My son Tommy is learning to walk right now. He can take a few steps, but he really likes to scoot along furniture and walls. I’ve been watching him learn to move around while working on my new course, Obscure No More, and I’ve realized there is a connection.
When it comes to book promotion, authors also progress from crawling to running one baby-step at a time.
When Tommy was a tiny baby, we would put him on the floor, and would stay there. His sister was walking and crawling all around him, but he was stuck.
As he began trying to crawl, he tried a lot of things that didn’t work. One technique he tried repeatedly was what I called The Superman. He would lay on his stomach and stretch his arms and legs out as far as they could go. It was a lot of work, and it didn’t move him. He also tried rocking back and forth, flopping forward, and rolling over. None of these strategies worked for getting him from one place to another, but they did build his strength and coordination.
Baby Step 1: Learn to Sit
The first useful baby-step he took was learning to sit. The skill of sitting developed his balance and coordination. It was still frustrating because he couldn’t get to where he wanted to go. But sitting is important preparation for crawling and walking.
As a beginning author, you can implement various tactics as soon as you decide to become an author. Even if your first book is ten years from being published, there are a few steps that will develop the strength and determination you’ll need for your next baby-steps.
You may not feel like you’re moving, but you must do the following things before you can start building a platform.
Choose Your Author Name
You can’t do anything with your platform until you know what your name is. Most authors don’t spend much time thinking about their author name, so they often get stuck with whatever they picked first.
You have a lot of options. FirstnameLastname.com is the most common choice. But some authors run into obstacles when choosing an author name.
* Which last name do you pick? * What if there is another famous author with your name? * What if you share a name with another online businessperson whose product or service is categorically opposed to yours?
Consider your options.
* Initials and Last Name (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien)* Three Names (James Scott Bell, Robert Louis Stevenson)* Two Names (Thomas Umstattd)* Combo (James L. Rubart, Jerry B. Jenkins)
I don’t recommend going with the combo option because people tend to leave off the middle initial. Your readers may have a hard time finding you online because you have two versions of your name in common use. No one ever says J. Tolkien or Robert Stevenson, but people do leave out the middle initial and say “James Rubart” or “Jerry Jenkins” all the time.
Which name you chose for yourself may depend on what’s available in the next step.
Episodes on author names:
* 069 – How to Stand Out When Your Name Fits In* 097 – Major Mistakes You Might Be Making With Your Author Name