nonfiction books

Nonfiction Books: 12 Best Selling Options

Salmaan Ahmad

Salmaan Ahmad

June 29, 2023

Becoming a published author doesn’t mean that you must write a traditional novel. More nonfiction books was published in 2022 than fiction ones, and this trend doesn’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. And writing nonfiction books is appealing for many authors because nonfiction books can cover a host of topics and some even are created with a literary element, allowing writers to combine storytelling with their book’s factual subjects.

The Appeal of Nonfiction Books

The primary purpose of nonfiction books is to inform the reader, so authors that write nonfiction books typically will have a deep knowledge of their subject area. Many writers also choose to create nonfiction books based on their interests or topics they want to learn more about through research.

But ultimately, nonfiction books are a platform for readers to learn more about a topic, and authors can choose to present a broad overview of their subject, a deep dive into the topic, or even pair facts with a literary perspective.

Popular Types of Nonfiction Books

1. Autobiography

Authors who have an interesting life story may choose to write about themselves in the form of an autobiography. This creative nonfiction genre is usually reserved for someone whose story has a broad appeal like a sports figure, a politician, a famous writer, or someone who is well-known.

Autobiographies are typically filled with short tales that give readers insight into the author’s interesting life and many times these nonfiction books may include original photos or other memorabilia. Writers can creatively present their content in a variety of ways and this flexibility makes autobiographical books appealing to readers and writers alike.

2. Essay

Personal essays are considered both creative and literary forms of nonfiction because authors pen commentary about a subject area but use their own life as the point of reference. An essay takes a specific moment in time, experience, or theme in the author’s life.

The keys to writing a successful personal essay are to be sure to include factual information about your life or experiences and for authors to write authentically, allowing their own voice to take center stage in the essay. But essays should not be boring to read so authors can use literary devices and creativity in this very popular style of nonfiction.

3. Food Writing

From recipes to content that focuses on a particular style of cuisine, nonfiction books in this creative nonfiction genre continue to grow a huge fan base. Writers find traction in food writing when they highlight unique aspects like the culture, geography, or lifestyle connected to a particular food or style of cooking.

And these nonfiction books also leave room for literary and creative input from authors since writing about the people, experiences, and history of food is indelibly intertwined with the food industry.

4. Guides and How-To Manuals

Many authors who have a niche area of expertise write nonfiction books detailing how to complete a specific task, skill, or activity. The guide and how-to manual genre also sometimes combines photography or other visuals and text to show the reader how the process looks during different stages, but many guides just rely on engaging text to keep the reader’s attention.

For guides or manuals that will be used by readers often, wire-o binding is often used so that this type of book can conveniently lay flat when opened.

5. History

This potential content for a writer to use in this genre literally grows with each passing day since historical nonfiction includes any book about the past. History books are rooted in facts, but the author’s perspective can easily color the book’s viewpoint. Historical nonfiction books are appealing to writers who like to use a modern lens to teach readers about things that happened in the past.

6. Lyrical Memoir

Authors who have a specific life lesson or theme to convey to readers may utilize the format of a lyrical memoir. This creative literary nonfiction style allows a writer to make their voice and creative writing elements a part of the story itself, increasing the impact of the personal stories in this type of nonfiction book.

7. Memoir

A true memoir gives a writer the chance to present the lessons they have learned in their life experience more straightforwardly than a lyrical memoir. In this nonfiction genre, the author focuses on presenting an event or experience to illustrate what they have learned rather than using the platform to retell their whole life story.

Since memoirs provide only a snapshot of a moment in time, authors often pen memoirs when something momentous or meaningful happens and provide an opportunity to teach others what they have learned.

8. Narrative History

Nonfiction books that capture important historically accurate events but retell them through realistic stories are part of the narrative history genre. This nonfiction genre is a popular avenue for authors to craft engaging tales and compelling characters all through the lens of what a particular time or place was really like.

Historical fiction is similar to narrative history nonfiction, but historical fiction can utilize some creative license with small details and concepts that may not be historically correct. Narrative history, however, is focused on presenting all content factually around the framework of a plausible story.

9. Narrative Journalism

Journalistic writing involves presenting facts about events or important activities and it may be published in print, visually or even through auditory channels like over the radio. But narrative journalism takes this a step further by presenting the content through the stories and voices of those impacted by the event.

This literary nonfiction genre may be a first-hand reporting of an event or a recounting of several stories or experiences of those involved, and combined into one engaging narrative, it reads more like fiction than just the retelling of a newsworthy story.

10. Philosophy

This genre of nonfiction covers different ways of thinking about the world around us. One subgenre of philosophy includes academic texts that might be taught in a higher education classroom like the books written by ancient Greek philosophers.

But the increasingly popular genre of modern philosophy allows authors to examine the world around them and provide readers with insightful contemporary answers to life’s questions. These modern-day authors of philosophy give readers a fresh new take on this long-established genre of nonfiction.

11. Self-Help

Another genre of nonfiction that has become extremely popular in recent years, self-help books give readers insight into a problem and provide them with a workable solution. This non-academic genre is popular with readers because authors can offer help on just about any topic from business to babies. Readers love to seek support and suggestions in self-help books about all aspects of life, and authors who have expertise in even a very narrow field can write self-help books around their knowledge base.

12. Travel Writing

Readers love to hear about hidden travel gems, so a writer who has experienced unique or intriguing locations around the world may want to pen a travel book to introduce readers to their perspective on a specific spot. More than just a travel guide about where to go or which hotel offers a good deal, travel writing transports readers to somewhere fascinating or exotic with sensory-heavy descriptions that take the reader along for the experience.

A writer’s enchanting descriptions bring the reader along to discover the sights, sounds, and feel of another place in the world in a creatively written narrative. Writers who travel can share their insights into a place and the people they meet in a descriptive and engaging way, making this type of nonfiction book just as popular with those seeking travel advice as those just interested in learning about new places, people and cultures.

Writing Nonfiction Books

From autobiographies to travel writing, nonfiction books are popular books with readers and authors alike. Finding the niche that fits your writing style, voice, and interests will help you choose the best nonfiction genre or style of book so you can become a self-published author without having to write a traditional novel.

And while nonfiction books require authors to sometimes complete extensive research to prepare to write a book based on factual content, many authors love this challenge and look forward to creating an interesting book that their readers will love.

And self-publishing your book with a trusted printer like Publishing Xpress will ensure that your nonfiction book looks fantastic and attracts your target audience so the right readers will grab your book to learn about you, your travels, your philosophy on life, or whatever nonfiction topic you choose for your book.

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