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  11. <title>Lee LeFever dot com</title>
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  13. <link>https://leelefever.com</link>
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  30. <item>
  31. <title>Publishing a Book During a Pandemic (Or Not)</title>
  32. <link>https://leelefever.com/publishing-a-book-during-a-pandemic-or-not/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=publishing-a-book-during-a-pandemic-or-not</link>
  33. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  34. <pubDate>Mon, 06 Apr 2020 18:05:10 +0000</pubDate>
  35. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  36. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  37. <category><![CDATA[covid-19]]></category>
  38. <category><![CDATA[pandemic]]></category>
  39. <category><![CDATA[publishing]]></category>
  40. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3515</guid>
  41.  
  42. <description><![CDATA[In publishing a book, timing matters. You’ve spent a year or more writing it and developing the final product. You have a system set up for pre-orders and help with promotions. All the arrows point to a single date on the calendar: your publishing date. If all goes well, the book creates a splash on [&#8230;]]]></description>
  43. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  44. <p>In publishing a book, timing matters. You’ve spent a year or more writing it and developing the final product. You have a system set up for pre-orders and help with promotions. All the arrows point to a single date on the calendar: your publishing date. If all goes well, the book creates a splash on that day and the ripples reach further than you ever could.</p>
  45.  
  46.  
  47.  
  48. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-medium is-resized"><a href="bigenough.life"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/3-d-Cover-Final-small-211x300.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3372" width="160" height="228"/></a></figure></div>
  49.  
  50.  
  51.  
  52. <p>That’s the dream.</p>
  53.  
  54.  
  55.  
  56. <p>For the past six months, I’ve worked to arrange all the arrows to point to the day that <em><a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a></em> would be published. For me, that date was May 5th, 2020.&nbsp;</p>
  57.  
  58.  
  59.  
  60. <p>Living in Washington State, home of the first COVID-19 diagnosis and death in the U.S., I was well aware of the virus’ potential impact on public health and the economy. I didn’t worry about the book at first. As the virus swept across the country and states issued stay-at-home orders, I saw a renewed interest in reading. People asked for book recommendations on Twitter. Maybe being home could actually be good for book sales?</p>
  61.  
  62.  
  63.  
  64. <p>I also saw that the themes of <em>Big Enough</em> were well-suited for the current situation. It’s about designing a business that can weather a storm and be resilient. I discuss a kind of entrepreneurship that aspires to be small, home-based and diversified. A full chapter is devoted to a mode of living we call “The Monetorium” that’s focused on reducing expenses to help accomplish a goal or get through a crisis.</p>
  65.  
  66.  
  67.  
  68. <p>In some ways, the planned timing of <em>Big Enough</em>’s May release seemed quite good. It is perhaps more relevant than ever before and part of me felt that publishing it was a risk worth taking. It could help business-oriented people adjust to the new, post-COVID environment.</p>
  69.  
  70.  
  71.  
  72. <p>In a normal situation, April would have been a busy month. I’d be lining up podcast appearances, writing articles, and publishing videos. My goal would have been to introduce as many people as possible to the book and help them see why it matters. Momentum in April would go toward making a splash in May.&nbsp;</p>
  73.  
  74.  
  75.  
  76. <p>I soon realized, along with the rest of the world, that April and May were not shaping up to be normal months. In fact, they were looking increasingly like months of when COVID-19 would be at its peak. I had to ask myself: do I feel comfortable marketing a book during a pandemic? This led to a practical consideration: Could the publishing date change?&nbsp;</p>
  77.  
  78.  
  79.  
  80. <p>The clock was ticking. I asked my publishing partners at Page Two about the potential to move the date and they said it was possible and making the decision a month in advance would give the supply chain time to adjust. That created a deadline. I needed to decide by April 5th.</p>
  81.  
  82.  
  83.  
  84. <p>The potential to move the date felt like an escape hatch. As the news grew grimmer by the day, I became more pessimistic. Marketing and publishing a book during a tragedy didn’t seem right to me on a personal level. This feeling was bolstered by a number of practical considerations.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  85.  
  86.  
  87.  
  88. <p>One concern was logistics. With so many businesses closed, the supply chains that reliably deliver books to stores and warehouses could be disrupted and become unpredictable. There’s a real possibility my publishing date could arrive without books on shelves.</p>
  89.  
  90.  
  91.  
  92. <p>Further, coronavirus news is dominating and will continue to dominate everyone’s attention. The potential to build awareness for a new book seemed like an overwhelming challenge, even with a pertinent message.&nbsp;</p>
  93.  
  94.  
  95.  
  96. <p>Lastly, there is the economy. The Federal Reserve recently said that <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/30/coronavirus-job-losses-could-total-47-million-unemployment-rate-of-32percent-fed-says.html">unemployment could reach 32%</a>. On the same day, the <a href="https://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/imf-head-global-economy-now-recession-69843184">IMF announced</a> that we were officially in a global recession. These are not good signs for selling anything in the short term.&nbsp;</p>
  97.  
  98.  
  99.  
  100. <p>My overall feeling was that the publish date had to change. There are too many unknowns and risks. The only certainty was that the coronavirus will still be with us in May.&nbsp;On a personal level, I worried about appearing tone-deaf.</p>
  101.  
  102.  
  103.  
  104. <p>In a recent meeting with Page Two, we decided to refocus our efforts on publishing Big Enough in the fall, probably in early September. I’m happy with this decision and hopeful that, by then, we’ll be recovering from the pandemic and starting to feel more positively about the future. If we’re right, the book will hit shelves at a time when it can help people who are reassessing their careers and lifestyles. If we’re right, it could make an even bigger splash. </p>
  105.  
  106.  
  107.  
  108. <p>Today this decision feels like a relief. In the rush to publish a book, it&#8217;s sometimes difficult to take a step back and reassess messaging and marketing. Deadlines must be met. With this change of date, I now have the luxury to look at Big Enough with fresh eyes and think long and hard about how it will land in what is hopefully a post-COVID environment. </p>
  109.  
  110.  
  111.  
  112. <p><strong>If you would like to be notified about the release of Big Enough and download a sample chapter, you can do so at <a href="http://bigenough.life">bigenough.life</a>.&nbsp;</strong><br></p>
  113. ]]></content:encoded>
  114. </item>
  115. <item>
  116. <title>A Balance of Ambition and Happiness</title>
  117. <link>https://leelefever.com/a-balance-of-ambition-and-happiness/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=a-balance-of-ambition-and-happiness</link>
  118. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  119. <pubDate>Sun, 05 Apr 2020 17:58:12 +0000</pubDate>
  120. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  121. <category><![CDATA[Happiness]]></category>
  122. <category><![CDATA[Home]]></category>
  123. <category><![CDATA[career]]></category>
  124. <category><![CDATA[entrepreneurship]]></category>
  125. <category><![CDATA[happiness]]></category>
  126. <category><![CDATA[quote]]></category>
  127. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3500</guid>
  128.  
  129. <description><![CDATA[I love this quote by Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, which I found through James Clear&#8217;s newsletter: “&#8230;having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another. Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice [&#8230;]]]></description>
  130. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  131. <p>I love this quote by Bill Watterson, creator of Calvin and Hobbes, which I found through <a href="https://jamesclear.com/3-2-1/refer?rh_ref=c63b45c6">James Clear&#8217;s newsletter</a>:</p>
  132.  
  133.  
  134.  
  135. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>“&#8230;having an enviable career is one thing, and being a happy person is another. Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive. Ambition is only understood if it&#8217;s to rise to the top of some imaginary ladder of success. Someone who takes an undemanding job because it affords him the time to pursue other interests and activities is considered a flake. A person who abandons a career in order to stay home and raise children is considered not to be living up to his potential-as if a job title and salary are the sole measure of human worth. You&#8217;ll be told in a hundred ways, some subtle and some not, to keep climbing, and never be satisfied with where you are, who you are, and what you&#8217;re doing. There are a million ways to sell yourself out, and I guarantee you&#8217;ll hear about them. To invent your own life&#8217;s meaning is not easy, but it&#8217;s still allowed, and I think you&#8217;ll be happier for the trouble.”</p><cite><em>Source: <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="https://el2.convertkit-mail4.com/c/mvux0zx7mra5hmro7dbm/4mcvhehngxn565/aHR0cDovL3dlYi5taXQuZWR1L2ptb3J6aW5zL3d3dy9DLUgtc3BlZWNoLmh0bWw=" target="_blank">Some Thoughts on the Real World from One Who Glimpsed it and Fled</a></em></cite></blockquote>
  136.  
  137.  
  138.  
  139. <p>In the years leading up to writing <em><a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a></em>, this perspective became more real to me. I have always been ambitious and I continue to be. What has changed is the focus or desired outcome of that ambition. I came to see that I could be happy and satisfied by defining my own measures of success and pursuing what made me happy. For me, it meant thinking smaller and more home-based. It meant becoming more satisfiable. </p>
  140. ]]></content:encoded>
  141. </item>
  142. <item>
  143. <title>Stuck at Home? Host a Different Kind of Movie Night with Friends</title>
  144. <link>https://leelefever.com/stuck-at-home-host-a-different-kind-of-movie-night-with-friends/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=stuck-at-home-host-a-different-kind-of-movie-night-with-friends</link>
  145. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  146. <pubDate>Mon, 16 Mar 2020 00:14:08 +0000</pubDate>
  147. <category><![CDATA[Entertainment]]></category>
  148. <category><![CDATA[Happiness]]></category>
  149. <category><![CDATA[coronavirus]]></category>
  150. <category><![CDATA[friends]]></category>
  151. <category><![CDATA[home]]></category>
  152. <category><![CDATA[movie]]></category>
  153. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3474</guid>
  154.  
  155. <description><![CDATA[The outcome of our brainstorming led to a different kind of movie night that was full of fun and laughter, despite us being at different locations. It worked so well that I’m writing to share how you can do it with your friends or family. ]]></description>
  156. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  157. <p><strong>We used to have in-person movie nights with popcorn and blankets on the floor. Now that our group of friends is choosing to stay home due to Coronavirus, we looked for ways to <em>feel</em> connected, with zero risk.&nbsp;</strong></p>
  158.  
  159.  
  160.  
  161. <p><strong>The outcome of our brainstorming led to a different kind of movie night that was full of fun and laughter, despite us being at different locations. It worked so well that I’m writing to share how you can do it with your friends or family.&nbsp;</strong></p>
  162.  
  163.  
  164.  
  165. <hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
  166.  
  167.  
  168.  
  169. <p></p>
  170.  
  171.  
  172.  
  173. <h3>The Big Idea:</h3>
  174.  
  175.  
  176.  
  177. <p>A group of people, alone in their homes, watch the same (preferably bad) movie at the exact same time. As the movie plays, the group uses a group chat system to comment throughout the movie. I call it a “snark-a-thon” for obvious reasons.</p>
  178.  
  179.  
  180.  
  181. <h3>How to Host a Snark-a-Thon Movie Night:</h3>
  182.  
  183.  
  184.  
  185. <p><strong>Organize a group. </strong> We had six people and it worked great. More could work, too. Each household needs an internet connection, access to movie websites, and a computer or device for chatting. </p>
  186.  
  187.  
  188.  
  189. <p><strong>Choose a movie.</strong> We chose to focus on movies that fall into the “so bad it’s good” category for maximum snark. It&#8217;s important to pick a movie everyone can access. For us, Catwoman (2004) worked well and was <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Catwoman-Halle-Berry/dp/B003FFEX8C/ref=tmm_aiv_swatch_1">$.99 on Amazon</a> and available elsewhere.&nbsp;<a href="https://razzies.com/index.html">The Razzies website</a> might be a good source for inspiration.</p>
  190.  
  191.  
  192.  
  193. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-medium is-resized"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/catwoman-200x300.jpg" alt="Catwoman Poster" class="wp-image-3475" width="200" height="300"/></figure></div>
  194.  
  195.  
  196.  
  197. <p><strong>Start a group chat.</strong> We used a Slack channel, but that’s not required. You could use text messages, Facebook Messenger, Gchat, GroupMe, etc. Anything that allows a group to chat synchronously will work.</p>
  198.  
  199.  
  200.  
  201. <p><strong>Plan the event. </strong>We agreed to start the chat at 8:30 and start the show at 8:45. This gave everyone a chance to get comfortable, arrange for snacks and coordinate the start of the movie. The designated host will need to pause the movie near the start and share a timestamp (and photo) with the group to get everyone to the same scene. We used the title screen.</p>
  202.  
  203.  
  204.  
  205. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="aligncenter size-medium"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/catwomanscreen-300x147.jpeg" alt="" class="wp-image-3477"/></figure></div>
  206.  
  207.  
  208.  
  209. <p><strong>Start the show, together. </strong>A challenge is getting each household to start the movie at the same time. Once everyone has paused the movie at the same timestamp, the host can post “now” in the chat as the signal to unpause it. Alternatively, everyone can start it when phone clocks turn to a specific minute, like 8:46. Once it’s playing, it’s important that no one pause or rewind the movie. <strong>Synchrony is essential to making it work.</strong> </p>
  210.  
  211.  
  212.  
  213. <p><strong>Updated:</strong> <a href="https://www.netflixparty.com/">Netflixparty</a> is a Chrome browser extension that synchronizes video playback and provides for group chat. </p>
  214.  
  215.  
  216.  
  217. <p><strong>Have fun. </strong>One of the reasons to use a bad movie is to not care too much about the plot. In our situation, the movie was secondary to the discussion. There were tangents, bad jokes, animated gifs and a LOT of laughing. The chat was continuous throughout the movie and became the real show. Being home-bound meant no one was driving, so we all partied as much as we wanted.&nbsp;</p>
  218.  
  219.  
  220.  
  221. <p>In the end, we were all amazed at how well it worked. It made us feel connected despite the isolation and added real fun to a night that might have otherwise felt lonely. And we all practiced social distancing. &nbsp;</p>
  222.  
  223.  
  224.  
  225. <p><strong>You should host a snark-a-thon movie night! If you do, use #snarkathon when you talk about it online. <br></strong></p>
  226. ]]></content:encoded>
  227. </item>
  228. <item>
  229. <title>Using Extra Pages in BIG ENOUGH</title>
  230. <link>https://leelefever.com/using-extra-pages-in-big-enough/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=using-extra-pages-in-big-enough</link>
  231. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  232. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Mar 2020 18:25:08 +0000</pubDate>
  233. <category><![CDATA[Art of Explanation Book]]></category>
  234. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  235. <category><![CDATA[book design]]></category>
  236. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  237. <category><![CDATA[publishing]]></category>
  238. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3427</guid>
  239.  
  240. <description><![CDATA[Just before Big Enough went to the printer, I learned there were a handful of blank pages at the end of the book. The book designer asked if I'd like to use them for promotion or a section for "notes", etc.  It seemed strange.  Couldn't we just remove the extra pages?  I asked my editor and she followed up with this article about printing books. ]]></description>
  241. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  242. <p>Just before <em><a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a></em> went to the printer, I learned there were a handful of blank pages at the end of the book. The book designer asked if I&#8217;d like to use them for promotion or a section for &#8220;notes&#8221;, etc.  It seemed strange.  Couldn&#8217;t we just remove the extra pages?  I asked my editor and she followed up with <a href="https://withoutbullshit.com/blog/what-authors-need-to-know-about-printing-yes-printing">this article</a> about printing books. </p>
  243.  
  244.  
  245.  
  246. <p> From the article: </p>
  247.  
  248.  
  249.  
  250. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>&#8220;Page count is typically a multiple of 16, because the printer prints sheets of 16 pages (called signatures) and folds them up to create book pages. If your page count is just one page over a multiple of 16, you’ll have 15 blank pages at the end of the book.&#8221; </p></blockquote>
  251.  
  252.  
  253.  
  254. <p>So, I started wondering what I could add to the end of the book. I asked about a photo and the designer said there was a good place for a photo on the opposing page from my bio, but it wouldn&#8217;t use up any extra pages. </p>
  255.  
  256.  
  257.  
  258. <p>In <a href="https://leelefever.com/the-art-of-explanation/">The Art of Explanation</a>, I added a promotion for Common Craft at the end and I think it worked well. But <em>Big Enough</em> is a different kind of book and I want it to be less promotional. Instead, I decided to add an author&#8217;s note that is meant to offer readers the next step and an invitation to connect. </p>
  259.  
  260.  
  261.  
  262. <p>The problem with printing these sorts of invitations in the book is the timelessness factor. What you print must stand the test of time. For example, I chose not to mention a specific social media platform. Further, I was advised not to mention specific platforms, like Amazon, as it&#8217;s friendlier to booksellers to remain neutral.</p>
  263.  
  264.  
  265.  
  266. <p>Here&#8217;s the note:</p>
  267.  
  268.  
  269.  
  270. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>I hope you enjoyed <em>Big Enough</em>. Like so much of what we do, this book was an experiment and an expression of the independence we’ve sought for so long. It was self-published, which means we’re personally invested in its success.&nbsp;</p><p>I hope you’ll consider reviewing it online or simply telling a friend. By sharing a few words on book review websites or where you purchased it, you can help more people discover the book and feel the satisfaction of knowing you’ve helped an independent publisher. </p><p>The home of my writing is <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://leelefever.com/" target="_blank">leelefever.com</a> and I&#8217;m @leelefever on social media. I’d love to hear from you! Of course, our videos and ongoing business experiments can be found at <a rel="noreferrer noopener" href="http://commoncraft.com/" target="_blank">commoncraft.com</a>.</p><p>Again, thanks so much for reading <em>Big Enough</em>!</p></blockquote>
  271.  
  272.  
  273.  
  274. <p>The thought of doing something like this crossed my mind early on, but I didn&#8217;t push it. Now that the note will appear in the book, it feels good. I like having a quick sign-off that thanks the reader and points them to a next step. </p>
  275. ]]></content:encoded>
  276. </item>
  277. <item>
  278. <title>Ready for Rain: In an Instant, She Was Gone</title>
  279. <link>https://leelefever.com/ready-for-rain-in-an-instant-she-was-gone/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=ready-for-rain-in-an-instant-she-was-gone</link>
  280. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  281. <pubDate>Tue, 10 Mar 2020 17:56:01 +0000</pubDate>
  282. <category><![CDATA[Newsletter]]></category>
  283. <category><![CDATA[dog]]></category>
  284. <category><![CDATA[history]]></category>
  285. <category><![CDATA[newsletter]]></category>
  286. <category><![CDATA[ready for rain]]></category>
  287. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3421</guid>
  288.  
  289. <description><![CDATA[A new issue of my newsletter, Ready for Rain, went out to subscribers recently. It&#8217;s a short, scary story about our dog Piper disappearing into the woods on a windy afternoon. It was about 3:45 when Piper disappeared and as we searched, I started to do mental calculations. It gets dark at about 6pm, so [&#8230;]]]></description>
  290. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  291. <figure class="wp-block-image size-large"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IMG-6662-1-1024x532.jpg" alt="Dog named Piper" class="wp-image-3424" srcset="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IMG-6662-1-1024x532.jpg 1024w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IMG-6662-1-980x509.jpg 980w, https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/IMG-6662-1-480x249.jpg 480w" sizes="(min-width: 0px) and (max-width: 480px) 480px, (min-width: 481px) and (max-width: 980px) 980px, (min-width: 981px) 1024px, 100vw" /></figure>
  292.  
  293.  
  294.  
  295. <p>A new issue of my newsletter, <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">Ready for Rain</a>, went out to subscribers recently. It&#8217;s a short, scary story about our dog Piper disappearing into the woods on a windy afternoon. </p>
  296.  
  297.  
  298.  
  299. <blockquote class="wp-block-quote"><p>It was about 3:45 when Piper disappeared and as we searched, I started to do mental calculations. It gets dark at about 6pm, so we have a little over two hours to find her. She is used to having dinner at 5, so maybe that will bring her home. I looked at the weather and saw low temperatures in the upper thirties. These little calculations led to a series of questions I didn’t want to have to face. What if she’s not home when it gets dark? What if she’s not home when it’s time to go to bed? What about two days from now? A week? Is it too cold? Are we going to have to make signs? I imagined Sachi spending the night by the front door, waiting.</p><cite><a href="http://rain.leelefever.com/issues/in-an-instant-she-was-gone-issue-57-227906">Read this issue.</a></cite></blockquote>
  300.  
  301.  
  302.  
  303. <p>Ready for Rain goes to a small group of dedicated readers and about 60% of them open each issue, which I find encouraging. <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">I&#8217;d love to have you as a subscriber</a>.</p>
  304. ]]></content:encoded>
  305. </item>
  306. <item>
  307. <title>How I&#8217;m Publishing BIG ENOUGH</title>
  308. <link>https://leelefever.com/how-im-publishing-big-enough/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=how-im-publishing-big-enough</link>
  309. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  310. <pubDate>Wed, 26 Feb 2020 17:53:54 +0000</pubDate>
  311. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  312. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  313. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  314. <category><![CDATA[book]]></category>
  315. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  316. <category><![CDATA[explanation]]></category>
  317. <category><![CDATA[Page Two]]></category>
  318. <category><![CDATA[publishing]]></category>
  319. <category><![CDATA[traditional publishing]]></category>
  320. <category><![CDATA[wiley]]></category>
  321. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3368</guid>
  322.  
  323. <description><![CDATA[Big Enough, my forthcoming book, is arriving in May. It’s being published via a partnership between me and publishing industry pros. Below, I’ll explain why I made this choice, how it differs from traditional publishing and why this option might become more popular in the future.&#160;&#160; In 2012, I worked with Wiley, a major book [&#8230;]]]></description>
  324. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  325. <div class="wp-block-image"><figure class="alignright size-large is-resized"><a href="bigenough.life"><img src="https://leelefever.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/3-d-Cover-Final-small.png" alt="" class="wp-image-3372" width="137" height="195"/></a></figure></div>
  326.  
  327.  
  328.  
  329. <p class="has-text-align-left"><strong><em>Big Enough</em>, my forthcoming book, is arriving in May. It’s being published via a partnership between me and publishing industry pros.</strong> <strong>Below, I’ll explain why I made this choice, how it differs from traditional publishing and why this option might become more popular in the future.&nbsp;</strong>&nbsp;</p>
  330.  
  331.  
  332.  
  333. <p>In 2012, I worked with <a href="https://www.wiley.com/">Wiley</a>, a major book publisher, to publish <a href="https://leelefever.com/the-art-of-explanation/">The Art of Explanation</a>. I enjoyed working with Wiley and I’m proud of what we produced. Our relationship represented how publishers have worked with authors for generations. </p>
  334.  
  335.  
  336.  
  337. <p>My goal with <a href="http://bigenough.life">Big Enough</a>, though, is to self-publish a book that’s indistinguishable from one produced by a major publisher. It will appear on the same bookshelves and be of similar quality. Before getting into that, I think it’s important to understand the variety of expertise that goes into publishing nearly any book destined for bookstores.&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  338.  
  339.  
  340.  
  341. <p><strong>Books, of course, must be written.</strong> Authors are responsible for putting ideas on a page, which takes time and produces no direct income. Writing a book comes with opportunity costs and possibly debt.</p>
  342.  
  343.  
  344.  
  345. <p><strong>Authors need editors</strong>. Books meant for the mass market must be edited. Working with a professional editor can transform a book and increase its potential to be successful. In addition to content editing, copy editors and proofreaders ensure the book’s grammar, spelling and punctuation are correct. This work ensures quality, takes time and talented editors don’t work for free.&nbsp;</p>
  346.  
  347.  
  348.  
  349. <p><strong>Books need design.</strong> Professional book designers create cover art and select layouts, fonts, headings, and more. A nicely designed book relates to the content and stands out on the shelf. Designers also deserve to be paid for their work.&nbsp;</p>
  350.  
  351.  
  352.  
  353. <p><strong>A physical book must be printed and distributed</strong>. Like any other product, books travel through a supply chain. Getting a book into this supply chain requires business relationships with both printers and distributors. Project managers are essential in this process.&nbsp;</p>
  354.  
  355.  
  356.  
  357. <p><strong>Purchases require awareness.</strong> Marketing, advertising and sometimes, public relations campaigns can help a book be discovered. These activities require time, expertise, and can come with significant advertising costs.</p>
  358.  
  359.  
  360.  
  361. <p><strong>The bottom line is this: high-quality books require significant investment and acceptance of risk. </strong>I think about it in terms of a break-even point. Will the book sell enough to pay for the cost of publishing it?&nbsp;</p>
  362.  
  363.  
  364.  
  365. <p>Now, let’s talk traditional publishing. In working with Wiley, I wrote the book and they handled most of the work I described above. I was not required to invest in editing, design, printing, distribution, etc. In fact, they gave me an advance payment while writing the book, which I paid back through book sales. This relationship insulated me, the author, from financial risk.&nbsp;</p>
  366.  
  367.  
  368.  
  369. <p>In this scenario, the publisher is betting that they can produce a book that, at least, breaks even. Because of their size and volume, they dominate the supply chains and can negotiate the best deals. They have in-house talent and decades of experience that reduce the risk. This is why “getting a book deal” is sometimes a struggle. Publishers must bet on the future work of authors.</p>
  370.  
  371.  
  372.  
  373. <p>Being an author in a traditional publishing relationship can be stressful because there is a sense of obligation. Because the publisher’s money is on the line, they call the shots. Many have a structured process designed for maximum output. Because the publisher’s money goes into production, they also keep much of the income from book sales. In this scenario, authors sometimes feel a loss of control.&nbsp;</p>
  374.  
  375.  
  376.  
  377. <p><strong>Now, let’s switch to <em>Big Enough</em>.</strong>&nbsp;</p>
  378.  
  379.  
  380.  
  381. <p>I love the idea of self-publishing and have spent over a decade self-publishing <a href="https://commoncraft.com/video-library">Common Craft videos</a>. One of the messages of <em>Big Enough</em> is that technology has made it possible for anyone to be a publisher and earn a living from their intellectual property. My approach to book publishing is an expression of this focus on independence.&nbsp;</p>
  382.  
  383.  
  384.  
  385. <p>Self-publishing, though, has some baggage. Once it became technologically possible, authors could publish e-books with a minimum investment and without the help of experts who ensure quality, like editors and designers. Without these gatekeepers, quality sometimes suffered and self-publishing became known as inferior.&nbsp;</p>
  386.  
  387.  
  388.  
  389. <p>This is where things have changed. Self-publishing isn&#8217;t defined by technology, gatekeepers, or quality. There is no reason a self-published book can&#8217;t compete with a major publisher&#8217;s book. The key difference can be boiled down to a simple question: who is taking the risk?</p>
  390.  
  391.  
  392.  
  393. <p>In the case of <em>Big Enough</em>, it’s me. I am investing in the expertise and relationship that I believe will make the book a success. I am putting my money on the line and betting that I can make Big Enough successful enough to break even. As such, I remain in control and earn a greater percentage of the income.</p>
  394.  
  395.  
  396.  
  397. <p>My partner in this adventure is a company called <a href="http://pagetwo.com">Page Two</a>, which is owned and operated by industry veterans Trena White and Jesse Finkelstein. Page Two specializes in working with non-fiction authors to self-publish high-quality books. Their team of professionals does the work of a major publisher but on a mostly fee-for-service basis. Further, they have key relationships with printers and distributors that would be difficult for me to form. Page Two is my secret weapon in making <em>Big Enough</em> a major publisher-style book.</p>
  398.  
  399.  
  400.  
  401. <p>One of the things I love about this relationship is that Page Two, in publishing industry terms, is a start-up. It’s refreshing to work on a book with a young company successfully being disruptive. They encourage ideas, like direct sales from my website, that major publishers might not condone. Importantly, they reflect the values I believe are important, like independence and a sense of creative control.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p>
  402.  
  403.  
  404.  
  405. <p>I consider this model of self-publishing the best option for me and the message of Big Enough. It represents a personal risk, but it’s one I’m willing to take.&nbsp;</p>
  406.  
  407.  
  408.  
  409. <p><em>Big Enough</em> arrives May 2020. <a href="http://bigenough.life">Download a sample chapter.</a> </p>
  410. ]]></content:encoded>
  411. </item>
  412. <item>
  413. <title>Summoning the Gumption</title>
  414. <link>https://leelefever.com/summoning-the-gumption/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=summoning-the-gumption</link>
  415. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  416. <pubDate>Wed, 19 Feb 2020 19:04:37 +0000</pubDate>
  417. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  418. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  419. <category><![CDATA[art of explanation]]></category>
  420. <category><![CDATA[big enough]]></category>
  421. <category><![CDATA[book marketing]]></category>
  422. <category><![CDATA[common craft]]></category>
  423. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3348</guid>
  424.  
  425. <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>
  426. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  427. <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>
  428.  
  429.  
  430.  
  431. <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>
  432.  
  433.  
  434.  
  435. <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>
  436.  
  437.  
  438.  
  439. <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>
  440.  
  441.  
  442.  
  443. <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>
  444.  
  445.  
  446.  
  447. <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>
  448.  
  449.  
  450.  
  451. <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>
  452.  
  453.  
  454.  
  455. <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>
  456.  
  457.  
  458.  
  459. <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>
  460.  
  461.  
  462.  
  463. <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>
  464.  
  465.  
  466.  
  467. <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>
  468.  
  469.  
  470.  
  471. <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>
  472.  
  473.  
  474.  
  475. <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>
  476.  
  477.  
  478.  
  479. <hr class="wp-block-separator"/>
  480.  
  481.  
  482.  
  483. <p>This post originally appeared in my newsletter, <a href="http://rain.leelefever.com">Ready for Rain</a>.</p>
  484. ]]></content:encoded>
  485. </item>
  486. <item>
  487. <title>Creating the BIG ENOUGH Sticker</title>
  488. <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>
  489. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  490. <pubDate>Mon, 17 Feb 2020 18:39:41 +0000</pubDate>
  491. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  492. <category><![CDATA[big-e]]></category>
  493. <category><![CDATA[design]]></category>
  494. <category><![CDATA[dog]]></category>
  495. <category><![CDATA[graphic design]]></category>
  496. <category><![CDATA[sticker]]></category>
  497. <category><![CDATA[upwork]]></category>
  498. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3286</guid>
  499.  
  500. <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>
  501. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  502. <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>
  503.  
  504.  
  505.  
  506. <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>
  507.  
  508.  
  509.  
  510. <h3>Why a Create Sticker? </h3>
  511.  
  512.  
  513.  
  514. <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>
  515.  
  516.  
  517.  
  518. <h3>Designing the Sticker</h3>
  519.  
  520.  
  521.  
  522. <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>
  523.  
  524.  
  525.  
  526. <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>
  527.  
  528.  
  529.  
  530. <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>
  531.  
  532.  
  533.  
  534. <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
  535. " 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>
  536.  
  537.  
  538.  
  539. <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>
  540.  
  541.  
  542.  
  543. <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>
  544.  
  545.  
  546.  
  547. <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>
  548.  
  549.  
  550.  
  551. <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>
  552.  
  553.  
  554.  
  555. <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>
  556.  
  557.  
  558.  
  559. <p>Brooke agreed to start the next day and estimated it would cost under $100 to complete the project. I was hopeful.</p>
  560.  
  561.  
  562.  
  563. <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>
  564.  
  565.  
  566.  
  567. <p>Here are examples of how the sticker evolved over two weeks:</p>
  568.  
  569.  
  570.  
  571. <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>
  572.  
  573.  
  574.  
  575. <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>
  576.  
  577.  
  578.  
  579. <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>
  580.  
  581.  
  582.  
  583. <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>
  584.  
  585.  
  586.  
  587. <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>
  588.  
  589.  
  590.  
  591. <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>
  592.  
  593.  
  594.  
  595. <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>
  596.  
  597.  
  598.  
  599. <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>
  600. ]]></content:encoded>
  601. </item>
  602. <item>
  603. <title>Ready for Rain #55: The Moment Everything Changed</title>
  604. <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>
  605. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  606. <pubDate>Thu, 13 Feb 2020 19:37:18 +0000</pubDate>
  607. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  608. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  609. <category><![CDATA[Newsletter]]></category>
  610. <category><![CDATA[history]]></category>
  611. <category><![CDATA[newsletter]]></category>
  612. <category><![CDATA[ready for rain]]></category>
  613. <category><![CDATA[rss]]></category>
  614. <category><![CDATA[video]]></category>
  615. <category><![CDATA[work]]></category>
  616. <category><![CDATA[youtube]]></category>
  617. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3278</guid>
  618.  
  619. <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>
  620. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  621. <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>
  622.  
  623.  
  624.  
  625. <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>
  626.  
  627.  
  628.  
  629. <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>
  630.  
  631.  
  632.  
  633. <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>
  634.  
  635.  
  636.  
  637. <p>Here&#8217;s the video that started it all:</p>
  638.  
  639.  
  640.  
  641. <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">
  642. <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>
  643. </div></figure>
  644.  
  645.  
  646.  
  647. <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>
  648. ]]></content:encoded>
  649. </item>
  650. <item>
  651. <title>Explaining Big Enough</title>
  652. <link>https://leelefever.com/explaining-big-enough/?utm_source=rss&#038;utm_medium=rss&#038;utm_campaign=explaining-big-enough</link>
  653. <dc:creator><![CDATA[Lee LeFever]]></dc:creator>
  654. <pubDate>Thu, 13 Feb 2020 19:21:16 +0000</pubDate>
  655. <category><![CDATA[Big Enough Book]]></category>
  656. <category><![CDATA[Common Craft]]></category>
  657. <category><![CDATA[common craft]]></category>
  658. <category><![CDATA[explainer]]></category>
  659. <category><![CDATA[explanation]]></category>
  660. <category><![CDATA[marketing]]></category>
  661. <category><![CDATA[newsletter]]></category>
  662. <guid isPermaLink="false">http://leelefever.com/?p=3276</guid>
  663.  
  664. <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>
  665. <content:encoded><![CDATA[
  666. <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>
  667.  
  668.  
  669.  
  670. <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>
  671.  
  672.  
  673.  
  674. <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>
  675.  
  676.  
  677.  
  678. <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>
  679.  
  680.  
  681.  
  682. <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>
  683. ]]></content:encoded>
  684. </item>
  685. </channel>
  686. </rss>
  687.  

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