Writing Tips How to

Are you looking for writing tips for a general “all about book? “The first thing you need to know is that it can’t be too general.  Actually, the worst mistake you could make would be presenting a generic overview and leaving it at that. I have a colleague who wrote an all about pickleball book. This topic draws on the fascination with this sport.

Your job is to present a solid overview that gives an accurate snapshot of your topic.  For instance, spice it up with fascinating and little-known facts, easy methods for performing tasks your topic might involve, and imparting tips to make learning the subject easier.

Above all, you need to teach or entertain your reader.  They should feel like sharing information from your book with friends and family.  For example, “Did you know this fact I learned from reading an all about book?”

Writing Tips on How to Structure Your “All About” Book

Start with something important about the topic  

Grab your reader’s attention straight away with the promise of lively writing – and more information/goodies to come.

For example, “They laughed at Philippa Langley when she insisted King Richard III was buried in a parking lot under a space marked with the letter “R”…”

Give a brief historical overview

Touch only on important or truly fascinating (and preferably little-known) facts.

Tell the reader what you intend to share about the subject

Use the first few paragraphs of your book to tell them what to expect, without going into deep detail that you will reveal in later chapters.

Break your book down into chapters, sub-topic by sub-topic, to fulfill this promise. 

The more carefully you plan your outline, the stronger and more cohesive your “all about” book will be.

Big Writing Tips – Keep the reader in mind  

If your book is intended as a piece of colorful “human interest” reading, don’t devote three chapters to a scientific treatise on mitochondrial DNA, when telling that scientists managed to confirm that the skeleton in our example (Point # 1) was indeed King Richard III of England.  Instead, just touch on it but stretch the search for living descendants, and how one was located three thousand miles away in Canada.

A book slanted at thirty-five-year-old women is going to be a lot different than one meant for grade six students.

Many people start with a historical or scientific perspective, depending on the topic. But that can be a dry, predictable way to start your “All About” book, so do see if the anecdote variation works for you.

Writing Tips for a “What You Need to Know About…” Book

You can use the tips for the “All About books” in your “What You Need to Know About”

You must be clear on the purpose of your “what you need to know” book.  Then exclude any material that doesn’t further that goal.

Be especially on the alert for material that could cause confusion.  “The purpose” not only includes the topic you’re dealing with but also in broader terms what the book is meant to do.

For example:

  • Entertain
  •  Educate
  • Kick-start
  • Solve problems

And so forth.

Begin by telling your reader what you want to share and give any general instructions.

Finish by re-affirming that you have shared what they needed to know.

These writing tips will help you create your “All About” or “What You Need to Know” book. Create a simple outline of the book, and then fill in the details and information until you have satisfied the promise for your reader.

Pat Iyer loves to write books. Share your thoughts about writing an all about book.