How To Write a Conclusion for Nonfiction Books

You’ve almost done it . . . you’ve nearly reached the end of your nonfiction book . . . now all you need to do is write the conclusion. Hmmm.

Even though you’ve aced it up ’til now and know you’ve written a rocking intro, penned well-organized chapters packed with useful info, when it comes to rounding it all off, inspiration just won’t come.

You might have thought getting the intro right was the hardest task and imagined writing the ending would be a piece of cake. Not so. You need to put the same dedication into rounding off your book as you did into starting it . . . if you want to satisfy your readers and have them coming back for more.

So, what should you aim for in writing a really good conclusion to your book?

To help answer that question, let’s first clarify exactly what is meant by ‘a conclusion.’

As readers, we don’t want to be fobbed off with a few weak sentences after we’ve gone the distance. We want value, to justify time and money spent. We want a return on our investment.

The Tricky Opener

To conclude, in conclusion, to summarize, in summary, rounding off , now we’re almost done, coming to the end of . . .

Phrases like these are all good ways to start your conclusion—they tell readers exactly what’s coming. Whether your style is formal or informal, with a little experimentation, you’ll find what works for you.

Restate Your Aim

Why did you write the book? Look back at your intro; you should have started out by stating the aim of your book—what you set out to deliver to your readers. With non-fiction books, that’s usually your title.

Here are a few examples:

“In this book, I promised to share my secrets for making your first million dollars in a year . . .”

“At the start of this book, I set out to turn you techno-dummies into social media wizards . . .

“Well, guys, here we are, almost at the end of our journey into the fascinating world of home brain surgery . . .”

Did You Deliver?

Ask your readers a rhetorical question: Has this book delivered on its initial promise? Have you got your money’s worth? Is it good value? Here are some ways to phrase it:

“In this book, I promised to show you how to make your first million dollars in a year. Have I succeeded?”

“At the start of this book, I set out to turn you techno-dummies into social media wizards. So, how did I do?”

Recap Your Topics

Use that question as springboard to launch into your brief roundup of all the information you’ve covered in preceding chapters, in chronological order. Start with something like this:

“. . . Here’s a roundup of everything I’ve shared with you . . .”

“. . . Let’s recap what we’ve covered . . .”

“. . . Here’s a quick review of the lessons . . .”

Takeaways Mean Value

We buy nonfiction books because they promise us something we want—knowledge, advice, insights, facts, guidance, a plan, a complete how-to. We want to take away our new knowledge and put it into practice when we’re done. Takeaways give your book value.

For example:

“This technique is the secret to successfully closing every sale.”

“This guide to suturing means you’ll be able to do this procedure at home easily.”

Add further value by giving readers info on helpful resources like websites and organizations related to your book content.

If you want feedback from readers, give them a contact point. But safeguard your privacy and limit it to a dedicated email, not your home address and phone number.

Signing Off

A few friendly, encouraging words are enough here. For instance:

“Thanks for joining me on this journey. Goodbye, and good luck!”

“Thanks for buying this book; I hope you’ve enjoyed it. Now you can have some fun putting everything you’ve learned into practice.”

That’s it! Follow these tips and you’ll be able to write a stylish conclusion to your book that leaves readers satisfied and equipped to put your lessons into practice for their benefit. Good luck!

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