Health Book Structure #5: Anthology

In a nutshell: A series of related chapters or essays, often by different authors, grouped thematically.

The Anthology structure can work well for health books that are essentially variations on a theme. Although there must be a very strong, overall theme in an Anthology health book, the individual chapters can be presented in almost any order without affecting the cohesiveness and usefulness of the book. One is not dependent upon the other.

An example of the Anthology approach can be found in Handbook for the Heart:
Original Writings on Love
. The concept of love and its positive influence on life is Handbook for the Heartpresented in the Introduction. Then each of the following 31 chapters looks at love from a slightly different point of view, and is written by a different expert.

An Anthology book does not require readers to work their way through the entire book. Like the Encyclopedic Approach, any one chapter can stand alone and does not depend on the information presented in any other chapter (with the exception of the Introduction). The essential difference between the two is the Encyclopedic Approach is methodical, comprehensive and more suited to medical or scientific information, while the Anthology is more impressionistic and better suited to emotional content.

See “7 Ways to Structure Your Health Book” to learn 6 more ways to format a health book.