Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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How does social media help writers?

Good morning. Getting back to normal since son went back to school this morning. As I sit here going through all my social media sites I have to reflect on the last year. It’s been a crazy ride for sure.

To start with, before I published my first book in May 2012, I only used email and texting when communicating. I learned quickly that as a published author you must use social media almost daily to keep up with changing climates. With this I mean that if you don’t keep your name fresh in front of people it loses it’s luster.

I did a short experiment the last couple of weeks. I went in a different times and tweeted my books to see if I gathered a result. Then I put them out on Facebook and Tumbler. What did I learn? Well I learned a lot. 

When I tweeted the links to my books listed on Smashwords.com, I actually saw a spike in page views. I love this about Smashwords.com. I can keep up with views and really do a great analysis of what works and what doesn’t. I then did the same through my Amazon links. The bad thing with Amazon, you can’t see how many go over to look at the book, you just have to see how sales spike. I only received a few sales through that one.

I then posted several Smashword.com links on my Facebook page. All of a sudden sales spiked, but on Amazon, not Smashwords it’s self. Now on Smashwords it could show up later under one of the subsidiary sites, but not the main site. I even tried this with Allromanceebooks.com and sold one book. 

So, with this I did notice a spike in views through tweeting and Facebook. Some analysts say don’t tweet about your books very often as you’ll lose followers. Well, I didn’t tweet about my books for several days and guess what I lost several followers. Then when I did tweet about my books I gained several new followers. Not sure, but I think it went in the other direction.

As I’m getting ready to announce the release date for “Victoria” the first book in my new Historical Romance Saga “The Women Of Magnolia Hill”, I’m hoping to see a great social media presence. This is my first book that I’m going to go through all the pre release hoopla. I can’t wait to get started. Maybe even as soon as this weekend. I plan to also participate in the new preorder option on Smashwords. Would love to do it on Amazon, but not sure how that works. If anyone knows, please let me know.

Try a social media study on your book sales and let me know how it goes. It might change your views on social media advertising. As for me, I’m headed over to do some tweeting 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Out of focus…

I’ve been out of touch for a day or two with a sick 14 year old. Hopefully the antibiotics he started last night will kick this sinus and ear infection in the back side.

Have you ever been writing and then all of a sudden you’re head is out of focus. Maybe you can’t seem to get the wording right. I’ve had that problem for a couple of days. I’m almost finished with “Victoria”, but for some reason my head is fuzzy. Could be the sinus medication I’m taking or the fact I have a sick teenager. The funny thing is I can picture the story in my head, but the words get jumbled when I try to type them.

I’ve even tried going back and editing the previous chapters. Maybe that would spur me on. No such luck. Maybe this is just a classic case of writer’s block. Wish the block would disappear and let me get finished before the story makes my head explode. That too could be from the sinus medication.

Ever tried writing while on Nyquil. Try it sometimes. My advice is to go back the next day and edit the mess you made the night before 🙂

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

Interesting Article to check out: 

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/08/21/six-easy-tips-for-self-editing-your-fiction/


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Need another cup of coffee?

It’s a dreary morning here in Georgia. The rainy weather has got me in a state of drowsiness that goes beyond the usual. Already on second cup of coffee and contemplating another before I hit the shower.

I’ve been working on my soon to be released first book of the Saga ‘Women of Magnolia HIll’ which is “Victoria”. This book has been a work in progress for over a year. The changes have been on going and I’m pleased with the results. The cover is just awesome and depicts the feeling of the book. 

As it’s based in Georgia, I’m totally engrossed in the history that goes with it. I’ve had to go back in time to make sure that I follow the right timelines. It’s been a fun journer and should have the official release date this week. It will be on presale at Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Apple very soon.

Hope everyone enjoys their morning cup of coffee, tea, or whatever you need to get going.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…Image


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Too much emotion in your writing?

Can you put too much emotion in your writing? I’ve heard some writers say they thought that they’d showed too much emotion from their main characters. But in my opinion, the emotion is what draws readers in. Recently I sent out an excerpt from one of my works in process, “Faith Through the Tears”. Several people came in and said the emotional pull was what drew the in.

The excerpt was a very powerful part of the book where the main characters wife dies of cancer. It’s detailing the emotions that both were going through in her last hours together. It’s an emotional time, how on earth do you pull back on that? 

I thought about several classic books and if the writer had pulled back on the emotions. It would have screwed up the whole story.

Take Gone With The Wind for instance. When she does the pivotal scene where she falls face down in the garden and eats raw vegetables, then stands up and makes that famous speech about “Never being hungry again.” The emotion is strong, but if Margaret Mitchell had pulled back and Scarlett had just stood there without putting her fist in the air and speaking in a strong tone it wouldn’t have had the same affect.

Emotion is an integral part of our writing and passion includes emotion. So keep the emotion in and make it strong. Go for it, cry a little, laugh a lot and never slack up on the emotion. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Back to School Book Sale

Good Friday morning. It’s another rainy, dreary morning here in Georgia. Makes me want to go back to bed with a good book and another cup of coffee or at least Earl Grey tea. But alas, work beckons me to the office. It’s Friday and payroll is due out for several clients so…

I’ve decided to do a Back to School book sale for the rest of August. It’s already up on Amazon and soon to be on allromanceebooks.com and Smashwords.com which will put it on Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, Apple and so on. Am I committing earnings suicide, well maybe, but it’s a hard month finance wide for lots of people. What with school supplies, school clothes, dorm supplies, and all the other school related purchases. So maybe this will help and give someone out there a chance to sit back and read a minute or two.

As for everything else going on, well let’s just say, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. I’m trying to finish up my newsletter for submission next week to my subscribers. It’s not too late to subscribe. All you need to do is message me here or through my email. 

The other big story is the upcoming blog tour with my friend from across the pond, Rosie Amber. We’ve joined forces to do a blog tour from both sides of the Atlantic. It’s called Romancing September Across the World Blog Tour. We still have a couple of openings but they’re going fast. IF you write romance or put in romance elements in your writing join us for this exciting tour. We’ve already got some great response. Just send me a message and I’ll send you the info. Also put including link below.

Hope everyone has a good Friday. It’s almost the weekend!

As always, Good writing and May God Bless You…


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If your cover could talk…

As a writer sometimes the cover comes before the writing. Odd, but true. Does your cover truly express the heart of the book inside? Does it totally blow the plot? Does it give away too much?

Have you ever picked up a book and wanted it just for the cover. Guilty as charged. I’ve seen a cover and just fell in love with the concept. It just inspired me to want to hear the story. I did that just recently and here’s what happened.

I was scanning through some of the books on Amazon. I do that from time to time to get ideas on cover design changes, fonts, etc. I come upon this book and the cover totally blew me away. I immediately purchased the book. I couldn’t wait until I had time that night to dig into it.

It was one of those moments when I put the book I’ve been reading aside and pick this one up. Well, I shuffled it around on my Kindle. The cover have a handsome cowboy and his trusty horse, but the background around it was just inspiring. The problem started when I read the first couple of pages. 

It wasn’t that the writing was bad, but it wasn’t following what I thought would be a cowboy romance. No ranch, no horses, no cowboy, nothing about this at all. I thought, well maybe it takes getting into the story to get to that part. Most of the book was about a businessman and woman. It was based in the city and not the country. Ok, well, maybe they are going there soon. Kept reading and nope. Close to the last couple of chapters they visited a ranch and then went back to the city. What??? That was it. 

The point to me telling you this is make sure that your cover tells the story. If it has a cowboy and his horse on it, then that’s what the reader is expecting. You know me, I love a good cowboy romance and I was left unsteady and very confused. I knew then that I’d been duped into this with my eyes. I should have read the blurb on the back. 

Make sure your cover gives a little mystery. If your character is going to go through a love triangle, maybe include all three involved, but don’t give away which the character will pick.  Leave a bone for the reader. Don’t leave a dinosaur though. If it’s such a mystery that you get to the end and say “WHAT?”

So, think about your cover long and hard. Maybe even design two slightly different and put them on your blog. Let your friends and readers vote. That’s always a fun concept.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Romance and a cowboy…

Has anyone noticed lately that you’re seeing a lot more cowboys on covers of romance novels? Yeah, I know, they’re on the cover of almost all of mine, but I mean outside of my little world. It’s amazing.

I was going through one of the book sites where my books are listed and I started to notice less vampire activity and more cowboys. That’s a good thing since I mostly write about cowboys. It’s really no mystery to me.

My point is this. Here are some of the many things that make cowboys stand out (well maybe to just me, but I think others see it too.)

1: They usually have a horse. Great selling point to me. 

2: Most cowboys have a truck, whether it’s a old and rundown, or it’s a new Chevy with plenty of pulling power. How else would they pull the horse trailer or hay bales around.

3: The ever present Stetson perched on their head. Oh yes, all my cowboys own a Stetson. Even the one’s I can touch have a Stetson or two. (Meaning real people not those that come from inside me head.)

4: Boots. Yep they’ve usually got a couple of pair. One pair is polished to a high shine for that special outing, then you have the not so great pair that’s seen it’s better day, but still keeps out the water, oh and then there’s that pair that is almost sole bare and let’s water in like a sifter. Nothing like a pair of cowboy boots to dress up an outfit.

5: The hands. Usually a cowboy has rough, work worn hands. No doubt a cowboy works hard and long hours. 

6: The eyes. Most of the cowboys I know have this look in their eyes. It’s as though they can see forever. The older cowboys have the nice little crinkle wrinkles around the corners of their eyes from the many hours of squinting in the sun. 

7: Jeans. They’re a staple of the cowboy attire. Of course it’s like the boots. They have the good pair for outings, but then you have the pair that’s ok for just riding on the range, and then you have that pair that’s got more holes than swiss cheese, but are good enough for mucking out stalls and slinging hay.

Well, that’s just a couple of things that make cowboys special. Maybe that’s why so many authors choose them as their manly figures. Cowboys are very manly and they make great heros. I mean you can’t have a business man in a suit ride in on his white stallion and save the day. That’s just not right 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…