Who left the door open?

Oh-oh. Someone must have forgotten to lock the door and someone came in and rearranged the furniture and painted the walls. Or maybe the elves came visiting overnight. Whatever the explanation, it seems MGC has a new look.

The truth is not quite as exciting as someone coming in overnight and changing things while we all slept or elves–and I’ve never really trusted them. Figure they’re more like their cousins, the gremlins, than they want us to know. You see, we’ve been putting out heads together and we took a long, hard look at the blog and where we wanted it to go.

Sarah and Dave started MGC back in 2008. At the time, the idea was to use the blog to promote the work of the bloggers. It was a time where traditional publishing was pretty much the only game in town. Oh, we had Fictionwise and a few other options for writers but indie publishing had yet to take hold.

That changed not too long after and, as some of the original members of the blog decided they wanted to move on, the blog’s focus started to change. Sarah and Dave wanted to pay it forward. Writers along the way had helped them and they wanted to find a way to utilize blogging and social media to help new writers trying to navigate their way through the rapidly changing landscape of publishing.

More than 4,000 posts later (give or take a few), it is time to once again look at where MGC is going. Don’t worry, we aren’t throwing the baby out with the bathwater. But we are making a course change. We’ll continue to do posts about the state of the industry as well as how-to posts, we are going to return to our roots. We’re going to use the blog to promote our work.

Don’t worry. It’s not going to turn into a “Buy my book!” site where every posts begs you to run to Amazon. What it does mean is pulling back the curtain a bit and letting you get a glimpse into who we are, what we do and where our crazy characters come from. This means you’ll be seeing more posts as well. Each day will start with a post by one of us, sort of our “post of the day” (to borrow a phrase from another blog where I write). Our aim is to have at least a couple more posts after that. It may be a quick promo post if one of us has a new release or puts something up for sale. It may be a breaking industry news story. It may be a cute cat video. We’re mad, after all, so you never know what will show up.

What we are trying to do is expand our audience. So, instead of being a blog by writers for writers (and those who want to be) it will be a blog for them and for fans of our writing who might not necessarily want to learn how to put together a cover or convert a manuscript or who care about what’s going on in the industry.

Some of the changes will be cosmetic, such as the appearance of the blog. I’m not sure this will be the theme we stick with, but we’re trying it on to see if it “fits”. If you check the menu, you’ll see we now have a tab where you can “meet” the bloggers. This is a work in progress and should be finished over the next couple of days. Also coming will be a page (of possibly pages) for each blogger where you can check out their books currently for sale. We hope to have that up by the weekend.

I know, I know. We could have waited to reveal the new look until all the parts of the site were ready. The problem with that is we’re writers. We’re easily distracted. Oooh, shiny…oh, wait, sorry. Damned popcorn kittens. What was I saying?

Oh, yeah, we’re easily distracted. Also, no matter how much testing you do in the sandbox for a new theme, the only way to make sure it really works is to activate it. We’d rather do that with a page or two at a time. It gives me–the blog’s tech person (scary thought)–a better chance to find and issues and fix them quickly than if the entire site went live at one time.

Another change that will start happening this week is we’ll be transferring from a FB page to a FB group. Those of you who have already “liked” the page will get notices of the change and the chance to join the group. Look for that to start happening by the weekend.

We hope you will bear with us during the transition. We do want feedback from you about what sorts of posts you’d like to see.

Most of all, we want each of you to know how much your support of the blog has meant to each of us. We hope you will enjoy the blog as much going forward as you have in the past.

I’ll be back in an hour or so with my “real” post for the day. For now, it’s time for coffee and to see if I broke anything with the blog by trying to do this before finishing the first mug of that lifesaving brew.

Featured Image by Mystic Art Design from Pixabay

27 comments

  1. You rearranged the clubhouse, and I haven’t had my coffee yet…I’ll tell you what I think of the new design when I’m a little less grumpy.

  2. Clickity clickity. New blog format. Yiiiipes! *chugs rest of first cup of tea* OK, not bad at all. Little cluttered, but not bad. 🙂

  3. I’m not completely happy with it. But we wanted something that would look good on mobile formats as well and there needed to be some uniformity in “read more” points in a post. This does it automatically. Part of the problem is this is a WP hosted site and that limits some of what can be done–like plug-ins. WP wants us to upgrade to a more expensive plan just to use plug-ins. Nope. Not gonna happen. So finding something that does most, not even all but just most, of what we want is “interesting”.

  4. New look is very pulpy, which is perhaps as it should be. 😀

    Does WP behave differently when it hosts a site, vs when WP is installed on a site hosted elsewhere? (My hosting service has WP available as a free automated install, but I don’t blog so I haven’t bothered.)

    1. Not so much behave differently as give you different options. The biggest is if you ar with another host, you don’t have to upgrade (at least not on my host) to use plug-ins. That’s what I’m used to, so when I go about changing things here, I have to relearn what I can and can’t do.

  5. Love the new look! Can you add the HOME page to the navigation bar? It’s a pain to have to go up into the URL slot and delete everything after the slash to get back to it. Or to hit the BACK arrow a million times. 😀

    1. Actually, if you click the banner, it will take you back to the home page. And yeah, I noticed a few minutes ago that there was no home button. I’ll see how I can edit the menu later today.

  6. The problem with elves is that they’re answerable to Beings that powerful enough to be called “gods”.

    Those Beings may not be actively evil but they aren’t nice. 😉

  7. One thing that I miss is the the number of comments for a particular blog post on the home page. I like to see if there are any new comments to particular posts when I refresh the home page. But that’s just my opinion. Other than that minor thing I like it!

    1. You can see some of that by scrolling down to “recent comments” on the sidebar. And, tbh, I miss it too but more and more “themes” are moving away from that option.

  8. THANK GHU I’D HAD MY COFFEE!

    Nice work… Very nice work… But if I had popped this open first thing in the morning, when the lizard brain is about all that is functioning, I would have either punched the monitor or run screaming out of the office. “Fight or flee” isn’t very easy to suppress when the blood content is too high.

    Some warning the day before would be appreciated the next time you move the furniture around.

  9. I like it! Most of the time I end up reading on mobile these days, and the new look is much more friendly to that.

    1. Actually, it’s only been a year or two since we last changed the “theme”. But, yeah, it seems a lot of folks are doing so recently. I blame it on being stuck at home. But it is also because more and more folks are reading blogs on their phones and tablets. That means finding new themse that work as well–and look as well–on them as they do on a larger screen.

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