Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Setting music to your work…

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Good morning! It’s been a while, but I have a great reason… Tax Season. But, I’m on the last leg of the first part.

So, as I was working last night, my Pandora was playing movie love songs. I tried to name the movie for each score that played. Then I thought about how powerful each song was to the movie. Actually, in my opinion, some of the music made the movies seem better. The music gave the parts so much power, more inspiring or just more emotionally charged.

Maybe you’re wondering why I’m talking about this, well, wouldn’t it be cool if we could input music into our manuscripts? Of course, like most of you, I have music playing in the background as I write, but if we could put music into our audio books, wouldn’t that be something?

And yes, we put music into our book trailers, which adds that pull. Think about how it would be added to our ebooks in certain spots? It would be amazing…

Ok, so that’s my crazy rambling for this cool, southern Monday. Since I only have two more days left in tax season, I’ll be back to regular posting soon.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Giveaway of free Audio Books…

I’ve been working on two of my latest manuscripts a lot lately. I know I’ve been blogging only here and there. These two books have demanded my complete attention and I’ve been giving in to the calling. But I do have a special message for all my readers and friends. Audible.com has given me 25 codes to the audio book for Open The Heart. 

If you haven’t had time to read Open The Heart, then why not listen to it? So, here’s the deal. All you have to do is message me at stephaniehurt4@gmail.com and the first 25 to send me a message will get the code to unlock your free audio book.

So run, don’t walk to your email and send me a message.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Audio books – Have you taken the leap yet?

I took the leap into audio books last year and haven’t looked back. The potential for expanding sales is enormous. This is a growing industry and allows for more creativity than just merely writing the book. It’s your book come to life.

When I first heard one of the auditions for my books I was mesmerized to say the least. It was like a refreshing look at my work, but out loud. I sat riveted to my seat. That was my work being read out loud and it sounded so different. Since I normally read my work out loud during one of my edits for each one, it was strange hearing someone elses voice.

As for sales, I actually do pretty well with my audio books. As I say it’s a growing market. WIth Audible.com they actually do advertising in many online avenues. i’ve seen my books on the weather online, a children’s site, and the newest place was quite a surprise, Pandora Radio. I was listening to Pandora yesterday and happened to look up at the screen and there I was. I did a double take. Wow, there on the right side of the screen was “With All My Heart”. I did a happy dance and then I sat down to take a closer look. My book was on the top spot, guess who was the 2nd spot? “Fifty Shades of Grey”! I had to take this one in. 

The irony of the advertisement positioning is this, “With All My Heart” is a Christian Romance and it’s being advertised right above a book about Christian Grey. Two totally different books on one advertisement. It made me a little excited that my book would be advertised with a bestseller, which could boost sales, but these are not the same kind of romance by far. I was glad to be on the top spot. Maybe people will pick up my book before the other one.

Using Audible’s site is so easy to set up. They make it streamlined. If you don’t want to narrate the book yourself, they’ll send the narrators to you. Try it. I know you’ll be pleased with the results.

Have you tried Audible yet? If not, then go over and give it a shot. All you do is go to ACX.com which is affiliated with Amazon and get started. Your audio books will be available on Audible.com, Amazon, and Apple iTunes.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Print books, Ebooks, and Audio books, which way do I go?

Writers have a lot of decisions to make. The process does not stop when you type ‘The End’. You have to decide how you will publish your work. Are you going to self publish or send it to a traditional publisher. Then if you decide to self publish you have to decide if it’s going to be an Ebook only or will you be doing a print book also. 

When you decide to do a print book it’s a process. With an Ebook you have just a front cover to design, but when you do a print book it’s a whole new design ball game. This process is a little more complex. You have to get your page count and then figure the size of the cover including front, back, and end. If you’re off very much the cover will roll to the back or front, bleeding over. Yep, been there. It’s a decision you need to make sure you’re ready for.

Then of course you have to decide who you’re going to print through. I use CreateSpace powered through Amazon. They’re easy to work with and using Expanded Distribution by print books go out to larger distributors and book stores online. I’ve set up an account with Lightning Source but only have my Ebooks listed right now with them.They have a hefty setup fee that I’m having to decide if I want to do right now. 

Another decision is the type of cover and paper color. The first run I did was a learning experience. I did the white paper and didn’t like it as much as the cream colored paper. The white paper has a different feel. Of course all of mine are paperback, but you can do a hardback. Also you can do matte finish now on the cover. Decisions, Decisions…

The publishing process is a many faceted thing. You don’t just write the book and step away. Well you can, but you’re not going anywhere if you do that. As for me I choose to go all the way. I have my books in print and Ebook.

Oh and there’s another side to publishing. Audio books… I took the leap into audio books back in the summer. It’s a new type of process. I’ve enjoyed meeting the narrators of the books. It’s fun to listen to someone read your book. I use ACX with is through Amazon also. They’re easy to use. Just set up an account and download your book. Then start listening to excerpts from various narrators. When you find one you like send them a message asking them to audition for your book. Once you get a couple of auditions then pick one and go with it. You can make pretty good on audible books.

So are you ready to publish that work. Sure you are. Just take the step forward and go for it. If you need any help just check out the link at the top of my site, Horseshoe Publishing. We’re here to help with the process. 

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Special Giveaway to Offer

Audible.com has honored me with 25 free audible book coupons for “With All My Heart” and “Moonbeam & Roses”. So here is how this works. The first 25 that message me for each book at stephaniehurt4@gmail.com will get a code to get the free audio book. Please state which book you are entering for. I will announce the winners as soon as all spots are gone. So watch your email and good luck.

So, don’t delay. The spots will go fast. Don’t forget it’s free, so why not.


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What does you character sound like?

You may be saying, what is she babbling about now 🙂 It’s simple really. What voice would you put with your main character if you had the chance? Well, I had to figure that out this week and let me tell you, it was a blast!

What I’m talking about is audio books. An author recently mentioned I ought to try it out, so I did. I went to ACX.com and set up an account. It’s really easy and may I say extremely fun and exasperating too.

After you give them your general information, then the fun starts. You have to put your book information in and an excerpt that you want someone to read for an audition. Yep, you heard me right, an audition. You actually have people sending you auditions on the account. But the fun starts when you have to put in the settings you want. Here are just a few of the things asked.

1. Style of voice: This was a huge list of things like soft, loud, funny, sad, gruff, gravelly, and the list goes on. 

2. Gender: Male or female. This part was easy for me.

3. Region of Voice: In the site it has a different name but you get the idea. These included Southern, Northern American, Irish, English, Oriental, Cajun and the list goes on. This one was hard.

After you pick these out you need to tell the producer a little about the way you want it expressed. Then you put why you picked this excerpt.

Then the fun part begins. You can listen to the different styles of voice in the next screen. This is where you can change your choices which is a good thing. This was hilarious. I had to change most of the settings I’d picked. My editor would just looked at me and shake her head laughing. 

The strange part is I’ve always known what my character would sound like if she could talk. I listened to a couple of people that had general auditions and found a voice I liked. Then I’ve started receiving auditions. This is going to be hard. I’ve received some that really sound right. A couple sounded like they were in pain, so no. But it was so invigorating to hear my book being spoken by someone other than myself. 

So if you want to hear your book, go to ACX.com and try it out. They take royalty percentage or pay per hour. I went with royalty percentage. It’s a no brainer really. They distribute the finished audio book to Amazon, Itunes and a couple of other places. 

As always, Good Writing and May God Bless You.