Learning about writing a book from Overcoming an Imperfect Boss by Karin Hurt

May 14, 2014 | Writing A Book

Karin Hurt is a newly minted entrepreneur. She wrote Overcoming an Imperfect Boss because “I wanted to be able to have something tangible to weave into the PR of the launch of my new company.” If you’re thinking about writing a book, you can learn a lot from what Karin did right.

Analyze the market

Karin has a range of jobs during a twenty-year corporate career. She went looking for a real problem that no one else was addressing and that fit the purpose of her company.

The problem was easy to find. As she put it, “I had been getting a lot of questions from folks that I was mentoring and doing various work with who were frustrated by the persons they were working for.”

She did a little research. It seemed like there was a gap in the market.

Karin also tested the title on people who were like her ideal readers. That makes it more likely that the title will do some of the selling.

Pick a subject that you’re expert in and passionate about.

Karin ticked both of those boxes. She cared about helping people with that “imperfect” boss. She developed ways that worked and poured those into the book.

A short, laser-focused book

Overcoming an Imperfect Boss is a short book. It’s about the single topic described in the title. That fits with the trend to shorter, more narrowly focused business books.

A well-designed book

The design of the material in Overcoming an Imperfect Boss helps the reader get value. “Scenes” help the reader identify situations that are relevant for them. They get advice and tips and, perhaps, an exercise. There are other chapters about larger topics like, “What if he’s really a jerk?” and an exercise on “Being the Boss You Wish You Had.”

Overcoming an Imperfect Boss looks good. The design of the cover and the title are both visually distinctive.

The book will help sell itself. There’s a selection of potent quotes from recognizable people on the back cover. And the table of contents gives a browser a good idea of what he or she will find inside the book.

If you’re thinking about writing and publishing a book, you can learn a lot from this one.