Book Review by Sapphire Ng
The Complete Guide to Writing Nonfiction
by American Society of Journalists and Authors
Reprint Edition March 1988
The Complete Guide to Writing Nonfiction lives up to its promise of being comprehensive, laden from cover to cover with information you are bound to find useful and intimately applicable in your journey pursuing a freelance career in nonfiction writing.
No matter your area of niche or interest, you are sure to find information in the book relevant to you - part II of the book covers writing about Science and High Tech, Environment and Energy, Medicine and Health, Psychology, Religion, Women's Markets, Food and Nutrition, Home and Garden, Hobbies and Crafts, Young People, Sports, Travel and Leisure, Consumer, Business and Finance, and Trades.
The book brims with captivating narratives and advice from practitioners who made a living writing nonfiction; the majority of whom relentlessly emphasize the value of perseverance to achieving a fruitful and satisfying career.
Learn the difference between being a generalist or a specialist writer and the arguments for each; absorb the wisdom of writing as generously dispensed throughout the book; commit to memory the importance of research and fact-checking to a writer's credibility and survival in the industry; be educated on the importance of utilizing references such as Writer's Market and Literary Market Place; and be persuaded that ideas can be generated from literally anywhere.
Highly recommended for the newcomer, and the more experienced nonfiction writers considering entering a different specialization. Also recommended for the general reader looking to understand the nuts and bolts of the vibrant and multi-faceted publishing industry, and the difference in financial compensation from selling articles to women's versus finance magazines.
As expressed in many forms throughout the book, being a professional writer is about being in the industry of organizing and packaging information. Most of the time you are not obligatory to have any prior specialized knowledge. It is the ability to be tenacious in continuously honing your writing skills, in carrying out diligent research, and in presenting the information appropriately to your target audience that you are granted the power to influence the world in ways you never imagined.
Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to the publisher nor the authors of the book. This book review is the result of my personal reading and honest opinion.