part 3

Concept stage

Part 3 – Complete your manuscript

If you have already read Part 2, you will want to complete your draft manuscript. Having developed a skeleton manuscript in Part 1 including detailed writing of the first 4 sections, and prepping your manuscript to a more readable format you now need to finish it off ready for our editing service, or move onto our Base module.

Padding

Now you have a skeleton manuscript, your next step is to flesh out your content to complete your book ready for the next stage. The important thing here is to NOT waffle, but to use your padding to deepen the understanding of your concept, utilise your expert knowledge to its fullest while maintaining readability. Readers will quickly lose interest if the book becomes stalled by waffle. Add content where it enhances or eases the readers understanding of your message. There are a few ways we can do this…

Ways of drawing attention to key content

If you have an interesting side point to make, consider using a breakout box. This is a small box that stands out due to its graphical treatment – great for links, videos, further reading and side points for further consideration. They can also be used to refer to other sections and phrases within your book.

Even WordPress has a way of doing this by using block quotes, and here on Kissed Off we use these either for key reviews, authors comments and more.

A picture speaks a hundred words. This is especially true with training titles, as they can often communicate How To content more effectively than paragraphs of text. Consider a step-by-step series of images on how to do your instructions. Images are also a much more engaging way to express data, as well as letting the reader draw their own conclusions to the data you provide through charts, graphs and infographics. Images could be an inherent part of your entire book, or just used in a key section to underline part of your content. They can also be used as background imagery to signify changes in content between chapters – like visual chapter headings.

If a picture speaks a hundred words, video can speak thousands! Especially true with tutorials with particularly detailed, complex or critical instructions, videos can often be a quicker and easier way to express educational content. They can feature either recorded or animated content and will be hosted online and/or embedded into your book (depending on format/platform). These can either be placed in a breakout box (for more information watch… ) or as a key part of your content within your main text stream (this is as important as the rest of the book…).

Over the next few years, we will also see an increasing use of audio within eBook titles – either to add engagement with content, aid accessibility to key sections as well as being used for audio centred content.

With the use of interactivity increasing with eBooks, it is important to consider this fully as part of your complete manuscript.

Other ways of adding padding to your content

One of the first ways to add more to your content is to use quantifiable data from third parties to strengthen your content. You can do this either by external linking, or by using their content with permission (as the Author, you must seek this and prove you have done this to Kissed Off prior to publication). If using their content, we can restyle their data to suit your book’s design, or we can use their styling if you prefer and either use the original interpretation of data, or adapt it to your own interpretation. You could either use the data in its complete or abbreviated form.

Another way of adding weight to your content is to utilise expert opinion. Again, you will need to ensure you have the relevant permission and accredit them correctly within your content (this may include any external link they request). By using expert opinion to back up your content, the reader understands the point is credible and will look more seriously at how to implement it.

Likewise, you could use a third-party opinion which is opposite to your content to add a method of debate to your book and to show why your opinion is the more correct, or best practice, interpretation.

You could also utilise your internet based research as a method of providing further reading, as well as backing your viewpoint.

If your content is particularly complex or uses specialised terminology consider adding a Glossary to aid your reader. Likewise, instead of using complex terminology, consider how you can write in simpler terms. This can often, by its inherent nature, pad your content through more in-depth explanation of individual concepts. What seems simple to you, may not seem so simple to your reader.

Consider including your personal opinion as well as your professional opinion. This may not be appropriate for all titles, but it does allow your reader to connect with you as an Author and as an individual.

Re-read your content

Once you’ve completed the first draft of your content, go back through and read it from start to finish with fresh eyes. This will highlight to you any content you may have missed that you need to include. Make sure you have covered all the points in How To Do sections, any references are listed and that your content flows in a natural manner. Next, you will need to check your fundamental basics – spelling (don’t rely on spellcheck-especially for advanced terminology) and grammar, styling hierarchy and links (make sure any external links are still current and are linking to the correct content).

Once you are happy with your manuscript, ask a friend, family member or respected colleague to read your book. This will highlight readability, missing content, understanding and potentially errors you may have missed due to the familiarity with your content. If possible, get 2-3 people to view your manuscript from different backgrounds as we all read books differently and have varying degrees of knowledge.

Contact Kissed Off

At this stage we would look at drawing up (or amending) your Advanced Information Sheet. We would also be able to give you an idea on page counts, print run costs and more. You may also want to consider our Edit module, where we will also run through your manuscript for you and suggest any areas for improvement, additional content you may wish to consider or fundamental areas for improvement. Our edit module can affordably cut down any additional time that would be required in later stages of the book due to major amends and so forth, and we would strongly recommend this module for first time writers. For those that choose to advance directly to our Base module, we will carry out a basic spell check and grammar check only.

Publishing doesn't have to be difficult with Kissed Off Creations Ltd

If you want help with getting to this stage, consider either our write module or our curate module.