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  1. #1
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    Is Non-Fiction Writing Dead

    In this forum there are very few non-fiction threads. Is this an indication of a lack of non-fiction authors or that non-fiction is not worth discussing?

    In general it takes a lot more for a non-fiction book to be a success than a fiction title. People don't tend to dip in to try non-fiction in the same way they do for fiction.
    On the other hand non-fiction writing has, perhaps, a better spin-off market (lecture tours and the like). I have certainly made a lot more money from lectures and guiding walks than I have directly from my books.
    What are your experiences?

    Please forgive my melodramatic thread title. Perhaps it will provoke some good responses...

  2. #2
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    Depends on what kind of non-fiction you mean. I'm a technical writer. That's non-fiction. I make all my money from writing and illustration, zero from lectures. I have a friend who writes how-to books - all writing, no lectures. I have a professor friend who writes history - makes about 10% on writing, 90% on lectures. So it depends on the genre of non-fiction, and whether it's easily adaptable to a lecture format.

  3. #3
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    That makes sense. My two areas are archaeology and physics; both have a ready application outside of the books.

  4. #4
    Senior Member John Oberon's Avatar
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    I was wondering about your area of expertise from your handle. I was a certified nut about archaeology from about the age of 10 to 16, but then girls cooled that area down and heated up another, lol. I still think about going on a dig and finding something spectacular. They found a mastadon skeleton on a farm not far from me, and they're organizing a dig. Wish I could help with that, but they're all hush-hush about the exact location because they don't want curiosity seekers tramping through the field.

  5. #5
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    I don't know about round your way, but here there are quite frequent 'have a go' days. Its worth looking.

    The majority of my books have been about landscape archaeology. They describe walking routes in Britain's uplands and the archaeological sites they visit.

  6. #6
    Junior Member Marci Mathers's Avatar
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    As a teacher, I see non-fiction as the boom genre. Most of what we are teaching kids (no political Common Core rants, please!) involves reading and writing non-fiction. It has gotten to the point that a university literature professor I know laments the demise of pleasure reading.

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