A Beer-Napkin Primer on Country Mardi Gras + A Complicated Story on Blackface – New Bayou Books
I still remember how it felt to believe that starting a creative business was easy. It was only a couple months ago. I’d been listening to a podcast–some guy talking ‘bout how it’s never been easier to start your own business. How you don’t need a store, or a warehouse, or even seed money. Put up a website with some pictures of those cool cigar box guitars, or coffee tables, or bottle cap earrings you like to make, post some stuff on social media, and you could be in business in the time it takes to dust your bookshelves or clean the garage.
That has definitely not been my experience.
New Bayou Books is only a few months old. Well, really, to be fair, we’re not really open for business yet, so maybe it’s not exactly accurate to say we’re a few months old. We launch, officially, in October 2021 . . . so we’re not a few months old. We’re, I guess, gestating. Still in utero baby!
Which is good because, honestly, I’m learning that there’s very little about starting a business that’s straight forward. Take today’s struggle: linking the New Bayou Books website, hosted by WordPress, to the NewBayouBooks domain, hosted by Google.
What seemed like a straightforward process–thoughtfully outlined, actually, in the technical support pages from both companies–turned out to be more complicated than I expected. Once we got the WordPress site looking like we wanted, I followed their instructions to update a thing called Domain Name Servers with Google, changing the default Google servers to WordPress ones. When someone types in NewBayouBooks.com (which Google owns/maintains), the DNS points them to the WordPress site (which is actually located at something like WordPress.com/NewBayouBooks).
Which was all well and good. Except that now that I had overwritten the Google servers, our Google Workspace emails–the “@newbayoubooks.com” emails our team uses to make the revolution happen–stopped working. This is because those name servers don’t just support websites. They support email too.
It turns out there’s a thing called an MX Record. I won’t pretend to fully understand it, except to say that the MX record has something to do with sending and receiving email. So what I had to do was add my Google MX records (like the name servers, they look something like a web address, usually with the name of the company in the string, plus a bunch of symbols and numbers) to the WordPress site. So now our WordPress account has the Google information we need to do email and our Google account has the WordPress info we need to make the website work.
WordPress has some Google, Google has some WordPress.
I know. It sounds pretty straightforward when I say it like that. But it wasn’t easy coming to this realization, trust me. I worked for hours to gain this new sense of technical enlightenment.
And this is just one small step forward in our mission to spark a literary revolution in Louisiana. Just one, tiny, step.
This is the part where I resist the urge to put a neat little cliched bow on the lesson and just remind readers who might be doing a similar thing to remember to breathe. Good luck to us all!