Career management book update: 01

A couple of weeks ago, I announced that I was starting to write a book. As promised (warned), I’ll be sharing with you how I’m getting along with it.

So for my first update, there’s actually no writing that’s taken place. It turns out that there’s a lot more to this book-writing malarkey than buying new stationery and creating a folder on my desktop titled ‘Book’, which I have of course dutifully done.

I knew research would be a key task to do long before I actually put pen to paper but when preparing for this, I knew there was a step before this which I’ve been working on; building the skeleton.

I’ve read up on countless articles and books on the best approach to writing non-fiction, and I concluded that my book first needed a skeleton. This comprised of me writing every idea and concept I wanted to cover in the book – one per post-it.

I ended up with a desk full of uncategorised ideas, and while it felt liberating getting them out like that, I needed to put them into order. Looking through each idea, I began to determine the chapters needed to provide the structure for these ideas.

I then had a big blank card per chapter which homed the relevant post it notes. This resulted in my chapters being formed (well, the first draft at least), and the topics that were to be included in each. After a careful and logical feng shui of the order of the chapters, I have a sort of blueprint to the book.

While I’m working full time in my HR day job, writing for The Avid Doer, editing guest posts for The Avid Doer, writing for HR Zone, and peer-reviewing papers, I decided that writing this book should fit into my schedule, and not the other way round. As such, I’m not approaching any publishers at the moment, but I got thinking in terms of the services they could offer me.

Kogan Pages seemed to me like a sensible publishers, so having a gander at their website, I came across their publishing application form. On this, it sets out what they expect from applicants, for example, a synopsis, a detailed summary of each chapter, why this book is needed, what hashtags would you use to promote this, what gaps is this book filling based on what is already written, and a load of other useful guidance for me to ponder on.

So when I wasn’t creating an indoor autumn-scape with post-it notes, I’ve been completing this application form to get me thinking the right sort of things.

Still no title (I had a really good one, but somebody pre-emptively nicked it years ago!) but I think that will manifest organically over time.

Next steps – provide a synopsis for the whole book and one for each chapter.