types of book models

Choose the Type of Book to Write

Have the desire to create and share your ideas but not the know-how of writing a book?  Then take a peek at the process of choosing a type (or model) of book to write.

Starting out, mulling over ideas

There are already millions of books published and available on Amazon, so here’s a question: what is the one thing that none of them already have?

Choosing the Best Book Model

Breaking down complex and dry topics, a good writer draws out the ideas for their reader to digest. This is best done with a particular model. If you don’t choose a good model to begin with, your book will wander. It can possibly annoy a reader who likes one type of books, and half-way through the type has changed.


Tips Book

Tips books can be good if prefaced with a note on why you need these tips and how to use the content. Power Marketing was in this style, with 60 tips on marketing a small business, but I extended the part about business advice too much in the front.

A Progression Type Book

This self-help book shows how a person develops an area where they once had no affinity and we see how they develop through a process of discovery, a challenge or adventure. So, some kind of change took place – whether internal or external.

This is apt for a memoir, like My Year of Living Vulnerably (Rick Morton).

The Sleep Fix (Diane Macedo) – tells about her terrible sleeping and investigation into what makes us sleep, and advice on how to fit these new solutions into our lives.

‘How to’ Style, with advice and framework

Insider advice style, with a direct voice (‘you’/’your’) can be ideal for a senior coach or business owner. Usually the focus is on solving the individual’s most common problems and preventing some of the pitfalls in starting out that you witnessed or experienced. It is normally written in the ‘you’ (direct) voice. Excellent examples are:

Ready to Soar by Naomi Simson – Note: this also contains her experience, but we’re looking at proportions here.

Bounce Forward by Sam Cawthorn

Reading these books, you’ll soon see the way the author (with help from an editor) has given the best of their story and also laid out a framework for the readers to follow. Highlighted pull-outs and quotes make it more enjoyable to read and easier to take in.

Exercises Based Style

The reader is taken through from why they must change, to various exercises that will help them self-develop and envision. If you want them to overcome fear of something, then helping through a particular exercise like NLP, anchoring, etc, will help them to do this.

These can be little exercise walk-throughs at the end of some case study examples and inspiring content.


The Face Within – Sue Lester

Your Dream Life Starts Here – Kristina Karlsson

Insider Experience Style

Insider Experience is similar, but with the focus on the author’s lived experience. This can actually be effective and get cut-through, if told in a narrative or other relatable way.

Examples of this style are:

Navigating Change: Adeniyi Borire

Wealth Magic by Peter Spann

Business as Unusual: Anita Roddick (uses pull-outs in the text, bolded quotes on bronze pages)

The Step-by-Step Model Book

Another style of book is the model book. No, not fashionistas but your very own diagram, acronym or concept. For instance, Amplify is a book about podcasting, with a step-by-step system built around the acronym.

Whatever it is, make it yours and never borrow someone else’s special code. You can conjure an acronym up with a generator (or better yet, use your grey matter).  The model is normally explained at the beginning of Chapter 1… along with a nice diagram.

The ‘why’ you need it is as important as the ‘what’ it is.

The model book lends itself to case studies that prove the model works. Do you have clients that have solved their problems with your help? There might be a model hiding there, in plain sight. Points of note:

  • Very reader-solution focussed
  • Very targeted to their stage (a beginner or slightly experienced)


Share Your Passion (7 Stages to Leverage Your Expertise) – Renee Hasseldine

Eat That Frog – Brian Tracy

ANSWER to mulling over ideas:    

Your experience is the thing that is unique. Your writer’s voice also should shine through.

Now that we’ve discussed some types of nonfiction books you could write, it’s important to note one thing:  Stick to one type!

Jennifer Lancaster coaches authors on how to write a book, through regular monthly Zoom sessions and targeted writing feedback (developmental work). We also offer low-cost training through Book Creation Success

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