Writing Non-Fiction Books

  • Barbara A. Oakley
Part of the Series in Biomedical Engineering book series (BIOMENG)


Writing non-fiction books related to your area of expertise can be an extraordinarily satisfying experience. However, such writing is best thought of as a supplement to your career, rather than a career in and of itself, since the financial rewards are typically small. In that sense, then, this chapter describes an activity that compliments the many careers discussed in this book.

Writing books is not for the faint-hearted. It can often take years of meticulous attention and feedback from others to create a useful, readable volume. On the other hand, those who are fascinated by their work often find that writing books allows them to obtain a better overview of their area of interest or expertise. It also provides a mechanism for meeting many talented individuals who share the same interest. This can supply a valuable boost for any career.

Types of Non-Fiction Books

Non-fiction books are generally written for three different audiences: specialists, general readers, or...


Potential Buyer General Reader Academic Writing External Reviewer Academic Author 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    B. Luey, Handbook for Academic Authors, 4th ed. New York, New York: Cambridge University Press, 2002.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    M. Larsen, How to Write a Book Proposal, 3rd ed. Cincinnati, Ohio: Writer’s Digest Books, 2004.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    W. S. Strunk and E. B. White, The Elements of Style, 4th ed.: Macmillan, 1999.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The Chicago Manual of Style, 15th ed.: University of Chicago Press, 2003.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara A. Oakley
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical and Systems EngineeringSchool of Engineering and Computer Science, Oakland UniversityRochesterUSA

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