Ben shares a ton of material (and a great handout!)
The trend of Nonfiction moving away from big bulky books to smaller chunks, trade books that teachers and librarians will want to use, is a "tremendous opportunity."
He cautions us to not over-value information over narrative: Use back matter for essential information. Make bulk of it about the story. "Books that are not just facts and figures, but that tell a story."
Citing the maxim that the three most important things about real estate are location, location and location, Ben says that for Nonfiction it should be "Narrative, narrative, narrative."
To illustrate the power of re-constructing scenes and creating a compelling narrative, Ben reads us a few excerpts, including from
"The Nazi Hunters: How a Team of Spies and Survivors Captured the World's Most Notorious Nazi" by Neal Bascomb
and "Bomb: The Race to Build - And Steal - The World's Most Dangerous Weapon" by Steve Sheinkin
It's a talk packed with great information, opportunities he sees for NF writers, and even exercises as homework!
Here's one that popped:
Do at least one piece of real-world research for your nonfiction work. If you don't have a topic, consider beginning with real-world exploration of something that interests you."