Peter Armstrong: The Lean Publishing Manifesto

Peter Armstrong: The Lean Publishing Manifesto

Creator: Peter Armstrong is the Co-founder of Leanpub and Ruboss. He is also the author of several books including Lean Publishing.

Purpose: Books and writing are changing. And given most books are written in isolation or in stealth it is easy to write a book that nobody wants to buy/read. The Lean Publishing Manifesto suggests a way around this.

Manifesto (highlights)

Lean Publishing is the act of self-publishing a book while you are writing it, evolving the book with feedback from your readers and finishing a first draft before using the traditional publishing workflow, with or without a publisher.

In short: Lean Publishing is the act of self-publishing an in-progress book.


The Lean Publishing How-To Guide for Non-Fiction

Step 1: Blog and Tweet to Find Your Voice and Build An Audience

Step 2: Write the Minimum Viable Book

What’s a Minimum Viable Book? It’s the smallest in-progress subset of your book that you could sell and be able to claim with a straight face that it is worth the money right now.

Step 3: Start Marketing and Selling the In-Progress Minimum Viable Book

Step 4: Finish the First Draft with Constant Feedback from your Readers

Step 5: Polish, Market and Sell the Completed Book, Possibly with a Traditional Publisher



Complete Article and Manifesto


Nancy Scott: Helping My Friends Manifesto

Nancy Scott: Helping My Friends Manifesto

Creator: Nancy Scott is the founder of Liberty Communications Group, a boutique business communications agency in the Washington, D.C. area.

Purpose: Eight ground rules for when friends have asked you for creative advice.

The Helping My Friends Manifesto

??I’m happy that you’ve asked me for help. Normally, I charge (quite a bit) for this type of work, but I can definitely get you started for free. I want this to be fun for both of us, so it might help if we set some ground rules.

1. If you have a concept in mind — style, tone, appearance, layout, color, wording, headlines, copy, tagline, headers, font — please share your thoughts before I begin. The more detail, the better.

2. If you don’t have a concept in mind — in other words, if you are a blank slate who is simply saying “I need a brochure” — let’s agree that you have come to me for my skill and experience, upon which it makes sense to rely.

3. In this project we are about to undertake, I am the expert. Agreed?

4. Does the following statement sound like something you might say? “I don’t know what I want. I only know what I DON’T want.” If this is true, please provide me a point-by-point list of what you don’t want. Otherwise, I won’t be able to help you with this project.

5. Does the following statement sound like something you might say? “I don’t like it. I don’t know why. I just don’t like it.” Please understand that, in the hands of a professional, creative choices are driven both by talent and by reason. I will be able to tell you why I made a certain choice, so — in turn — you will need to tell me why you think a particular choice won’t work. Otherwise, please see #2, above.

6. When I show you the draft, if you have questions or concerns, I’ll be happy to explain why I’ve made certain creative choices.

7. Typically, my work includes one round of reasonable changes/alterations as part of the fee. Beyond that, I charge “x” dollars per hour. So, while I can draft something for you and make one set of reasonable changes, a wholesale “makeover” is not part of the deal. (Note: Time constraints related to paying work make it essential that I assume the role of “decider” as to what’s “reasonable.”) Agreed?

8. We are both free to say to one another “Let’s give this a rest.”



Published on on 12 September 2011



Trevor Boddy: HybridCity

Trevor Boddy: HybridCity

Creator: Trevor Boddy, a former architecture critic for the Vancouver Sun.

Purpose: To kick off the Design Thinking Unconference in Vancouver and to stimulate a health debate around the design of the city of Vancouver.

HybridCity Manifesto (edited)

Vancouver thrives when it embraces its many origins, peoples, ideas and forms. Vancouver falters when it strives for purity, isolation, unity of function. We are a city of hybrids, so integrated they slide into each other as hybridcity. Our metropolitan strength, our urban engine’s power is creative diversity—without it, we become brittle, uncaring and dull.

Inventing hybridcity: This city was invented at the stroke of a pen. In utterly no sense did vancouver evolve organically—as in standard urban narratives, be they of Etruscan Rome or Homer Simpson’s Springfield—but rather conceived in a single business and political contract for the Canadian Pacific Railway …For our hybridcity, I proclaim the Pentecostal potlatch, and celebrate Equinox, eid and easter with bubble tea!

Forgetting and denying hybridcity: …Vancouver will never be at peace until it reconciles with its indigenaity, a cornerstone of hybridcity. Vancouver must also confront its history of apartheid. Early ‘racial zoning’ mandated asians’ residences and businesses to be located in Chinatown’s few blocks, and nowhere else…

Building hybridcity: Vancouver now grows never before-seen hybrids of building forms and types: thin condo high rises set on townhouse podia (a hybrid of mid-levels hong kong with Brooklyn Brownstones); towers laminating office with residential with hotel; four condo skyscrapers erupting up out of a costco; a village for 400 residents set on the roof of a home depot, itself set on a save-on foods…

Hybridcity now: Real estate is Vancouver’s civil religion, and marketers, politicians, developers and planners are the descending ranks of its priestly class. …Vancouverites need to understand that their Hybridcity—as artifact and idea—is the creation of public policy. …To make ours the greenest city will require a lot of greenwashing. Hybrids can be sterile, or they can flourish—the choice is yours.



Post by Jenny Uechi on the Vancouver Observer website: Trevor Boddy on how to design Vancouver into a better city – 16 August 2011.

Image edited from photo by Parisa Asadi from the above post.



Sue Polinsky: 10 Rules For Your Small Business Home Page

Rules For Small Business Home Page

Creator: Sue Polinsky, blogger for Download Squad.

Purpose: To avoid having a small business website that sucks.

Manifesto: 10 rules for your small business home page (edited)


Contact information is critical to your site visitors and it shouldn’t be hidden on the “contact us” page.


Is there a single statement that says what you do or sell smack in the middle of your homepage?


Does your site have a homepage search field?


Did you go through your font list for the weirdest fonts that exist, add neon color and then enlargify them?


If you don’t know how to work with photos on the Web, hire someone who does.


Generally, if you’re selling anything online, lose the total-page Flash and make the site look sleek, professional and trustworthy.


If you’re not sure how to make the page flexible, then make it wide enough for an average monitor (750 pixels, and if you don’t know what pixels are, please hire a Web person).

8. NEW FROM 2004!?

If your homepage has news or upcoming events and the latest one happened in 2004, get it off your homepage. In fact, get “news” off your homepage because no one updates their site often enough.


Navigation (links) should be clear, logical and intuitive. If I can’t find what I want from your homepage, I’m leaving.


If you have nothing to say, delete that page from your site.



For the complete article on Download Squad



The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography

The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography

Creator: Lompgraphy is an art movement that encourages users to “speak in photos and know no boundaries in our mission to snapshot every corner of the world.” (Wikipedia)

Purpose: “Our 10 Golden Rules – they’re the very essence of our “Don’t Think, Just Shoot” motto! After all, Lomography is all about having fun while taking good pictures, so memorise them by heart or break all the rules; either way, be ready to throw your photography inhibitions away!” (Lomography website)

The Ten Golden Rules of Lomography

  1. Take your camera everywhere you go
  2. Use it any time – day and night
  3. Lomography is not an interference in your life, but part of it
  4. Try the shot from the hip
  5. Approach the objects of your Lomographic desire as close as possible
  6. Don’t Think (William Firebrace)
  7. Be fast
  8. You don’t have to know beforehand what you captured on film
  9. Afterwards either
  10. Don’t worry about any rules



Complete manifesto with descriptions and photos on

Lomography on Wikipedia


Junket Studies: 11 Rules of Writing, Grammar, and Punctuation

Rules for writing grammar and punctuation

Creator: Junket Studies provides Study Guides and Resources for writers and students.

Purpose: As an aid for all writers in the learning and refining of writing skills.

11 Rules of Writing, Grammar, and Punctuation

1. To join two independent clauses, use a comma followed by a conjunction, a semicolon alone, or a semicolon followed by a sentence modifier.

2. Use commas to bracket nonrestrictive phrases, which are not essential to the sentence’s meaning.

3. Do not use commas to bracket phrases that are essential to a sentence’s meaning.

4. When beginning a sentence with an introductory phrase or an introductory (dependent) clause, include a comma.

5. To indicate possession, end a singular noun with an apostrophe followed by an “s”. Otherwise, the noun’s form seems plural.

6. Use proper punctuation to integrate a quotation into a sentence. If the introductory material is an independent clause, add the quotation after a colon. If the introductory material ends in “thinks,” “saying,” or some other verb indicating expression, use a comma.

7. Make the subject and verb agree with each other, not with a word that comes between them.

8. Be sure that a pronoun, a participial phrase, or an appositive refers clearly to the proper subject.

9. Use parallel construction to make a strong point and create a smooth flow.

10. Use the active voice unless you specifically need to use the passive.

11. Omit unnecessary words.



The Rules and other resources for writers at Junket Studies