Category: Non-fiction and business books

Lee Zachariah on his new book “Double Dissolution”

Lee Zachariah is a writer who has worked across film, television and journalism. He has written on politics and the arts for a range of publications and co-hosted the ABC2 film comedy series The Bazura Project. He has also written for The Chaser on The Hamster Wheel, The Checkout... read more

Talking ‘Practical Perfection’ with Kelly Exeter

Editor, graphic designer, freelance writer, blogger, productivity ponderer and self-confessed perfectionist Kelly Exeter is also an author – and her latest book has just been released. It’s called Practical Perfection and it’s all about “smart strategies for an excellent life”. We quizzed everyone in the office and we... read more

Chris Ducker’s Virtual Freedom and free advice

Chris Ducker is a busy man. Many things on the go, and always looking to squeeze more out of them all. And he also has a lot to say. (When we interviewed him recently for our top-rating podcast, So you want to be a writer, he sent the run... read more

How Air Force Commodore John Oddie’s book took flight

You could say it was a painter who kick-started Air Commodore John Oddie’s journey to writing Flight Command: From the farm to the frontline. Specifically, Archibald Prize-winning portrait artist Ben Quilty, sent in 2011 as ‘official war artist’ (a legit profession since World War I) to paint... read more

This book was worth going to prison for

James Phelps, you should be locked up. You’re a sports journalist and you’ve written a non-fiction book, Australia's Hardest Prison: Inside Long Bay. Tell us about it. Ever wondered what it would be like to go to prison? Not an American movie style prison, but the... read more

Bambi Smyth travels around the world in 80 dates (nearly…)

Bambi Smyth is the author of Men on the Menu – 75 delicious affairs around the world. That title gives you plenty of clues – namely food and frolicking! But to add some filling to this dish, we went to directly to the source and asked Bambi a bunch of questions… For... read more

Why your book is a business card on steroids

Writing a book as a business tool is a growing trend that has been spurred on by two significant developments in book publishing. First is the rapid advances in the publishing industry that have made self-publishing more accessible for small businesses. The key changes include ebooks, retail sites such... read more

This blogger got a book deal and you could too

Former-journalist Nikki Parkinson began her blog Styling You in 2008. In a nutshell it’s an advice-driven fashion, beauty and lifestyle site – and, most importantly, it has a highly engaged readership, who are motivated to buy featured products and services. The blog did so well that she wrote... read more

Heather Smith: Specialising brings writing rewards

When Heather Smith graduated from the Australian Writers Centre’s online course in Magazine and Newspaper Writing in 2010, little did she realise that she would become one of our most published graduates. She is now an author of six books and has been on the business bestseller list for... read more

Ask Valerie: I can’t figure out the best way to structure my non-fiction book. Where do I start?


I can't figure out the best way to structure my non-fiction book. Where do I start?


When you are writing a book – whether it’s fiction or non-fiction – it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Where do you start? How do you know it’s going to be engaging? How in the world would you ever reach 60,000 words (or whatever word count you’re trying to achieve)? The following advice is specifically for non-fiction books and is ideal for business books.

This writer fluked his big break with a cute cover and a catchy title

Getting your first big break in writing can take a lot of hard work, determination, and maybe just a little bit of luck.

This is the tale of travel writer Brian Thacker, successful author of seven travel books including Rule number 5: No sex on the bus and The Naked Man Festival. His former life was as an advertising art director, and when you lose an account in advertising, many people lose their jobs. His was one of those jobs.

So he decided to do something different. "I saw an ad in a paper for tour leaders in Europe and winter work," he recalls. "So, I got this big silly dream. I went over and got a job as a ski guide in Switzerland. And, in the summer I was taking tours around Europe, busloads of drunk Aussies and Kiwis around Europe."

7 Questions: Intrepid TV producer Terri-Ann Tierney on writing in Afghanistan

In 2009 Trudi-Ann Tierney left her role in Sydney as a television producer and writer to take up a unique and challenging opportunity – in Afghanistan. Initially she ran a bar there in the expat community known as "Ka-bubble", but she was soon working for a television production company producing soap operas for Afghanistan's burgeoning TV audience. Making Soapies in Kabul (Allen & Unwin) is her first book and the story of her years in Afghanistan.

Trudi-Ann began her television writing career at Foxtel where she wrote across a number of channels. In 2006 she spent time in Cambodia working on a feature film script then returned to Sydney where she freelanced for a number of years before moving to Afghanistan. She is currently working on a television series for audiences in Papua New Guinea.