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  11. <title>Lee LeFever dot com</title>
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  31. <title>Summoning the Gumption</title>
  32. <link>https://leelefever.com/summoning-the-gumption/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=summoning-the-gumption</link>
  33. <pubDate>Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:04:37 +0000</pubDate>
  34. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  35. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  36. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  37. <category><![CDATA[art of explanation]]></category>
  38. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  39. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  40. <category><![CDATA[common craft]]></category>
  41.  
  42. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3348</guid>
  43. <description><![CDATA[For Big Enough, I plan to throw myself at the marketing beast. My challenge is to learn how to market a book successfully. If I can develop a marketing strategy that fits with my style, I will have a head start for future books. ]]></description>
  44. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  45. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/gumption-1024x656.jpeg" alt="Photo of desk with glasses and book" class="wp-image-3349" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/gumption-980x628.jpeg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/gumption-480x308.jpeg 480w" sizes="(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 480px) 480px, (min-width: 481px) and (max-width: 980px) 980px, (min-width: 981px) 1024px, 100vw" /></figure>
  46.  
  47.  
  48.  
  49. <p>Over the last six months, I’ve been mentally preparing to publish my second book. During that time, most of the writing was completed and the process was on track. It felt good to see it take shape. But lingering in the back of my mind was always a voice reminding me that publishing a book means more than just writing it. One of the real challenges, especially for a less established author like myself, is introducing the book to the world. For <em><a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a></em>, my next book, marketing the book is the hill I must soon climb. </p>
  50.  
  51.  
  52.  
  53. <p>For longtime authors like Stephen King or Seth Godin, book marketing is less of a challenge because they’ve spent many years establishing their brand of writing and honing their marketing. Their names are attached to a genre, style, and perspective. Their fans will reliably buy any book they publish because they know what to expect. </p>
  54.  
  55.  
  56.  
  57. <p>I don’t have that luxury. <em>Big Enough</em> is a book about our business and fans aren’t currently beating down my door to hear what I have to say about the subject. In that context, I’m relatively unknown. This means I have to give them a reason to be interested and that’s more difficult than it sounds.  </p>
  58.  
  59.  
  60.  
  61. <p>I’ve been through this once before. When I published <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://www.amazon.com/Art-Explanation-Products-Services-Understand/dp/1118374584/ref=la_B008KNUBFS_1_1?utm_campaign=Ready%20for%20Rain&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=Revue%20newsletter" target="_blank"><em>The Art of Explanation</em></a> in 2012, it needed to be introduced to the world, too. It was my first book, so no one had any expectations regarding my writing. But I had a secret weapon. Starting in 2007, the “explainer” style videos Sachi and I produced at Common Craft became very well-known, with tens of millions of views. We were, to a small degree, internet famous. A book about explanation skills was very much on-brand and expected. It was obvious why I was the person to write it. </p>
  62.  
  63.  
  64.  
  65. <p>Given this history of video production, my name is most often connected to creativity, communication, and education. And that’s the challenge. In publishing <em>Big Enough</em>, I am re-introducing myself as not only a video producer but an entrepreneur who has a business-focused story to tell. </p>
  66.  
  67.  
  68.  
  69. <p>The question becomes: how? How, over the next four months, will I change that perception and position myself as the right person for writing this book? </p>
  70.  
  71.  
  72.  
  73. <p>This is, at heart, a marketing challenge and one that’s not absolutely required. I could write and publish the book without marketing it at all. In this case, the book would suddenly appear on Amazon and bookshelves without anyone expecting it. And it could work. Sometimes a book can do well by simply existing, but I am not willing to take that risk. </p>
  74.  
  75.  
  76.  
  77. <p>For <em>Big Enough</em>, I plan to throw myself at the marketing beast. My challenge is to learn how to market a book successfully. If I can develop a marketing strategy that fits with my style, I will have a head start for future books. </p>
  78.  
  79.  
  80.  
  81. <p>Here’s the ideal scenario… Over the next few months, I publish multiple articles, blog posts and videos that focus on the ideas in the book and point people to the <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://leelefever.com/bigenough?utm_campaign=Ready%20for%20Rain&amp;utm_medium=email&amp;utm_source=Revue%20newsletter" target="_blank">book web page</a>. I appear on podcasts and do interviews that promote it. I share links on social media that are retweeted and shared on Facebook. Popular blogs and newsletters write about the book and point people to the book’s web page and sign up to receive a free chapter and be notified when it drops. Slowly but surely, demand builds and people become interested. They tell friends. Readers have been primed for action and on the day it’s released, it makes a splash that puts it in front of even more people and momentum builds from there. That’s the ideal scenario.</p>
  82.  
  83.  
  84.  
  85. <p><strong>For me, that day is May 5th, 2020.</strong> My focus between now and then will be on that splash, how high it can go, and how far the ripples will travel. </p>
  86.  
  87.  
  88.  
  89. <p>Making this happen, even to a small degree, is a challenge that I’m not taking lightly. I’m cautious about turning people away or making a bad impression by selling too hard. To get through it, I am summoning my gumption. It’s up to me, the author, to put myself out there and say, “Order my book. Read my articles. Post a review. Sign up for my emails. Share my posts, please?”</p>
  90.  
  91.  
  92.  
  93. <p>I don’t take naturally to self-promotion or promotion at all, really. But I also feel that my book is something people in my market will enjoy and want to know exists. It would be a mistake to put so much effort into it and just hope for the best. Instead, my plan is to promote it in a style that fits with me and I’m ready for the challenge. I’m ready to experiment and push myself. Most of all, I’m ready to learn.</p>
  94.  
  95.  
  96.  
  97. <hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
  98.  
  99.  
  100.  
  101. <p>This post originally appeared in my newsletter, <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">Ready for Rain</a>.</p>
  102. ]]></content:encoded>
  103. </item>
  104. <item>
  105. <title>Creating the BIG ENOUGH Sticker</title>
  106. <link>https://leelefever.com/creating-the-big-enough-sticker/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=creating-the-big-enough-sticker</link>
  107. <pubDate>Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:39:41 +0000</pubDate>
  108. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  109. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  110. <category><![CDATA[big-e]]></category>
  111. <category><![CDATA[design]]></category>
  112. <category><![CDATA[dog]]></category>
  113. <category><![CDATA[graphic design]]></category>
  114. <category><![CDATA[sticker]]></category>
  115. <category><![CDATA[upwork]]></category>
  116.  
  117. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3286</guid>
  118. <description><![CDATA[Today, I’m planning to send people my own sticker and this is the story of how that sticker was designed and how I'm planning to use it. ]]></description>
  119. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  120. <p>As a kid, I spent time reading skateboarding magazines. At the time, ads often included a line at the bottom that said, essentially, “Send us a dollar and we’ll send you stickers.” I can clearly remember how much I anticipated those stickers in the mail. Stickers have an appeal that goes beyond graphics, paper, and glue. </p>
  121.  
  122.  
  123.  
  124. <p>Today, I’m planning to send people my own sticker and this is the story of how that sticker was designed and how I&#8217;m planning to use it. </p>
  125.  
  126.  
  127.  
  128. <h3>Why a Create Sticker? </h3>
  129.  
  130.  
  131.  
  132. <p>Before my book, <em><a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a></em>, hits the shelves, I will encourage people to pre-order it, which means purchasing it before it is officially released. This way, when the book finally arrives, all those sales transactions happen in the same week and the book will hopefully make a bigger splash than it would otherwise. In this scenario, it helps to offer people an incentive for pre-ordering the book. If they (you?) preorder the book and send me the purchase receipt, I will send them stickers, and maybe more, in the mail. </p>
  133.  
  134.  
  135.  
  136. <h3>Designing the Sticker</h3>
  137.  
  138.  
  139.  
  140. <p>I am not a graphic designer, but I love working with designers and thinking through design projects. Once the idea of designing a sticker arose, I was pumped to work on it. The French bulldog on the cover of the book was my starting point. He’s symbolic of the Big Enough attitude: small and tough. I&#8217;ve come to call him &#8220;Big-E&#8221; and loved the idea of people having a fun, illustrated version of Big-E on their laptop or water bottle. </p>
  141.  
  142.  
  143.  
  144. <p class="has-text-align-center"><img class="wp-image-2440" style="width: 250px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final.png" alt="Big Enough Book Cover" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final.png 1875w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-300x300.png 300w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-1024x1024.png 1024w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-150x150.png 150w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-768x768.png 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-1536x1536.png 1536w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-610x610.png 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-1080x1080.png 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-1280x1280.png 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-980x980.png 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/3-d-Cover-Final-480x480.png 480w" sizes="(max-width: 1875px) 100vw, 1875px" /></p>
  145.  
  146.  
  147.  
  148. <p>Instead of using the live-action image, I imagined a stylized cartoon version of Big-E and asked my publisher for the photo from the cover to use as a starting point. Then, I searched for dog illustrations in a style I liked. I found one that was close to what I wanted. It used flat colors and bold shapes that felt cool and modern.&nbsp;</p>
  149.  
  150.  
  151.  
  152. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-medium is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/frenchypink-1-300x300.jpg" alt="French bulldog illustration
  153. " class="wp-image-3309" width="214" height="214"/><figcaption><a href="https://www.istockphoto.com/vector/french-bulldog-gm509865814-86010435">Source</a></figcaption></figure></div>
  154.  
  155.  
  156.  
  157. <p>Then I went to <a href="http://upwork.com">Upwork</a>, which is a service I’ve used for years to find freelancers for small projects. I created a new job called “Digital Illustration of a Dog Based on Photo”. I included a description of what I wanted, attached the photo of Big-E and the example photo. I also said the illustration had to include the book website: <a href="http://bigenough.life">bigenough.life</a></p>
  158.  
  159.  
  160.  
  161. <p class="has-text-align-left">Next, I reviewed 15-20 profiles and invited a handful of people from around the world to apply. I’ve had good experiences working with international talent at affordable rates. I connected with a guy named Vadym from Ukraine and hired him. He got started quickly and provided a promising start.&nbsp;<br></p>
  162.  
  163.  
  164.  
  165. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-medium"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/BigeVadym-1-300x205.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3311"/></figure></div>
  166.  
  167.  
  168.  
  169. <p>But then, out of nowhere, he said something had come up and that he couldn’t complete the project. Such is life in the freelance market. Disappointed, I went back to finding designers and stumbled upon a profile of a woman named <a href="https://www.upwork.com/o/profiles/users/~017d6bc470d5a8a92d/">Brooke Braddy</a> who had an affordable hourly rate and illustrations that looked promising. This image from her portfolio gave me confidence that she had worked in the style I wanted:</p>
  170.  
  171.  
  172.  
  173. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-thumbnail"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-13-at-3.53.35-PM-150x150.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3312"/></figure></div>
  174.  
  175.  
  176.  
  177. <p>Brooke agreed to start the next day and estimated it would cost under $100 to complete the project. I was hopeful.</p>
  178.  
  179.  
  180.  
  181. <p>The project turned out to be incredibly satisfying. Over two weeks and about 40 messages back and forth, we tweaked the colors, fonts, padding, size, and more. Brooke was a good listener and had great skills. I enjoy working with people like Brooke who are independent and putting their skills to work from home.  </p>
  182.  
  183.  
  184.  
  185. <p>Here are examples of how the sticker evolved over two weeks:</p>
  186.  
  187.  
  188.  
  189. <p><br><img class="wp-image-3289" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e.png" alt="Big Big Enough Dog Illustration Dog Ilustration" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e.png 390w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-285x300.png 285w" sizes="(max-width: 390px) 100vw, 390px" /><img class="wp-image-3290" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e1581638310395.jpg" alt="Big Enough Dog Illustration"><img class="wp-image-3297" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e3-1.png" alt="Big Enough Dog Illustration" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e3-1.png 448w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e3-1-300x293.png 300w" sizes="(max-width: 448px) 100vw, 448px" /><img class="wp-image-3298" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e4-1.png" alt="" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e4-1.png 338w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e4-1-259x300.png 259w" sizes="(max-width: 338px) 100vw, 338px" /><img class="wp-image-3299" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e5-1.png" alt="" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e5-1.png 382w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e5-1-276x300.png 276w" sizes="(max-width: 382px) 100vw, 382px" />  <img class="wp-image-3300" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-scaled.jpg" alt="" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-scaled.jpg 2200w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-258x300.jpg 258w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-880x1024.jpg 880w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-768x894.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-1320x1536.jpg 1320w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-1760x2048.jpg 1760w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-610x710.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-1080x1257.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-1280x1489.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-980x1140.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e6-1-480x559.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 2200px) 100vw, 2200px" /> <img class="wp-image-3295" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-scaled.jpg" alt="Big Enough Dog Illustration" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-scaled.jpg 2138w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-251x300.jpg 251w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-855x1024.jpg 855w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-768x919.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-1283x1536.jpg 1283w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-1711x2048.jpg 1711w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-610x730.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-1080x1293.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-1280x1533.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-980x1173.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e7-480x575.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 2138px) 100vw, 2138px" /><img class="wp-image-3301" style="width: 150px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-scaled.jpg" alt="Big Enough Final Dog Illustration" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-scaled.jpg 2108w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-247x300.jpg 247w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-843x1024.jpg 843w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-768x933.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-1265x1536.jpg 1265w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-1686x2048.jpg 1686w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-610x741.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-1080x1312.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-1280x1554.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-980x1190.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-final-480x583.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 2108px) 100vw, 2108px" /></p>
  190.  
  191.  
  192.  
  193. <p>What I appreciated most was the iterative process of making the sticker exactly what I wanted. Every time Brooke sent a comp, another part of the design would grab my attention and kick off more changes. She took my feedback and made it work. For me, that’s how design happens. It’s a process of always asking “what sucks the most now?”&nbsp;</p>
  194.  
  195.  
  196.  
  197. <p>A couple of days ago, I deemed the sticker design complete. Brooke&#8217;s initial estimate didn&#8217;t anticipate the scale of my feedback, so I gave her a bonus for the extra hours. We were both happy.</p>
  198.  
  199.  
  200.  
  201. <p class="has-text-align-center"> <img class="wp-image-3319" style="width: 250px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-scaled.jpg" alt="dog sticker in black" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-scaled.jpg 1920w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-225x300.jpg 225w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-768x1024.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1152x1536.jpg 1152w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1536x2048.jpg 1536w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-610x813.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1080x1440.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1280x1707.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-980x1307.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-480x640.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 1920px) 100vw, 1920px" /></p>
  202.  
  203.  
  204.  
  205. <p>A couple of days later, I thought back to those days of getting stickers in the mail and how I loved getting multiple stickers. Sure, I could send pre-order customers three of the same sticker, or I could create a set with different colors. Collect all three!</p>
  206.  
  207.  
  208.  
  209. <p>I went back to Brooke and she quickly whipped up a couple of color options. With just a bit of design time, I now have a set of three stickers for the kind souls who pre-order a copy of Big Enough. Here&#8217;s the set:</p>
  210.  
  211.  
  212.  
  213. <p><img class="wp-image-3319" style="width: 200px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-scaled.jpg" alt="dog sticker in black" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-scaled.jpg 1920w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-225x300.jpg 225w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-768x1024.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1152x1536.jpg 1152w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1536x2048.jpg 1536w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-610x813.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1080x1440.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-1280x1707.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-980x1307.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-E-Black-480x640.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 1920px) 100vw, 1920px" />  <img class="wp-image-3320" style="width: 200px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-scaled.jpg" alt="dog sticker in orange" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-scaled.jpg 1920w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-225x300.jpg 225w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-768x1024.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-1152x1536.jpg 1152w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-1536x2048.jpg 1536w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-610x813.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-1080x1440.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-1280x1707.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-980x1307.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/big-e-orange-480x640.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 1920px) 100vw, 1920px" />  <img class="wp-image-3321" style="width: 200px;" src="http://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-scaled.jpg" alt="dog sticker in gray" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-scaled.jpg 1920w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-225x300.jpg 225w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-768x1024.jpg 768w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-1152x1536.jpg 1152w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-1536x2048.jpg 1536w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-610x813.jpg 610w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-1080x1440.jpg 1080w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-1280x1707.jpg 1280w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-980x1307.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Big-e-gray-480x640.jpg 480w" sizes="(max-width: 1920px) 100vw, 1920px" /></p>
  214.  
  215.  
  216.  
  217. <p><strong>If you’d like to be notified about the pre-order campaign, <a href="http://bigenough.life">you can sign up here</a>.<br></strong></p>
  218. ]]></content:encoded>
  219. </item>
  220. <item>
  221. <title>Ready for Rain #55: The Moment Everything Changed</title>
  222. <link>https://leelefever.com/ready-for-rain-55-the-moment-everything-changed/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=ready-for-rain-55-the-moment-everything-changed</link>
  223. <pubDate>Thu, 13 Feb 2020 19:37:18 +0000</pubDate>
  224. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  225. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  226. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  227. <category><![CDATA[Newsletter]]></category>
  228. <category><![CDATA[history]]></category>
  229. <category><![CDATA[newsletter]]></category>
  230. <category><![CDATA[ready for rain]]></category>
  231. <category><![CDATA[rss]]></category>
  232. <category><![CDATA[video]]></category>
  233. <category><![CDATA[work]]></category>
  234. <category><![CDATA[youtube]]></category>
  235.  
  236. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3278</guid>
  237. <description><![CDATA[The lastest Ready for Rain newsletter was meant to fill in essential gaps regarding what events led us to today. Up to now, the readers have seen my life in real-time, with only brief references to the past. I wrote: Over the past year, you’ve had a front-row seat to my life. You’ve seen Sachi [&#8230;]]]></description>
  238. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  239. <p>The lastest <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">Ready for Rain newsletter</a> was meant to fill in essential gaps regarding what events led us to today. Up to now, the readers have seen my life in real-time, with only brief references to the past.  I wrote:</p>
  240.  
  241.  
  242.  
  243. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Over the past year, you’ve had a front-row seat to my life. You’ve seen Sachi and I start and complete projects. You’ve read about my motivations and decisions and, by now, have a pretty good sense of who I am. As our story has developed in real-time, you’ve been there.</p></blockquote>
  244.  
  245.  
  246.  
  247. <p>Now that I&#8217;m shifting the newsletter to talk about the <a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a> book project, I&#8217;m feeling the need to build context and give readers a sense of what events shaped my career.  There is probably no more consequential event than publishing the first Common Craft video. Our careers relate directly back to that event in 2007. </p>
  248.  
  249.  
  250.  
  251. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>I had no idea at the time, but the moment I clicked “Publish” was the moment our lives changed in fundamental ways. From that point on, we started operating in uncharted territory.</p><p>Within minutes of <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0klgLsSxGsU">RSS in Plain English</a> hitting the web, it started to receive views and comments that flowed faster than we could read them. Bloggers around the world embedded the video on their blogs. Emails poured in. The video went viral and it felt like striking gold. We both lived in a state of shock for a few days. Despite it being poorly produced, the video was popular because it explained RSS in a way that everyone could understand.&nbsp;</p></blockquote>
  252.  
  253.  
  254.  
  255. <p>Here&#8217;s the video that started it all:</p>
  256.  
  257.  
  258.  
  259. <figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-4-3 wp-has-aspect-ratio"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper">
  260. <iframe title="RSS in Plain English" width="1080" height="810" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0klgLsSxGsU?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  261. </div></figure>
  262.  
  263.  
  264.  
  265. <p>Ready for Rain is where I tell stories about the projects in my life. <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">You can subscribe here. </a></p>
  266. ]]></content:encoded>
  267. </item>
  268. <item>
  269. <title>Explaining Big Enough</title>
  270. <link>https://leelefever.com/explaining-big-enough/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=explaining-big-enough</link>
  271. <pubDate>Thu, 13 Feb 2020 19:21:16 +0000</pubDate>
  272. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  273. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  274. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  275. <category><![CDATA[common craft]]></category>
  276. <category><![CDATA[explainer]]></category>
  277. <category><![CDATA[explanation]]></category>
  278. <category><![CDATA[marketing]]></category>
  279. <category><![CDATA[newsletter]]></category>
  280.  
  281. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3276</guid>
  282. <description><![CDATA[Now that I have a book coming out, I'm facing another kind of explanation challenge in the form of explaining Big Enough. It seems like every time I write about it, I take a slightly different path and I'm constantly wondering if I've stumbled upon the one explanation that works best. ]]></description>
  283. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  284. <p>One of the side-effects of being known as an explainer is the tendency for people to pay close attention to how I explain ideas large and small. I can imagine them asking a question and then waiting to see what amazing analogy I can pull out of my hat. Of course, like asking a comedian to be funny, it doesn&#8217;t typically work that way. The explanations that support my livelihood take many hours to craft. </p>
  285.  
  286.  
  287.  
  288. <p>Now that I have a book coming out, I&#8217;m facing another kind of explanation challenge in the form of explaining Big Enough. It seems like every time I write about it, I take a slightly different path and I&#8217;m constantly wondering if I&#8217;ve stumbled upon the one explanation that works best. </p>
  289.  
  290.  
  291.  
  292. <p>Yesterday, we published a new Common Craft video that explains <a href="https://www.commoncraft.com/video/documents-online-vs-local">the difference between &#8220;online&#8221; and &#8220;local&#8221; documents</a>. With each new video, we send an email <a href="https://www.commoncraft.com/newsletter">newsletter</a> and yesterday was the first time I mentioned the book. Here&#8217;s what I said:</p>
  293.  
  294.  
  295.  
  296. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>Common Craft Co-founder Lee LeFever has a new book arriving in May 2020. The book is called&nbsp;<em><a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://el2.convertkit-mail.com/c/r8u52m52nhohwq4qeu2/dkheh0hwlrqnvm/aHR0cDovL2JpZ2Vub3VnaC5saWZl" target="_blank">Big Enough</a></em>&nbsp;and it tells the story of building Common Craft to be an intentionally small company over the last decade. If you&#8217;re curious about the company behind the videos and saner, healthier approaches to entrepreneurship, you&#8217;ll love it</p></blockquote>
  297.  
  298.  
  299.  
  300. <p>Like so many before it, this little promotion will come and go. And that&#8217;s the problem. I could craft the best, more productive summary and never know if it hit the mark. Further, because it&#8217;s for a specific audience, there&#8217;s no guarantee it will work in other contexts. Such is life as an explainer.  I find solace in the fact that each time I write about the book, I&#8217;m practicing and hopefully, getting better each time. </p>
  301. ]]></content:encoded>
  302. </item>
  303. <item>
  304. <title>Das Rad &#8211; On Geologic Time</title>
  305. <link>https://leelefever.com/das-rad-on-geologic-time/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=das-rad-on-geologic-time</link>
  306. <pubDate>Mon, 10 Feb 2020 21:53:35 +0000</pubDate>
  307. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  308. <category><![CDATA[Entertainment]]></category>
  309. <category><![CDATA[animation]]></category>
  310. <category><![CDATA[entertainment]]></category>
  311. <category><![CDATA[video]]></category>
  312. <category><![CDATA[youtube]]></category>
  313.  
  314. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3269</guid>
  315. <description><![CDATA[Over the weekend a friend introduced me to the video below called Das Rad, which is a German term that means &#8220;The Wheel&#8221; in English. The film is known by the bland-but-accurate title &#8220;Rocks&#8221; in English versions. The artistry and the overall concept made a big impression on me and I&#8217;ve thought about it multiple [&#8230;]]]></description>
  316. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  317. <p>Over the weekend a friend introduced me to the video below called Das Rad, which is a German term that means &#8220;The Wheel&#8221; in English.  The film is known by the bland-but-accurate title &#8220;Rocks&#8221; in English versions. </p>
  318.  
  319.  
  320.  
  321. <p>The artistry and the overall concept made a big impression on me and I&#8217;ve thought about it multiple times since seeing it.  As one <a href="https://youtu.be/HOPwXNFU7oU">YouTube</a> commenter put it, &#8220;&#8230;our life cycle is to the rocks as a Mayfly&#8217;s life cycle is to us.&#8221; </p>
  322.  
  323.  
  324.  
  325. <p>The film was made in Germany and was nominated in 2003 for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short. Watch:</p>
  326.  
  327.  
  328.  
  329. <p></p>
  330.  
  331.  
  332.  
  333. <figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper">
  334. <iframe title="Das Rad (2001)" width="1080" height="608" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/HOPwXNFU7oU?feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  335. </div></figure>
  336. ]]></content:encoded>
  337. </item>
  338. <item>
  339. <title>How Do You Draw a Town?</title>
  340. <link>https://leelefever.com/how-do-you-draw-a-town/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=how-do-you-draw-a-town</link>
  341. <pubDate>Thu, 06 Feb 2020 22:44:09 +0000</pubDate>
  342. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  343. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  344. <category><![CDATA[art]]></category>
  345. <category><![CDATA[common craft]]></category>
  346. <category><![CDATA[cutouts]]></category>
  347. <category><![CDATA[illustration]]></category>
  348. <category><![CDATA[show your work]]></category>
  349. <category><![CDATA[work]]></category>
  350.  
  351. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3225</guid>
  352. <description><![CDATA[I like to think about Common Craft cut-outs as symbols rather than realistic interpretations. Symbols are more timeless and flexible. They have personality and style.  ]]></description>
  353. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  354. <p>Since 2007, work on Common Craft videos has been a constant. We publish about 10 original videos a year, which means that video production is an enduring part of our work. Like any job, it can get less exciting after so much time, but I&#8217;m always thankful that it&#8217;s my job. Instead of saying, &#8220;I have to do it.&#8221; I prefer to say, &#8220;I get to do it.&#8221; It&#8217;s a good job to have. </p>
  355.  
  356.  
  357.  
  358. <p>One of my favorite parts of the process is drawing the artwork that appears in <a href="https://www.commoncraft.com/video-library">the videos</a>; what we call cut-outs. Now that we have a library of over 3,000 cut-outs, I don&#8217;t have to draw every image from scratch. But there are certain illustrations that can make a video more original and creative and taking the time to get them right is my happy place. </p>
  359.  
  360.  
  361.  
  362. <p>A forthcoming video tells the story of two towns. The concept of a town (or two in this case) is one that could be drawn in a number of ways. I could draw an old west style storefront or neighborhood with driveways and sidewalks. How does one draw multiple towns?</p>
  363.  
  364.  
  365.  
  366. <p>I like to think about Common Craft cut-outs as symbols rather than realistic interpretations. Symbols are more timeless and flexible. They have personality and style.  Below is a town symbol that&#8217;s currently in our library: </p>
  367.  
  368.  
  369.  
  370. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Town-Icon-Round-1024x574.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3226" width="415" height="232"/></figure>
  371.  
  372.  
  373.  
  374. <p> The same style, but a city instead:</p>
  375.  
  376.  
  377.  
  378. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/City-Icon-1024x742.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3227" width="432" height="313"/></figure>
  379.  
  380.  
  381.  
  382. <p>For the forthcoming video, the new town images are still in production. Below is a draft that hasn&#8217;t yet been colored. If you look closely, you can see color swatches on the buildings. These indicate how the illustration will be colored when it&#8217;s finalized and turned into vector art. You&#8217;ll also see I&#8217;m leaving an open area in front of the buildings so the space can be used to add houses or whatever is needed. I&#8217;ll share the finished version once production is complete. </p>
  383.  
  384.  
  385.  
  386. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/Screen-Shot-2020-02-06-at-1.58.04-PM-1024x506.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3228" width="503" height="248"/></figure>
  387.  
  388.  
  389.  
  390. <p>If you&#8217;re curious about Common Craft cut-outs, you can <a href="https://www.commoncraft.com/cut-out-library">search the library</a>. </p>
  391. ]]></content:encoded>
  392. </item>
  393. <item>
  394. <title>Stepping Away from the Bustle</title>
  395. <link>https://leelefever.com/stepping-away-from-the-bustle/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=stepping-away-from-the-bustle</link>
  396. <pubDate>Mon, 03 Feb 2020 20:29:38 +0000</pubDate>
  397. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  398. <category><![CDATA[Happiness]]></category>
  399. <category><![CDATA[happiness]]></category>
  400. <category><![CDATA[lifestyle]]></category>
  401. <category><![CDATA[seattle]]></category>
  402. <category><![CDATA[simplicity]]></category>
  403. <category><![CDATA[video]]></category>
  404.  
  405. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3206</guid>
  406. <description><![CDATA[Now that we've moved and my life has changed in fundamental ways, I can't help but see that there is beauty in stepping off the treadmill of city life and professional expectations and reevaluating what success means to me.]]></description>
  407. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  408. <p>Less than a year ago, I left Seattle, a city that had been my home since 1998. I always loved the city and especially the feeling that I was a part of a big, bustling place that constantly changed. Just being outside meant being among people and vehicles and busses. There were always things to do and it sometimes felt like a race when a new bar or restaurant appeared. If you discovered it early enough or knew the secret time to go, you could beat the inevitable crowds. FOMO was a constant part of my city life.</p>
  409.  
  410.  
  411.  
  412. <p>In recent years the city seemed to change, and more than that, I changed. I suppose it has to do with growing older, but I came to see that another kind of life was possible for me and that I could be happy in a different context. I loved the bustle, but it grew less attractive over time.</p>
  413.  
  414.  
  415.  
  416. <p>This change in attitude manifested in a number of ways, including a decision to leave Seattle and move to an island off the coast of Washington State in 2019. Along with the personal side of this change, I started to think differently as a professional. In Seattle, I have many friends in the tech industry who worked for big companies like Microsoft and Amazon along with start-ups of various stripes. In the city, success is usually valued traditionally. Executives earn promotions and shares vest over time. Startups attract VC funding, a growing number of employees and the potential to make it big. Some friends have seen big exits, some are still working at it, others have moved on. This, too, creates a sense of FOMO. I sometimes felt that, despite owning a company since 2003, I might be missing out on this traditional version of success because we chose to remain a small, home-based business. An IPO was never something we saw happening. </p>
  417.  
  418.  
  419.  
  420. <p>As the idea of moving away from Seattle became a daily conversation, I felt my perspective change and with it, my perception of what represented success to me. Instead of judging my accomplishments based on peers in Seattle, I started to see that I had a choice. What if, instead of a growing startup and/or the potential of an IPO, I had the freedom to choose how I spent my time? What if I could devote myself to a healthy and sustainable lifestyle? What if I only needed a fraction of my city income to be satisfied and lead a fulfilling life? </p>
  421.  
  422.  
  423.  
  424. <p>Now that we&#8217;ve moved and my life has changed in fundamental ways, I can&#8217;t help but see that there is beauty in stepping off the treadmill of traditional measurements of success and professional expectations, and reevaluating what success means to me. This feeling is still relatively new to me and it&#8217;s not been easy to put into words. That&#8217;s why I&#8217;ve included the video below. The last part of the video (set to start toward the end) from The School of Life does a good job of presenting this alternative way of thinking. The first time I saw it, it spoke to me. Maybe it will speak to you, too. </p>
  425.  
  426.  
  427.  
  428. <figure class="wp-block-embed-youtube wp-block-embed is-type-video is-provider-youtube wp-embed-aspect-16-9 wp-has-aspect-ratio"><div class="wp-block-embed__wrapper">
  429. <iframe title="How To Simplify Your Life" width="1080" height="608" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7lECIsRif10?start=312&#038;feature=oembed" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen></iframe>
  430. </div></figure>
  431. ]]></content:encoded>
  432. </item>
  433. <item>
  434. <title>Newsletter #54: Summoning the Gumption</title>
  435. <link>https://leelefever.com/newsletter-54-summoning-the-gumption/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=newsletter-54-summoning-the-gumption</link>
  436. <pubDate>Wed, 29 Jan 2020 17:54:09 +0000</pubDate>
  437. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  438. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  439. <category><![CDATA[Newsletter]]></category>
  440. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  441. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  442. <category><![CDATA[newsletter]]></category>
  443. <category><![CDATA[ready for rain]]></category>
  444.  
  445. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3172</guid>
  446. <description><![CDATA[Last night I published my newsletter, Ready for Rain, and it kicked off a new direction for readers. Over the past year, I wrote every week about big events in my life and the projects that made them happen. This included leaving Seattle after 20 years, moving to Orcas Island and starting a home construction [&#8230;]]]></description>
  447. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  448. <p>Last night I published my newsletter, <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">Ready for Rain</a>, and it kicked off a new direction for readers. Over the past year, I wrote every week about big events in my life and the projects that made them happen. This included leaving Seattle after 20 years, moving to Orcas Island and starting a home construction project. Each week, I focused on some facets of that experience. </p>
  449.  
  450.  
  451.  
  452. <p>In 2020, I am adding a new project to the mix in the form of publishing my book, <a href="https://leelefever.com/bigenough/"><em>Big Enough</em></a>. I plan to share the phases of the process, what I&#8217;m learning, and how it feels. You can <a href="https://leelefever.com/newsletter">subscribe here</a>.</p>
  453.  
  454.  
  455.  
  456. <p>Here&#8217;s an excerpt from the most recent post:</p>
  457.  
  458.  
  459.  
  460. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>For <em>Big Enough</em>, I plan to throw myself at the marketing beast. My challenge is to learn how to market a book successfully. If I can develop a marketing strategy that fits with my style, I will have a head start for future books. </p></blockquote>
  461.  
  462.  
  463.  
  464. <p>Read <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com/issues/summoning-the-gumption-issue-54-222499">Ready for Rain Issue #54: Summoning the Gumption</a>. </p>
  465. ]]></content:encoded>
  466. </item>
  467. <item>
  468. <title>Betting on Blurbs</title>
  469. <link>https://leelefever.com/betting-on-blurbs/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=betting-on-blurbs</link>
  470. <pubDate>Tue, 28 Jan 2020 23:13:03 +0000</pubDate>
  471. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  472. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  473. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  474. <category><![CDATA[blurbs]]></category>
  475. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  476. <category><![CDATA[networking]]></category>
  477. <category><![CDATA[Page Two]]></category>
  478.  
  479. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3102</guid>
  480. <description><![CDATA[If you pick up just about any modern book, you&#8217;ll find short quotes from influential people saying nice things about the book and/or author. These are called endorsements or blurbs and they provide a bit of social proof. On the front cover of Jason Fried and DHH&#8217;s book, Rework, words from Seth Godin appear above [&#8230;]]]></description>
  481. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  482. <p>If you pick up just about any modern book, you&#8217;ll find short quotes from influential people saying nice things about the book and/or author. These are called endorsements or blurbs and they provide a bit of social proof. </p>
  483.  
  484.  
  485.  
  486. <p>On the front cover of Jason Fried and DHH&#8217;s book, <em><a href="https://basecamp.com/books/rework">Rework</a></em>, words from Seth Godin appear above the title:</p>
  487.  
  488.  
  489.  
  490. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/IMG-5864-1024x418.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-3103" width="522" height="213"/></figure>
  491.  
  492.  
  493.  
  494. <p>On the back cover of Paul Jarvis&#8217; book <em><a href="https://ofone.co/">Company of One</a></em>, there are multiple quotes under the title &#8220;Praise for Company of One.&#8221; </p>
  495.  
  496.  
  497.  
  498. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/IMG-5867-1024x564.jpg" alt="" class="wp-image-3104" width="536" height="295"/></figure>
  499.  
  500.  
  501.  
  502. <p>In publishing a book, these endorsements can be a way to differentiate and give potential readers a way to evaluate what the book is about and for whom it is intended. This is also the case with my book, <a href="https://leelefever.com/bigenough"><em>Big Enough</em></a>. Over the past few weeks, I&#8217;ve been on a mission to contact influential people and ask them, in the parlance of authors, to &#8220;blurb my book.&#8221;</p>
  503.  
  504.  
  505.  
  506. <p>To be honest, I dreaded this part of the process, in part, because it&#8217;s such a big ask. I am requesting that they spend hours reading a draft of my book and then come up with a pithy remark that serves to market my book, all within a deadline of a few weeks. Of course, their name on the cover or on the book website is marketing for them, too, so it&#8217;s not as one-sided as it seems. But still, I recognize the size of the request.</p>
  507.  
  508.  
  509.  
  510. <p>Today, I sent an early version of Big Enough as a PDF to twelve kind people who had agreed to read it and potentially provide a blurb. With that complete, I&#8217;m reflecting on the experience and most of what I feel is gratitude. Anytime you ask someone for a favor, there is always a chance of rejection. Going into the process, I figured that I simply wouldn&#8217;t hear back from most. That wasn&#8217;t the case at all. Of the 20 people I contacted via email, only two didn&#8217;t respond and there is some chance that email algorithms played some role in that process. </p>
  511.  
  512.  
  513.  
  514. <p>The endorsement worked like this for me&#8230;</p>
  515.  
  516.  
  517.  
  518. <p>My publishing partner, <a href="http://pagetwo.com">Page Two</a>, provided a spreadsheet with labeled columns for helping me manage the blurbs. Using that sheet, I started brainstorming influential people I know whose work or reputation fit the context of <em>Big Enough</em>. I looked through my email contacts, Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections and browsed the blurbs on related books. I listed a mix of people I knew directly and those who I planned to contact. With the names in place, I started reaching out one by one.</p>
  519.  
  520.  
  521.  
  522. <p>It starts with an email that explains the basics. For most connections, I would mention how we know each other, an event we attended or a personal connection we have in common. I remind them about Common Craft and explain that I have a book coming out. On a few occasions, I asked people in my network for an introduction to someone I didn&#8217;t know personally and that was productive, too. </p>
  523.  
  524.  
  525.  
  526. <p>Here&#8217;s a version of the message I sent to people aware of Common Craft:</p>
  527.  
  528.  
  529.  
  530. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>I&#8217;m writing to ask for a favor. As you know, my wife Sachi and I have run Common Craft since the early 2000s. Our early&nbsp;videos&nbsp;helped established the explainer video genre, etc. Behind the scenes, we were always focused on entrepreneurship, technology, and business models. Over the last decade, we transformed Common Craft into a company that&#8217;s intentionally small, product-focused and designed to promote a healthy quality of life.&nbsp;<br>The favor is this: I have a book coming out in May of this year. It&#8217;s called&nbsp;<em>Big&nbsp;Enough</em>&nbsp;and it tells our story. Today the book is being designed now and&nbsp;I&#8217;m&nbsp;reaching out to a handful of influential people to ask about&nbsp;reading the book and potentially&nbsp;providing a testimonial. I think you&#8217;d find it entertaining and relevant, especially in the context of technology&#8217;s impact on small businesses like ours. It&#8217;s relatively short (big&nbsp;enough?) and can be read in an afternoon.<br>If you&#8217;re interested, I&#8217;d like to send you an uncorrected proof as a PDF. If the book connects with you, it would be awesome if you could share a few words I can use on the book and/or website.&nbsp;<strong>I would need the blurb by XXXXX.</strong></p></blockquote>
  531.  
  532.  
  533.  
  534. <p>To my surprise, it worked. The majority of people I asked responded and said they were happy to take a look. This doesn&#8217;t mean the blurb will happen, but it&#8217;s a step in the right direction. I am also grateful to those who responded with a simple &#8220;no&#8221;.  </p>
  535.  
  536.  
  537.  
  538. <p>The next challenge is working with the blurbers to get their quotes in-hand and ready for production. I&#8217;ll probably have to send reminder emails and warnings about deadlines, but that goes with the territory. </p>
  539.  
  540.  
  541.  
  542. <p>Over the last couple of weeks, my dread regarding this process turned to excitement. I realized I was learning a new skill and developing a strategy I could use in the future. More than that, I was excited by reconnecting with old friends and potentially making new connections. In a few cases, my emails led to phone calls and online meetings. It felt like my network was getting stronger. </p>
  543. ]]></content:encoded>
  544. </item>
  545. <item>
  546. <title>The Editorial Calendar</title>
  547. <link>https://leelefever.com/the-editorial-calendar/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=the-editorial-calendar</link>
  548. <pubDate>Mon, 27 Jan 2020 17:27:20 +0000</pubDate>
  549. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  550. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  551. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  552. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  553. <category><![CDATA[Page Two]]></category>
  554.  
  555. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3065</guid>
  556. <description><![CDATA[In much of our daily work, things happen on an ad hoc basis and that&#8217;s how we like it. An example is the release of a new Common Craft video. Since 2007, we&#8217;ve published a new video every month or two. Once a video is published, the clock starts ticking and over the following weeks, [&#8230;]]]></description>
  557. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  558. <p>In much of our daily work, things happen on an ad hoc basis and that&#8217;s how we like it. An example is the release of a new Common Craft video. Since 2007, we&#8217;ve published a new video every month or two. Once a video is published, the clock starts ticking and over the following weeks, the pressure builds to publish the next one. Over twelve years, I&#8217;ve grown used to the constant production. </p>
  559.  
  560.  
  561.  
  562. <p>It works, in part, because we are in complete control. If we see an opportunity to improve a video, we can just delay the publishing date, or publish something else instead. No one is the wiser. Our goal isn&#8217;t sticking to a strict calendar, it&#8217;s building a quality <a href="https://commoncraft.com/video-library">video library</a> over time. The same is true with blog posts and anything else I share.  Our editorial independence and control of our calendar are big reasons the process has been sustainable.  </p>
  563.  
  564.  
  565.  
  566. <p>Now that I have a book called <em><a href="https://leelefever.com/bigenough">Big Enough</a> </em>arriving in May, this free-wheeling approach to publishing must become more rigorous. Between now and the publish date, I am making it a priority to publish book-related articles every week, with occasional posts in between. For this, I am using an editorial calendar to keep myself on track. </p>
  567.  
  568.  
  569.  
  570. <p>The words &#8220;create editorial calendar&#8221; have appeared on my to-do lists many times before and have disappeared just as quickly as they arrived. This time, however, it&#8217;s different. The next few months are a time for me to write regularly and do everything I can to build awareness for the book. Because this is so important, I&#8217;m not willing to let it happen ad hoc. I need rigor. </p>
  571.  
  572.  
  573.  
  574. <p>For now, I&#8217;m promising myself to publish a book-related article once a week, on Thursdays. I hope to write more regularly and share more on this blog, but these book posts will be different. They will be more composed. They will be shared on platforms like LinkedIn and Medium. </p>
  575.  
  576.  
  577.  
  578. <p>Today, it feels like I&#8217;m standing at the bottom of a big hill. At the top is the release date of my book, <a href="/bigenough">Big Enough</a>, on May 5th, 2020. Between now and then, I will climb that hill. Rather than just showing up and climbing, I&#8217;m planning and preparing so that it&#8217;s a smooth and manageable ascent.  </p>
  579.  
  580.  
  581.  
  582. <p>While it feels a little daunting, I&#8217;m now looking forward to it and watching where it may lead. It is an experiment, after all. </p>
  583.  
  584.  
  585.  
  586. <p><strong>Curious about <em>Big Enough</em>? <a href="http://bigenough">Read a free chapter.</a> </strong></p>
  587. ]]></content:encoded>
  588. </item>
  589. </channel>
  590. </rss>
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