Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Promotions that work…

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We’re halfway to the weekend and I feel as though I’ve been back pedaling. So much to do… So little time…

My latest book release went better than I expected it would. And I owe the success to the stacked ads and promotions that I ran surrounding the week of release. I’d read about doing this and was a little skeptical, but now I know it’s the thing to do. But for today, I want to talk about the biggest boost promotion that helped me.

I did run about 5 different ads for the release of SAFE. The sales began to rise, but they weren’t spiking enough to hit a bestseller list. That is until my double ad that I ran on https://faithfulreads.com/. Within an hour of the promotion hitting the Faithful Reads website and social media accounts, my sales began to go up at a rapid rate. All through the day they continued to rise.

Now, you may be saying, how do I know it was the ad through Faithful Reads that helped so much. Well, I kept up with all of my sales on the days that the other ads ran. And then when the Faithful Reads ad began, it was evident what worked. By the end of the day of the promotion, I was sandwiched between four top authors. It was exciting as I watched the rank rise. Then as the promotion was about to end, I hit #3 on the Amazon charts. The first and second place books were top ranking authors, so I was thrilled to be #3 behind them.

Over the last couple of years I’ve used Faithful Reads many, many times. They’ve always proven successful. And the fact that to run even a double ad with them is reasonable only adds to the awesomeness of using them. But remember, this promotional site is for clean books, no erotica books and no short stories, only books over 50 pages.

Their prices range from $30 to $65 per ad. They join with eReader Cafe for double features which cost the $60 or $65. And I can tell you this, it’s money well spent. They never disappoint. As an author, I’ll always use them for my promotions, and I hope you will as well.

www.faithfulreads.com

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Notebooks, Journals, & Pretty Note Pads…

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Good morning all! Most writers have a love of notebooks, journals and pretty note pads. There’s something about a colorful notebook that just inspires you. Then there are those that are so pretty that you hate to write in them, but you just have to. It’s like some sort of code.

My husband and son just roll their eyes when I buy another one. I have them everywhere so that when the mood strikes, I can make a note for a story. Is it a problem? For me, no it’s not. But others think that it is. Good thing I don’t set my ways on what others think.

There are so many different kinds. Spiral, leather bound, lined, plain, colored, floral, designer, sticky, big, small, thick, thin, the kinds are endless. But it doesn’t matter, they are work the way you want them too. Each of my series have their own notebook, not to mention numerous notepads with notes on characters, places, and scenes.

So, are you itching to buy a pretty notebook or a nice journal? I do think I might need to run out and get another one, just in case I use all the many I have now.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Finding time to write…

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Good morning! Do you struggle to find time to write? I know that I do. Some days are harder than others. Especially during tax season. But, it’s important to find that time.

But how? Sometimes we have to just become more organized with our time. If you do better writing in the morning, but you have to be at work at 9, just get up a little earlier. You could even make sure that everything for your morning routine is ready the night before. Go ahead and set your clothes out. That gives you an extra few minutes the next morning.

If you want to reach a certain word count when you sit down to write, then time yourself. If you can write 1000 words in thirty minutes and you want to get in at least 1500 words everyday, then you need to set aside forty five minutes to write. Now that you have an idea of the time you need, then schedule your morning to make time to write.

One thing that helps me is having an outline. I try to get in one chapter a day or more if time allows. Since I use Scrivener, when I finish a chapter, I stamp the section of the outline as done. This gives me a feeling of accomplishment. And I don’t know about you, but when I get to write in the mornings it just makes my day go much better.

So, get yourself a schedule and make it happen…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Safe comes out on May 12th, so preorder now to have it ready for you to dive into on Wednesday!


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Midweek Writing Tip…

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It’s already Wednesday, but the weekend seems so far away. I’m snatching a few minutes out of my morning to write and blog.

Speaking of snatching minutes to write… Today’s writing tip goes along those lines. It’s important to a writer to have time each day to write. It could be just a few minutes or if you’re lucky, maybe a couple of hours. Either way, try to sit down and write everyday if you can.

Why do you need to write everyday? Well, for me it helps my sanity. The characters running around in my head go crazy when I don’t at least get in a couple of minutes. But maybe it’s to meet a deadline, or just to keep up with your commitment to yourself.

So, if it’s early in the morning before anyone else gets up… If it’s at lunch… Or maybe you’re a night writer. Grab some writing time and keep up to good work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writing scenes ahead…

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Good morning from icy Georgia! It’s below freezing and the precipitation falling isn’t rain… Time for the bulky sweaters that collect dust, but I keep them for just this sort of day…

Now, on to the post. Have you ever wrote a scene ahead of time? I keep a notebook beside my laptop for just this thing. And I label them as what they are. About 90% of the time I know in my head how the book ends and if I’m working on the first half and hit a snag, I’ll write the ending. It inspires me to push through the fog that clouds my thoughts sometimes.

But, will those scenes change and evolve as the writing prior to them does. Certainly, but it keeps you focused on the upcoming events. I’ve written several pages of scenes, then totally deleted some of them as the characters went in another direction. But it’s exciting to step ahead and see the future.

Did I say I could see the future? Yes, in my writing I can. So don’t ask me to read tea leaves or anything like that. I can’t see that kind of future. So, start looking ahead in your WIP and see what can be. It will help with the current part of the process.

As always, good writing and <ay God Bless You…


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Edit until it hurts…

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Why does editing hurt so bad? For one thing, you’ve put your blood, sweat, and tears into the work, so yes, it will hurt. The other thing is, it’s hard to cut out what you think needs to be there.

But I have some advice, and I had to take this advice myself. In order to make the work the best it can be, then you’ve got to trim the fat. And believe me, it hurts, but once you’ve done it, you’ll see the better product. Sometimes I look at my editor and shake my head. But, once I see it in another light, then I’m better with it.

So, here is what you need to tell yourself, it only makes it better. Yes, you will have to do this multiple times.

Repeat after me… It only makes it better!

Now, let me tell you the worst thing that can happen, and this happened to me. One of my previous editors told me to get rid half a chapter and I had a meltdown, but once I took the plunge, I saw it worked and flowed better. And in the end, that’s our goal, to make our work flow. If it doesn’t, then the reader won’t enjoy the read.

So, edit without mercy and keep the tissues close as you do.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Writers stay healthy!

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I have the rainy Monday morning blahs… But sipping some strong coffee, so hoping this feeling passes. So, let’s dive into writers and their health. It’s a double edged sword…

If you’re like me, you work a day job and write in your free time, which leaves precious little time to exercise. Even full time writers don’t take the time to exercise. So, what do we do? The fact is, it’s important to get moving as much as possible. Yes, we love to chase the words, but are we doing it at the cost of our health.

Let’s look at some things you can do to help stay healthy and keep up with your word count:

  • Get in those steps! Try to get in at least 10,000 steps a day. Yes, I know it’s hard, but even on a rainy day you can walk inside. I’ve set a timer on my phone to make me get up and move. Today is my first day of keeping track of it better. I’ve been slacking since I had a book deadline, not to mention it’s tax season. So, get up and march in place for a few minutes, or walk to the mailbox a couple of times a day. Whatever it takes to get those steps up? Give Yoga a try. It’s a great mind clearing way to get healthier and stay in shape.
  • If you have to snack while writing, then grab something healthy. A couple of examples are: 1. Freeze some grapes and eat when writing. 2. Cut up an apple and get a little peanut butter to dip it in. 3. Eat low salt nuts such as almonds or cashews. 4. Yogurt with granola. 5. Cut up veggies such as carrots or even bell pepper and dip in ranch.
  • If you grab coffee, like me, then opt for no creamer, or less creamer. Maybe even grab some decaf at times. Also, remember those fancy coffees from the coffee shop add a lot of calories to your day. Opt for a simple cup of joe.
  • Tea is great, unless you’re southern like me and love it sweet. Change it up to green tea or herbal with antioxidants to help you out.
  • Last, but not least, stay hydrated. Drink lots of water. I keep a bottle of water with me all of the time. Get in your allotted amount of water a day. If you can’t handle plain water, then grab some of those no calorie flavorings. I love those. But staying hydrated is important.

Remember, the only way to get that bestseller seen is to be healthy enough to finish it. If you’re not here, then it won’t see the light of day. And as your fellow writer, I want to see you succeed and stay healthy. This goes for me. Let’s start this today!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tuesday Tax Talk…

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Good afternoon! It’s that time of year to get your tax papers organized and ready for tax time. Yes, I know, it’s a hassle if you’re not organized. Even organized people struggle with this time of year. Do I have this form? Did I make that donation before the end of the year? When did I buy my laptop for writing?

As an accountant, I understand the struggle. But, just take it one day at a time. Sit down with your check register and scan it. Make sure you grab all of your expenses for your writing business or the business that you’re in. Also this is a good way to find donations you made during the year.

Here’s a list for writers to use for expenses and other business can use it too…

  1. Writing programs – Microsoft office, Scrivener, Adobe, etc…
  2. Writer Group Subscriptions – Romance Writers of America, All Author, Bigstock, Etc…
  3. Writing Supplies – Pencils, Pens, Notebooks, Copy paper, ink, journals, etc…
  4. Equipment – Laptop, Computer, printer, etc…
  5. Advertising – Any advertising you’ve paid for…

The list goes on from here, but this gives you a good idea of where to start. And believe me, once you get into this, you’ll find more.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Organizing your Published works…

It’s another cool morning here in Georgia, but I’m warm and cozy under my blanket with my laptop. Today we’re discussing how to organize your published works. You may be asking what I mean, well, let me enlighten you.

With over 50 published books, sometimes I get lost in where every book is already published. I can’t remember which book is on which platform. Organization is needed even if you only put your books on one platform. So, here is what I do…

Platform Organization

First, I sit down and make a spreadsheet. The header includes all of the platforms that my books are on. The first column lists all of my books. This way I can mark off the books that are already on certain platforms. And this also helps when republishing older works with new covers. Doing this, I don’t miss out on having my books everywhere.

The moment I started working with this spreadsheet, I realized that I was missing several platforms for some of my books. This is missed opportunity, so everyday I work on at least one platform, updating files and getting my books everywhere.

 PublishedAmazonKUB&NKoboAppleSmashAudibleGoogle
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

Book Organization

Now, you may be asking how this is different. Book organization is a spreadsheet similar to the above one, but this one is book formats. In this one, I just copy the previous spreadsheet and change the header. In the header I input Ebook, Print, Audio, Front Cover, Back Cover, Blurb, and Publish date.

This has helped me to keep up with what needs to be done for each book. It’s like a checks and balances, but for books.

 outlinecharacterfrontebookblurbexerptprintbackspine
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

I do hope this helps you in some way. It’s helped me a lot.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Wednesday Coffee Thoughts…

Wow, we’ve made it to the midweek crunch. So, what’s running through my mind this afternoon? Glad you asked. Here goes…

Do you read other genres than you write in? I write romance, so I mostly read romance novels. But to my surprise, I talked with other writers that don’t read the genre they write. How is that possible? Just a little thought that ran through my mind as I sip my coffee this afternoon…

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