In my weekly newsletter, Ready for Rain, I usually share recommendations for media, products, and ideas that I find interesting or useful. Today I’m sharing the my recommendations in separate blog posts for easy consumption.
The recommendations below were included in issue #89 – The Blackout
DEVS(Hulu) – I have a soft spot for stories about evil corporations and the people who run them. On that front and many others, DEVS delivers. It’s is a futuristic limited series starring Nick Offerman and Sonoya Mizuno that involved high tech, murder, and intrigue.
Ben Folds Interview (Broken Record Podcast) I’ve always been a fan of Ben and appreciated his connection to North Carolina (he grew up in Chapel Hill). Part music, part personal stories, part regret, it’s an interesting listen.
Sonos Move (Gadget) – We recently adopted a new smart speaker and I’m a big fan. The Move comes with a base that serves as a charger for a big battery. When you want to go outside, you can just grab it and the battery lasts 10 hours. It’s weather resistant and sounds great.
Today is a beautiful Saturday in August and it’s 70 degrees and sunny outside. Our friends are sending us photos of themselves on the beach and having an afternoon cocktail. But for me (and Sachi) it’s a workday. On Monday, the pre-order campaign will begin and I’m doing everything I can to motivate people to buy Big Enough before it comes out. The video below: “How to Help an Author” explains why this campaign is important.
One of the aspects of this project that I love the most is that it’s mostly DIY. We have help with publishing the book, but I built the website and created the videos from scratch. And let me tell you, hiking and setting up cameras and drone footage with two big dogs tied to your waist, who would rather be exploring, is a real challenge (video below).
Creating videos to go along with Big Enough has been a joy. Making media is a passion of mine and the book gave me an opportunity to make three videos to go along with the launch:
This video explains why pre-orders and review matter to authors.
A live-action video on Orcas Island that asks: what does “living the good life” mean to you?
A brief animation that explains one of the big ideas of the book: designing a business to grow what matters to you.
The book’s web page on leelefever.com is be the home of the pre-order campaign and we’re shining up the last bits. For example, we’re offering incentives for pre-ordering. If you pre-order the book and send me a screenshot of the receipt, I’ll send you three stickers. If you buy five, I’ll send you Big Enough socks. Making all this clear is a challenge and I’m happy with how it’s turning out.
Authors in my position can make their book more successful by directly contacting people in their network. I have a list of a few hundred people that I will email individually next week with a request: please pre-order the book or share it online. It will take time, but I really enjoy connecting with everyone.
Social Media + Blogging
I have been increasingly active on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. I don’t want to overwhelm anyone with book messages, so I post a mix of things in addition to book updates. When I write posts like this one, I usually share the link on Twitter and LinkedIn. I started blogging on leelefever.com in 2003, but I admit, I let it languish for a few years. Now, I’m motivated to make it one of my most useful resources and that means consistent blogging.
I expect the book to raise the visibility of Common Craft and in the past week, we completed some much-needed development work. This weekend I’m reviewing the changes and making final tweaks so that it will be ready for prime time.
I’m recording a few podcasts this week and preparing by reviewing previous episodes of those shows. I’m also working on outreach to podcasts hosts who might be open to having me as a guest.The first podcast episode about Big Enough was just published yesterday.
In the past, I’ve struggled with self-promotion. With the release of Big Enough, I’m working to overcome my anxiety about it and doing everything I can to help the book be successful. If I’m going to be an author for the long term, I have to be ready to promote myself. Every day, I remind myself that I’m doing the right things and learning. Sachi’s ongoing support is essential.
Needless to say, we have a lot in motion and I’m honestly surprised by how good I feel about it. I’m excited to contact friends and can’t wait to be on podcasts. Once the launch arrives, the bulk of my work will be done and the book will be out in the world.
I never planned to do a book tour. Unless you’re a very well-known author, they seem like a cumbersome activity with low ROI; a vestige from a time before the internet. Now, in the COVID era, they are an impossibility. I hope to do 100% of promotions for Big Enough from the comfort and safety of home. For me, podcasts are the perfect medium.
When The Art of Explanation came out in 2012, podcasts were popular, but a shadow of what they are today. I was invited to be on dozens and came to truly enjoy the process. I’m a social person at heart and love having a good conversation. When I thought about how to promote Big Enough, podcasts were always front and center. The question became: how does an author promote themselves as a podcast guest?
The first option was personal and network connections and I am now reaching out to people I know. The introductions are relatively easy. What I needed was a simple way to let them know I’m an interesting, knowledgeable, and fun podcast guest. I wanted podcasters to visit a page on my leelefever.com site and think “I MUST have this guy on my podcast!”
So I created that page. It’s called “Lee LeFever Podcast Guest” and it’s my best shot at giving podcasters a clear picture of my experience, expertise, and more. Now, when I ask someone in my network if they can introduce me to a podcaster, I can send them this link for more information. My hope is that you, dear reader, will use it too.
If you know a podcast or podcast host who might be interested in having me on to discuss Big Enough, please let me know.
I write books and run a company called Common Craft. I recently moved from Seattle to a rural island. Here, I write about online business, book publishing, modern home construction, and occasionally, dumb jokes.