Stephanie Hurt – Author/Accountant/Children's Minister

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Ebook piracy is real and growing…

Good Wednesday morning! Hope all of you are well and safe. I know several people in the flood ravaged south and I hope all of you are safe this morning. As I watch the news its devastating and tears at my heart. Prayers going up to all of you in the danger zones.

This morning I want to discuss Ebook piracy. When I started my writing career I was a little leery of putting my book on websites that I wasn’t familiar with. I’d spend hours checking out their ratings and BBB information before I’d even set up an account with them. We want to keep our work safe from those that want to take advantage, but what can we do in this day and age of cyber piracy? Nothing, not a thing…

I noticed about a year ago that when I googled my name, several websites came up that I didn’t recognize. Of course I checked them out and some of them are legitimate because they are distributors from Createspace that legally sell my book and I reap the royalties. But unfortunately a couple were actually pirating my books for free on their sites. A month ago I was searching out my books and found that the number of websites that my books are showing up on have more than doubled.

Of course it got me a little hot under the collar until a well known author told me something that hadn’t really hit me. She told me that it’s like free advertising. The word pirates as I call them were actually doing free promotions for my work. I still don’t like the fact that they steal your work and place it everywhere for free, but in a way it is getting my work out there. She also went as far as to tell me I should be proud that they picked my work to steal because that meant they evidently thought it would help them. Never thought of it that way either.

My question to several authors was how do you stop them, but all of them came back with the same response, you don’t. The websites change constantly and have crazy names. I keep a watch on it though because I don’t want someone else to list their name as the author of my work. Now that will spur me into action, but for now I’m just watching it.

I suggest if you’re a published author to keep an eye on your work. Do a cyber search frequently on your author name, book name and website. It’s just a precautionary measure, but it could save your work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Oakley is coming out by the end of next weeks!!! I’ll be posting updates by the end of the week. So go over to my website at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on new releases or exciting news. Or go over to Facebook and like my author page to stay up to date at https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt. If  you’re a Twitter lover then check out my tweets at https://twitter.com/StephanieHurt4.


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Tuesday morning glance at the past…

This morning I’m taking a look back at how things have changed in the self publishing world since I started in 2012. It’s amazing how it fluctuates. So many main stream traditionally published authors have gone back to self publishing and are enjoying the freedom that it provides.

Self publishing has come into it’s own in the last three years or at least in my opinion. There are more sites to place your books and they are more widely accepted. When I first put my books on Smashwords.com the distributors list was a lot shorter and now you can have your books spread out far and wide. Also, several traditional publishers are jumping on the bandwagon and looking at it differently.

The amount of self published books is phenomenal and the amount of best selling self published books has rose along with it. Now a self published book can actually go to the top without the hand of an agent or big publisher pushing it. Traditional publishing has it’s good points too. But for some of us starting out or maybe that have already been there, we’re venturing out and testing the waters first.

So, what’s your opinion on the growth of self publishing? Are you traditionally published or self published? Maybe you’re both…

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Mail Order Bride Research…

Well it’s raining and stormy here in Georgia this Monday afternoon. But that’s alright, we need the rain. Since I kind of let the news out slightly in a previous post, yes I’m working on a historical romance along with Chase, the 3rd book in the Five Oak Ranch series.

This book has been interesting to say the least. It’s based in the 1800’s just after the Civil War. The book is about a mail order bride from Georgia that goes to Montana to marry a man she’s never met. I don’t see how they did it. I’ve been researching the subject and it can be quite interesting to say the least.

Back in the 1800’s men went west in search of financial stability and adventure. Some left their wives home in the South and eventually sent for them, but the large bulk of them were single and when they finally settled in one of the western towns, guess what? Yep you guessed it, there were hardly any women. I can imagine these men were a little lonely and wondered if they’d done the right thing as they cooked their meals and washed their clothes.

It didn’t take them long to start sending advertisements to southern newspapers pouring out their hearts. Some would send romantic poems in order to lure in the ladies. It worked! Soon the mail order bride became a popular way for these men to finally have a wife. They’d write back and forth with the lady, then send a ticket for her to come west. Some of these correspondences were between the men and the father of the lady. In this case they don’t get acquainted until she steps off the stage coach in a dusty western town full of men. What a nerve wracking arrival to say the least…

It’s made for fun writing though. I’ve enjoyed delving into the history of the mail order bride as I make my story come alive. I’ll give a little hint soon of the title and then I’ll let you in on the cover. This book will probably come out in late summer. Since I love anything historical, this has been a thrill.

So what have you been up to lately?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Word Count & Scrivener

Good Saturday morning! Here in Georgia it’s simply gorgeous with the sun shining and the temps comfortable. Makes me want to go outside and sit the rest of the day writing. But my house needs an overhaul ;) That doesn’t mean that I won’t end up out there with my laptop.

I’m working on two manuscripts at the moment. Of course ‘Chase’ is one of them and then I’m also working on a new Christian Historical Romance, but that one will be discussed at a later date. As for writing, I’ve been trying to get in my daily word count and then some. Since the stories are flowing pretty steadily lately, it helps me to stay focused.

One thing that is helping with my writing lately is a program that I’m trying out. Have you tried out Scrivener yet? Several authors have suggested the program to me, but until now I’ve been using word mostly. So about a month or so ago I decided to test the waters and I’ve not looked back yet.

This program incorporates my trusty outlines and character lists into the same screen as my manuscript. I can keep it all at my fingertips at all time. Better yet as a new character is created I can simply add them to the list and never skip a beat. I’ve even got the outlines typed out for a couple of story ideas for later in the year.

What’s fun is with my 5 Oaks Ranch series I can copy my character list over to the next book. That way I don’t have to keep going back to the books before and search out a character. Let’s just say I love this program and highly suggest trying it out. They offer a trial version so that you can make sure it fits in with your way of writing.

Well, I better get back to mopping my kitchen and doing laundry because it won’t do itself. Also the sooner it’s done, the sooner me and my laptop can head out to sit on the deck and get lost in another world, if just for a while.

So, what are you up to today? Hope it’s fun…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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How do you like your eggs?

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There are so many ways to have your morning egg. Boiled, scrambled, poached, sunny side up, the choices are endless. For me, well, I have one boiled egg just about every morning. I like scrambled eggs too sometimes with grated cheese. I’m an egg person.

If you think about it, eggs and romance novels go hand in hand. Yeah, I know, you’re saying ‘She’s finally lost it’, but you can’t lose what you didn’t have to begin with, LOL! Anyhow, as with eggs, romance novels come in many different genres. Everyone has a preference and when you start looking up romance on Amazon the choices are infinite. It’s amazing.

Some people like a laid back, relaxing romance that takes you away to faraway lands then others want that fast, racy romance that catapults you into another world and then drops you off somewhere you’re not expecting. Even with the different genres there’s sub genres. Yep, it get’s long when you hit that part of it.

When people ask me what romance genre I write in, well I have to think for a minute. I’ve written Christian romance, Historical Romance, Cowboy Romance, Contemporary Romance and the list goes on. Some of my books can fit into all of the above. It’s crazy how many are out there. It also drives a writer crazy when publishing because you need to make sure you put your book in the correct sub genre.

So, how do you like your eggs, ummm I mean romance :)

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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So much water under the bridge, Ghost Love is 3!

Ghost Lover Advertising

Good morning everyone! I do hope you’re having a wonderful morning, for some of you a wonderful afternoon, maybe even early evening. Well today’s a special day for this writer, it’s the 3 year anniversary of Ghost Lover being published. I’m a proud mama for sure.

Ghost Lover came about a long time ago in my head and was originally named ‘Can This be Real’. But once I was ready to edit the final draft Ghost Lover came into my mind and the name was cemented in my writing history. It’s been a crazy ride since I hit the publish button on this one. There’s been 3 covers, yes 3.

book cover Ghost Love front cover GhostLover2

Yep, that first one, well let’s just say it didn’t last long. I fell immediately in love with the second one, then of course I fell over my own feet with the third one. As the book evolved, so did the cover. The third cover goes with the revised, 2nd edition which I published several months ago. I’ve grown as a writer over the last three years and realized that Ghost Lover needed a more detailed edit.

Here’s a few fun facts about Ghost Lover.

1: It was written over ten years ago under the name ‘Can This Be Real’.

2: This was the first book to make me cry and laugh in the same paragraph. Yep, this book touched me.

3: I received my first call from a big publishing house with this one. Actually I had two call me wanting me to republish this one under their name. As you can see, I didn’t. I stuck to my guns and held strong.

4: This book went International and did really well which totally blew my mind as a new writer.

5: I still have a book cowboy crush on Jared. He’s some kind of gentleman and still makes my head spin.

If you haven’t read Ghost Lover then now’s the best time. For a limited time it’s on sale at Amazon and Barnes & Noble for .99. Yes, I said .99! I want everyone to fall in love with Jared and Jess, the couple that started my writing career. I’m forever grateful.

So, have you fell in love with a cowboy lately? If not, then check out Jared. He’ll steal your heart and lock it away forever…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Anniversary sale

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