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Donna Fletcher Crow

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Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

Fay Sampson

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Fay Sampson (UK) is a writer of adult and children's fiction and non-fiction, including A MALIGNANT HOUSE, #2 in the Susie Fewings series, a British Crime Club Pick. http://www.faysampson.co.uk

What I Learned on my Summer Vacation

By Donna Fletcher Crow ~ September 15, 2010

We have had a string of delightful guests recently on Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light, and today I bring you another one.  Marian Allen and I have become friends through the wonders of virtual communication.  I especially admire her Flash Fiction— telling a short story in two or three sentences— because I am incredibly long-winded.  If you ash Marian about it below, I'm sure she will tell you how to get it on your Ereader for free.

I have also come to admire Marian as one of the most technologically savvy people I know, so today I've asked her to tell us what she learned in a course she took this summer about blogging.  I think all of us who write and read in the blogosphere will find this illuminating.

But first, real all about marian's exciting book giveaway:

Everyone who leaves a comment on my blog book tour posts AND mentions EEL'S REVERENCE will be entered. Anyone who buys the book and posts a review anywhere and includes the link to the review as a comment to any of those posts will be entered five times. All entries will be numbered and the winning numbers will be chosen by random number generator. Only one prize per entrant. First winner gets first choice of prize.

Prizes:

  • Free copy of EEL'S REVERENCE or FORCE OF HABIT, my upcoming sf/farce. (2 separate prizes-1 of each)
  • Free softback copy of SWORD AND SORCERESS XXIII, with my story "Undivided" in it.
  • Free softback copy of DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND, with my story "Team Player" in it.
  • Your name in the story I'm going to write to promote FORCE OF HABIT.

And now:

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

I was lucky enough to take a blog book tour class from Dani Greer this summer. The class was great. Dani, her helpers and my fellow classmates were all informative, supportive and inspirational.

The first thing we did was set up blogs or get our existing blogs in shape. We learned that we needed blogs that were easy to navigate and clear.

Our addresses and blog names should match, to make it easy for readers to find us. If your name is Johnny Writer and your book's name is Strike Out and your blog's name is Hit Me With Your Best Shot and the address is http://howmuchwood.blogger.whatever, you're confusing the issue!

Dani recommended we top the sidebar with a brief introduction to our work and/or book and the focus of the blog, along with a headshot. Also in the sidebar, she recommended links to ways readers could connect to us: Twitter and FaceBook links, Networked Blogs and Google Friend Connect.

A search bar is nice, and so is a drop-down menu for archived posts.

Posts can be sorted into categories, and a drop-down menu of categories on the sidebar enables readers to look at just the posts that interest them most. Some of mine are Food, Writing, and Guest Posters.

The blogroll is important. It links a blog to other blogs and web sites and, if the list is sorted, it can give readers more information about you. Some of my link list labels are Blog Book Tour 2010 Classmates, Blogs Where I...Blog, Useful And/Or Amusing and Snort Coffee Out Your Nose. Your book or books should be on your sidebar.

Dani recommends a stat counter, showing the number of visitors you've had to your blog, and she recommends putting it at the bottom of the sidebar or the bottom of the page of posts.

Posting at least three times a week is a must for someone serious about using a blog to reach readers. Content should be fairly consistent with the purpose of the blog as stated in that sidebar introduction. My blog focusus on the writing process, the writing life, my writing in particular--and food. I also welcome guest posters (usually other writers). Monday is about writing, Tuesday I post at Fatal Foodies (a group blog about mysteries and food), Wednesday is food day at my blog, Friday is Grab Bag, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I write about whatever comes up or don't post at all.

If your blogging service allows pages in addition to the main one, use them to post, for example, your bio, reviews of your book or books, credits and awards, excerpts, pictures of your pets--whatever.

This is just a taste of What I Learned. If you're interested in a Blog Book Tour class, visit http://blogbooktours.blogspot.com to find out more. I believe Dani is now charging $30 for the course. Trust me--it's worth every cent!

EEL'S REVERENCE

When elderly priest of Micah, "Aunt" Libby, goes on a Final Wandering, she's accosted and then befriended by an amphibious mugger. The area known as The Eel is infested with worse than minor criminals--it's under the thumbs of a coalition of greedy, brutal priests. Aunt Libby is a frail barrier to stand between peace and violence, and the worst violence may not come from her enemies...but from her friends.

EEL'S REVERENCE is available from OmniLit at http://is.gd/ewSRX and at Amazon's Kindle Store at http://is.gd/exnHl

For as long as Marian Allen can remember, she's loved telling and being told stories. She enjoys connecting and reconnecting with people, meeting new friends and keeping in touch with the friends she already has.

Her writing reflects this love of network. No one exists in total isolation, but in a web of connections to family, friends, colleagues, self at former stages of maturity, perceptions and self-images. Most of her work is fantasy, science fiction and/or mystery, though she writes horror, humor, romance, mainstream or anything else that suits the story and character.

Professionally, she's a member of Southern Indiana Writers, Writing and Promotion (WRaP), and Green River Writers.

Her web site is http://MarianAllen.com
 

Donna Fletcher Crow (US) is the author of forty-some books, mostly novels dealing with the history of British Christianity. She is the author of The Monastery Murders series; The Lord Danvers Victorian True-Crime series; The Elizabeth & Richard literary mysteries, GLASTONBURY,A Novel of the Holy Grail and more. www.donnafletchercrow.com

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Reader Comments:

Thanks for the link love, Marian. I have to brag on you a little, too. I've had a lot of students run through this class, but your blog went from zero to warp speed (I think I can say that without offending you;), and your tour is exceptionally good. Makes me proud of all your good work! For everyone else, I won't have another class until next year, but you can join the social site for good conversation and info http://groups.yahoo.com/group/BBTCafe Marian's over there, too.
-Dani, September 15, 2010

I just needed a firm hand and some guidance. I didn't know WHAT to do or even who to ask. I learned a lot from the BBTCafe before the class started, but the cafe didn't give homework. ;)

Thank you, Dani, for all the instruction and encouragement.

Marian Allen
-Marian Allen, September 15, 2010

Dani and Marian, how lovely to have experts visit and share. Dani, when you're about to start up your new class maybe you'd like to come back to Deeds of Darkness; Deeds of Light and give us a heads-up.
-Donna, September 15, 2010

Marian, I love the way you summed up Dani's wonderful class. I was thrilled to have had the opportunity to learn from her and from the many gifted members of that blog class group. Thanks to you both.

Monti
MaryMontagueSikes
-Monti7, September 15, 2010

This is a great post on basic blogging, Marian. I'll be sending the link to a few other writers who are just getting started on this blogging gig.

Oh, and I adore a good SF farce, so "Eel's Reverence" :-D

-Jayne, September 16, 2010

Monti, as everyone who took Dani's class understands, this post could only begin to sum up Dani's class! lol! And the benefit of having the other class members to kick stuff around with was invaluable. This one told us about how to get lots of followers, that one gave advice on cover graphics, the other one knew all about statistics.... It was intense, wasn't it? I went away feeling stuffed with knowledge. It was an education, just watching you fine-tune your header. :) Marian Allen
-Marian Allen, September 16, 2010

Jayne, email me so I can notify you if you win. I take it your choice of prize would be FORCE OF HABIT. :D email: ma at marianallen dot com
Marian Allen
-Marian Allen, September 16, 2010

Marian, does it count to enter mme in your contest if I reply on my own blog? I would love to win Eel's Reverence!
-Donna, September 16, 2010

Sure it counts! You're entered. :)

Marian Allen
-Marian Allen, September 17, 2010

This is a great blog, Donna... Your blog has a wonderful interactive feel to it, when I start out trying to read the blog and it suddenly turns light! This old brain is going to have to learn some new tricks! I enjoyed Eel's Reverence... I'll be back to read more of your stuff!
Thanks, Karen
-Karen Overturf, September 20, 2010

Thank you, Karen. I'm so glad you found us! I hope to hear more from you.
-Donna, September 20, 2010

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