There are 3 phases to writing a nonfiction book: preparation, research, and writing. To succeed in writing your nonfiction book, you cannot skip any of these phases.
Deciding What to Write
Deciding what to write can be the hardest part of writing a book. There are so many interesting topics to choose from and you have to decide which idea is best.
Keep a List
One of my tricks to always having something to write about is keeping a list of ideas. On my Mac, I keep a long list of ideas in TextEdit. I also keep the list on paper as backup.
What this list does is hold all my random ideas for books and articles. Sometimes the items on the list are just one or two words of something I want to look into. Sometimes I come up with a great title and write it down. A few of the items are paragraphs of ideas that I just had to get out of my head.
I add to this list night and day, anything and everything that comes to mind.
Check Out Your Subject
After you have chosen something to write about, your next step is to check out the subject on Amazon.com. How many books have been written on the subject? Check out the reviews of books similar to the one you plan on writing. How well are these books selling?
You will also want to visit the Google Adwords tool and do searches on the keywords of your subject. If you want to write a book about writing nonfiction, you will do a search on "writing nonfiction". Study all the keywords that show up in your search. Get ideas for possible chapters in your book. How popular is your subject?
Decide on a Title
After this initial research, you should now have an angle for your book. Now you need to choose a title. When writing and publishing nonfiction as an ebook, such as on Kindle or Smashwords, your title should reflect exactly what your book is about. Avoid abstract titles. Search Amazon.com to make sure no one else has published an ebook with your title.
Pen Name or Real Name
Decide if you will be writing under a pen name or your real name. Either way, search the name on Amazon to see if the name is already in use.
Prepare Work Area
Finally, prepare your work area for your project. Remove anything that is not directly related to your project. Grab the necessary books for research purposes. Remove all clutter and distractions.
You should now have a clear idea and purpose for your book. You are ready to move onto the second phase of your book: research.