All successful non-fiction authors seem to have one thing in common. They are all experts on the material that they write about. They know the topic as well as the back of their hand. But more importantly, they have convinced others of the fact that they are experts in their fields. It is this credibility that leads others to trust them enough to buy their written works and to immerse themselves in the knowledge that these authors provide.
Now, do you need to have a Ph. D. to write a non-fiction book? Of course not! Many authors do, and the title carries a lot of weight, but, if you are like most people, and do not have an advanced degree in a specific field you will need to do a little leg work to establish credibility. Take a moment and jot down a few things you consider yourself to be an expert on. Maybe you have a great deal of knowledge in gardening. Maybe you know everything there is to know about fantasy football. Or maybe your child was diagnosed with an illness and you have devoured every book and webpage on the topic. Whatever the case, everyone is an expert on something.
Now it is time, even before you begin writing your book, for you to identify your area of expertise and begin sharing it. You can do this in many different ways, but we will provide three very effective ones just to get you started.
Here are three solid ways to build credibility as a writer:
1. Create a website or blog about the subject. This will allow potential future book buyers and editors alike, to see that you have a great deal of information to share within your area of interest making you an expert on the topic.
2. Create a workshop or seminar and present it to people within your niche. For example, if you had a child that was diagnosed with a learning disability then I’m willing to bet you know more than any professional in the field does about this condition. Offer to visit schools, daycares, libraries, support groups, etc and present information that the staff and other parents will need to know to more effectively meet these children’s needs.
3. Use social media such as Facebook and twitter to promote your website and seminars. Having a strong social media presence will help you along your writing journey to becoming a well respected author within your niche.
By taking the time to do these 3 things you will effectively establish your credibility on the subject of your choice. And that is the first challenge every non-fiction writer must overcome.
Can you think of other ways to establish credibility within your niche? If so, we would love to hear your ideas in the comments below!