What Is Step One?

That’s a disingenuous question, because the answer is obvious. Research. Lot and lots of research. Google this, read that. Here’s a related link that might be worth reading. It can be tedious, time consuming, and kinda boring. But it’s important. Still, I don’t plan on writing much about it, unless you ask nicely. What’s that crickets? You’d rather I write about the REAL step one? Okie dokie.

While reading through the 20 bookmarks saved in Chrome to help understand what exactly self-publishing is, there is undoubtedly the urge to get things moving. I mean, look at the list of steps this site gave us! I don’t wanna read 19 more sites that say the same thing, and still have none of them done. So time to take action! Wait, I don’t wanna spend money yet. Okay, time to take the action that will cost the least i.e. free. Fortunately for our inner cheapskates, there is plenty to be done that will only require the minutes it takes to do it. You are reading one such “investment.” (Unless you’re reading this on my website. We’ll get to that.)

That’s right…SOCIAL MEDIA.

But wait, there’s an important decision to make before we get to SOCIAL MEDIA. We must answer the profound question: What’s your name?

Seems easy enough, but it actually could be quite tricky. That’s because the actual question is: What name are you going to publish under?

Your first option is naturally your birth name. It’s the name the government has. It’s most likely the name on your Facebook page. It could also be boring. Or too long. Or just the name you’ve hated your entire life and you now finally have the chance to be rid of it. Then again, you could be fine with using it.

A pen name is your second option. Go ahead, make something up. What, harder than it sounds? That’s because it’s going to be on everything you publish from here on out. It’s your brand. And besides creating a title, you now have to come up with the other line that’ll appear on the cover. Why second guess your parents at this point? This is totally up to you. If it sounds cool enough, or you believe in it enough, go for it.

The third option is a combination of the first two. Maybe you want to keep your first name and ditch the surname. Perhaps you need to shorten the last name a bit. Initials are also an option.

Once you get the name, it’s time to check its availability as a web address and on SOCIAL MEDIA. Someone already using your pen name? Pick another. Your real name’s all snatched up? Make a pen name. Or just add “real” or some other clever word to your user name.

As for what I’m publishing under, it should be obvious: it’s the name on this Tumblr. D. N. Meinster. What’s the D. N. stand for? You won’t know until you make me a Wikipedia page. And you could probably guess it. But it’s the name I planned on publishing under since I was much younger. I have a middle name, why not use it? Or at least, the first letter of it. And it probably has something to do with R. L. Stine, J. K. Rowling, K. A. Applegate, and A. G. Cascone being my favorite authors back then. So there you have it.

Now, onto SOCIAL MEDIA…in my next post.

And yes, yes, step one could actually be considered coming up with the story idea, with step two being writing it, etc. etc. We’re skipping all that…because I did it already.

Wait, but I’ve mentioned at least three step ones just in this post alone. Well guess what? It’s all step one. And we’ll call it “Preparation.”

Cross-posted on Tumblr
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