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How to Write a How to Book

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The "How To" section of major bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble have expanded in recent years. How To series like "For Dummies" and "Complete Idiot's Guides" allow the average person to learn how to fix plumbing problems, learn about American history and use oil paints. Your How To book should reflect the reader-friendly tone of these series while reflecting your knowledge, expertise and writing voice. As you write a How To book, you should search for visual elements and outside advice that will make your publication more interesting.

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Give How to Tips in an Informative and Entertaining Manner

Start your How To book with an overview of your topic. If you are writing about pottery, spend the first chapter highlighting developments in pottery since the first civilizations in the Middle East. Highlight the utility of your activity in modern times to keep readers interested in your instructions.

Demonstrate your qualification for writing a How To book at various points to give weight to your instructions. Write out brief biographical sketches on the back cover and the preface to attract potential readers at bookstores. For example, an auto mechanic should blend in stories about his early professional experiences while writing instructions to make readers more comfortable.

Magnify the importance of following steps in

your How To book by devoting a chapter to each step. A How To book on home building should feature chapters on home design, permitting, excavation, plumbing, carpentry and other steps to give readers a complete picture. Use each chapter to highlight different ways to approach each step along with warning signs that the step was not completed properly.

Sprinkle personal anecdotes into your How To book to add some color to bland instructions. Use stories from your colleagues and clients along with personal experiences to show the pitfalls of completing your How To steps without experience. Anecdotes work best in How To books on topics like auto maintenance and interior design where most readers may encounter problems.

Add illustrations and photos to your How To book for visual learners in your audience. Reserve illustrations for particularly complex tasks as well as explanations of mechanical processes that are difficult to comprehend through words. You can ask your publisher for assistance through their network of contractors or hire an artist to create renderings that match your instructions.

Organize websites, books and organizations into a list for inclusion at the end of your How To book. Direct your readers to these resources if they have additional questions, need assistance for household tasks or want to get educated before pursuing a new activity.

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