The Editorial Calendar

January 27, 2020

By: Lee LeFever

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.

In much of our daily work, things happen on an ad hoc basis and that’s how we like it. An example is the release of a new Common Craft video. Since 2007, we’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’ve grown used to the constant production.

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’t sticking to a strict calendar, it’s building a quality video library 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.

Now that I have a book called Big Enough 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.

The words “create editorial calendar” have appeared on my to-do lists many times before and have disappeared just as quickly as they arrived. This time, however, it’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’m not willing to let it happen ad hoc. I need rigor.

For now, I’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.

Today, it feels like I’m standing at the bottom of a big hill. At the top is the release date of my book, Big Enough, on May 5th, 2020. Between now and then, I will climb that hill. Rather than just showing up and climbing, I’m planning and preparing so that it’s a smooth and manageable ascent.

While it feels a little daunting, I’m now looking forward to it and watching where it may lead. It is an experiment, after all.

Curious about Big Enough? Read a free chapter.

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