Upon its release, the album was met with mixed reviews from music critics. The album reached number five on the US Billboard 200, selling 59,000 copies in its first week, making it the third album to miss the pinnacle of the chart since Libra Scale (2010) and also becoming the second male R&B artist to have six consecutive top 10 albums following Chris Brown in 2014.
"She Knows" featuring Juicy J, was released via digital download on September 16, 2014, as the album's lead single (second overall) in North America; it was sent to US urban contemporary, rhythmic, and contemporary hit radio. The single has reached number 19 on the US Billboard Hot 100, while charting at number six on the US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, number two on the US Rhythmic Songs chart, and number 19 on the US Pop Songs chart.
"Time of Our Lives" with Pitbull, was released via digital download on November 17, 2014, as the fifth single from Pitbull's album, Globalization, while also appearing on Non-Fiction; it was sent to US rhythmic radio on December 12, 2014. It became the best-performing release from Non-Fiction, peaking at number nine on the US Billboard Hot 100. It also peaked at number one on the US Rhythmic Songs chart and at number four on the US Pop Songs chart. The song performed moderately in international markets, peaking within the top twenty in Canada and New Zealand, while charting within the lower regions of charts in Australia, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Its music video was released on December 25, 2014.
"Coming with You" was sent to mainstream radio stations in the United States on April 14, 2015, as the fourth official single after being issued as the first international single in February.
In promotion for the album's release, several song's were released via iTunes Store as promotional singles in the weeks leading up to the album's release. "Coming with You" was released as the first on January 5, 2015. "Religious" and "Who's Taking You Home" followed on January 13, 2015, with "Religious" serving as the second international promotional single and the latter as the second in North America.
The album was met with mixed reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a "weighted average" rating out of 100 from selected independent ratings and reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 60, which indicates "mixed or average reviews", based on 12 reviews. Andy Kellman of AllMusic highlighted the tracks "She Knows" and "One More" for being "tough but finely crafted slow jams" and the more uptempo "Coming with You" for being "a dazzling Stargate production like no other that contains a hip-house core and soars", saying that Non-Fiction "contains more standouts than any Ne-Yo album since Because of You." In a review for Exclaim!, Del F. Cowie wrote that the record was "indicative of an underlying need to placate his various audiences," further explaining that Non-Fiction "delivers an uneven synthesis of the sounds Ne-Yo had already been exploring rather than the promised straight up R&B record."Rolling Stone's Chuck Arnold felt that Ne-Yo had trouble keeping up the overall concept of the record and said the tracks influenced by Michael Jackson ("Coming with You") and Marvin Gaye ("Integrity") are where he performs best than the ones with more modern leanings.
The album debuted at number five on the US Billboard 200, selling 59,000 copies in its first week. The album opened at the top spot of the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. As of March 2015, the album sold over 108,000 in the US.