Inspirational/Religious Writing

Interest in the inspirational/religious category has burgeoned since the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Even readers who don't consider themselves religious are looking for ways to promote spirituality in their lives. The Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup for the Soul series tap into this need by providing inspirational anecdotes, sayings, and philosophies without promoting or identifying with a specific religion. Likewise, interest in and demand for books about the various organized religions have increased as people look for a deeper understanding of their own or others' faiths and religious principles.

Sometimes controversial fiction books can spark a whole new subcategory of nonfiction books. Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, for example, gave rise to at least ten nonfiction books that countered or supported Brown's theories on the early years of the Catholic Church and what Jesus' life may really have been like.

Who Are the Readers?

Successful books in this category can be aimed at a general readership or at narrow segments of the populace. The key is identifying the issues and concerns facing a particular demographic, whether it's broken down by family role, occupation, or hobby. Mothers and fathers have different worries than teenagers; nurses might find inspiration in different areas than accountants; NASCAR fans may look to different sources of hope and direction than quilters. The better you know your reader, the more effectively you can focus your book.

Religious Studies

Religious books are usually written by scholars or practitioners of the faith. They can be intended as study guides for members of that religion, or as educational materials for people wanting to learn more about the religion. Religious books of the study-guide type usually take the form of prayer books, devotional materials, interpretations of holy texts, or modern translations of scripture. Books designed to educate nonmembers of the faith usually provide more of an overview, including information on the history and evolution of the faith, ancient and modern practices, and so on.

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