Getting published: narrative non-fiction

Getting a book out there takes a lot of skill, luck and perseverance, here are a few questions to help you along the way.

Is my book narrative-non fiction?

Narrative non-fiction is writing that is stylistically similar to fiction but deals with factual subject matter. It often includes memoir, also describes other forms of non-fiction, such as biography or political history that follows a strong, narrative path.

Is my book ready to submit?

Unlike with fiction, you don’t have to complete a whole manuscript before approaching a potential agent or, more rarely, publisher. You can instead submit a proposal outlining your project, a very detailed synopsis that shows what each section will cover and some sample chapters.

Do I need an agent?

It is definitely a good idea to try and find an agent if you’re writing narrative non-fiction. It’s a competitive market and you need to make sure you have a unique take or subject matter.

How do I get an agent?

There’s no magic answer here, but there are some things you can do to increase your chances. Check out our tips for submitting to an agent.

How can I improve my chances of getting a narrative non-fiction book published?

Who else can help?

Here are a few organisations that may be useful:

Society of Authors

Writers' Services

NAWE: The Writer’s Compass

ScottishPEN

Edinburgh City of Literature

Publishing Scotland

Creative Scotland