The Unsubtle Tactic of Inserting F*ck into a Book Title

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Having F*n on Twitter with a Popular Book Cover’s Design.

I listened to a techie podcast (Track Changes) and Adam Barr (@AdamDavidBarr) was the guest. He’s a 23-year veteran of Microsoft, and wrote a book about the historical problems that teams have with building software. The book is titled “The Problem With Software“.

Check out this book

In Drucker Parlance, I’m a “Listener”.

Peter Drucker, world-famous management consultant and author, told us in “Managing Oneself” that we must figure out if we’re a Reader or a Listener. He gives compelling anecdotes about Eisenhower and LBJ to illustrate his points. I’m a listener.

I don’t read many actual books. (I read a lot of articles, tutorials, and posts, but not many books–They make me tired!) I really like to listen to books on tape though. Especially history or self-improvement audiobooks. And “The Problem with Software” sounds like an excellent candidate for a historical, self-improvement, technical book to hear aloud.

Read to me, Robot!

In addition to professionally recorded audiobooks, I listen to technical and textbook PDFs by having my phone read them aloud–when I can get that to work. Unfortunately, if my textbook is not an ebook-formatted PDF, and I put it on my Google Drive and instruct a phone app to read it aloud, it does a poor job. It reads the headers and footers of every page, and there’s a lot of them in textbooks. It also reads infographics, tables, and captions in a disjointed manner.

Do you have a workable system for getting your Android phone to read book PDFs?

If yes, please comment or message on how.

So, since I like to hear historical and technical books read aloud, I asked Adam if his book, published by MIT Press, would be an audiobook?

The Subtle Art Of Parodying Bestselling Book Titles

He replied: “Apparently MIT Press has a deal with Audible where Audible reviews their catalog and decides if they want to publish an audio book, but they didn’t choose my book.”

Adam Barr - Author of The Problem With Software - Explaining how Audible works.

Which made me wonder; if he just put the F-word in his title, like all popular non-fiction books do nowadays, would Audible have been more interested?

Unsubtle Art of Putting F-Word in Book Titles
Unsubtle Art of Putting F-Words in Book Titles

So I showed Adam an idea for the second edition of “The Problem with Software;” a title change to “The Subtle Art of Not F*cking Up Software”.


I have a feeling Audible’s going to be very excited now.

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