Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Focus

Good morning! I do hope all of you had a great 3 day weekend. As for me, we did. I was able to get some cabinets cleaned out, tossed some old stuff and organized. Ummmm, that’s not what I had planned, yeah, well…

abstract art blur bright

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

As writers, we often lose focus of what we need to do. For instance, this morning I had planned on getting in my word count, then working on promotions and social media. But, as it is the Monday for the week, my brain wouldn’t function. I lost focus.

So, my plan is this, to regain my focus. I need to finish my manuscripts that are hanging there, waiting for the words ‘The End’, and move forward with the planned releases coming up. But, how do I do that?

For me, the problem is social media addiction. Yes, I said it, addiction. The first thing I do when I grab my coffee is scan through, planning to just make a quick glimpse. Yeah, right! I end up reading posts, looking at more posts, commenting, etc. Then an hour later, I’m sitting here trying to power through my word count before I head to the office.

Today I plan to focus on the task at hand, well after my morning loss of focus. So, how many of you lose focus on priorities?

As always, good writing and May God bless you…

P.S. Don’t forget to focus!!!

Advertisements


4 Comments

As my finger hovered…

submit

Well, it’s a little warmer this morning here in the south, but not by much. The trees outside are beginning to turn slightly, some a little more, which tells me my favorite time of year is upon us. I love the Fall.

But on to the post. Last night I did something that quite frankly scared me to death. No, I didn’t go to a haunted house, not one for those at all! I waited patiently, not exactly patiently, but somewhat, for the final notifications to stream in on the Top 25 for the SYTYCW15 contest. Deep down I knew my name wasn’t on the list, but I had to know for sure before I made a life changing decision. Let me just say this, I was so honored and totally humbled to have made the Top 55 among so many great authors, it was a little overwhelming if I’m to be totally honest.

So as I sat last night, playing with the decision at hand, I took a deep breath and jumped. Yes, I hit submit on Tuscany, meaning it’s in Harlequin’s hands now. To what end, I’m not sure, but we’ll just have to see. This book was totally different from my other ones, it was like a part of my soul went with it last night. Was this the right decision? I think so.

Recently I was on a discussion on Twitter with a couple of Harlequin editors and I asked about this type of book. Would it be something that they’d look at? Immediately a couple of them tagged other editors with Harlequin, stating it was what they were currently looking for. That intrigued me enough to hit the submit button last night.

As for Tuscany’s presence on Wattpad, I don’t know. I’ll probably pull it soon, but for now I’ll leave it there. I’ve received a couple of really great reviews. One said simply, but powerfully, “SWOON!”. This made me smile because I almost swooned as I typed the last paragraph of this book and if you have read it then you know why. Then this morning I received another review stating and I quote, “Wow! One of the best books I’ve ever read on Wattpad or anywhere else for that matter!!” With wonderful reviews like that, I just have this feeling. It’s the feeling I had the first time I hit the submit on Ghost Lover, my first published book. And I’ve never regretted that move, not even once 😉

So, with that said, I’ll keep you updated on what’s happening, but I know it will be a while before I hear anything, if I hear at all.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


1 Comment

Good or bad, it’s your choice…

When you sat down to write your first manuscript you made the choice to do that. You decided that it was time to put your thoughts on paper and it was the right choice for you at that moment. But what then? Would you decide to publish it? How would you do that? Would you go traditional or self publish? Decisions, Decisions!

It’s a critical choice in any writer’s mind. I talked to a writer not too long ago that has written several complete manuscripts but she was confused as to what road to take. She actually contacted me with the hopes of getting a little more insight into how I chose the path I did. As I told her it’s really as simple as making a list and figuring out what’s best for you. 

For me, I had other options than self publishing, but it was a good fit for me, maybe not for others. After I had self published a couple of books I received “THE CALL” that all authors love to receive. It was a rather large publishing house that I’d heard of and actually had several books in my library published through them. The gentleman was nice and had knowledge of my books and style of writing. He’d actually read one of them and was interested in putting it under their label. Of course my heart did a quick pitter patter, but then I started asking questions. I’m a very analytical person, so I had questions. What are you planning to do for my book that I don’t already do? What’s the royalty percentage? Will I lose my rights?  Turns out I was better off where I was at. The royalties were 1/2 of what I was already making and yes I had to sign my rights to my work over to them and then the promotional package they offered for a nice little sum was exactly what I was already doing on my own for free. I kindly thanked him and said I’d keep his number. He hounded me for a couple of months with different ‘offers’, but I stayed true to my decision. 

Here’s a couple of things that you need to decide on before you make the choice:

1: Do you have the discipline to do the marketing and social media presence that’s needed to keep your name available?

2: What about the business end of publishing? Can you handle all the ins and outs of the publishing business? Self Publishing is a business and it can take some time to put things together.

3: What type of royalties are you looking at? If higher royalties are needed, then self publishing my be the route to go, but be aware of the needs of self publishing.

4: You’re in charge of getting a cover made, either you design it or you hire someone to do it. Remember this is the first thing someone will see and first impressions are valuable.

5: Editing is still a must even with self publishing. I know that we all think our work is great, but it needs to be edited by someone other than your best friend. Editing is important.

Of course I could go on and on, but this is a couple of things I told the author. She sat for a moment thinking and then she told me that this had helped her start the decision process. 

Either way you go, it’s your choice. If you send your manuscript to a traditional publisher, be patient. If they like what they see it’ll happen. Take their advice and use it. If you choose self publishing, please take it seriously. You are in the hot seat if you choose this route. Either way you go, it’s your choice. You’re in charge of this decision. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


5 Comments

Decisions…Decisions?

We have decisions to make as writers. What’s funny is if you’re a writer then you made a big decision, you decided to be a writer. You may say, ‘I haven’t published anything’, but if you write down what’s in your mind, then you’re a writer. 

Here are a couple of decisions to make as a writer:

1: Most importantly – Decide to actually begin writing. Whether it be an unpublished journal or a novel that could be the next big one. If you enjoy it, then go for it.

2: You have to decide if you’re going to make your writing public or just keep it in a drawer for your enjoyment only. I’m really glad I decided to get mine out of a drawer and blow off the dust.

3: After you’ve written your masterpiece (well that’s how we all feel after we’ve finished a manuscript. It may be only us that labels it this, but oh well.) do you try to submit to a traditional publisher and wait and wait and wait and wait some more or do you tackle self publishing it and taking a chance on your own.

4: If you decide on traditional publishing, who do you go with. Well, decide what genre your manuscript best fits, then check into publishers that specialize in your genre. Traditional publishers come in all sizes and needs. I’ve been approached by a couple and I was surprised at the diversity of each one. One guy was so funny that I laughed actually at him, he said ‘we want your book on our team’ then he proceeded to tell me how much money he wanted for the honor of them wanting my book, which was a couple of thousand and that included putting it on the same social media sites I already have them on. NOT! Then you have the publishers that only take a portion of your royalties. Here’s where it gets tricky, do you want to give up 50% or more of your royalties? 

5: Do you want to self publish? This is easier than you might think. The self publishing sites available is phenomenal and a statement of how popular this type of publishing is. With this type of publishing you have to be careful when reading the disclaimers, but most of the popular sites are just general and do not your first born up front 🙂

6: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing… As a self publisher you have to do this if you want to be seen. This is where you meet so many wonderful people from all over the world. I’ve enjoyed this part of the whole process so much. 

7: Finally, don’t forget the decisions about the book itself. You have the cover, the description, the trailer video pictures, the music for the trailer, etc. It goes on and on and on.

As I always say, this is just the wandering musings of a writer, but hopefully it gives you some food for thought. Each decision you make needs to be met with lots of prayer and contemplation. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


1 Comment

Life: You’re the Author

In life we write our own stories. We determine how our life goes. God created us, but he gave us life choices. How do we choose? Which road do we go down? Is grass and dirt starting to take over your road?

In life we make the decisions that take us to the next part. Decisions we make mark the future for us. If you decide to drink and drive you’re deciding your life book could end on the drive home. If you decide not to take the job offer and then find out there’s nothing else available, then you made that decision to stay unemployed. (Sometimes that’s the best road to take.)

As an author I’ve thought about the life I’m writing for myself. Do I want to get to the end of my life and look back only to wonder what I accomplished? No, I believe in taking the bull by the horns and stepping out on faith. It’s just like a review on a book. Do you give your life a 5 star rating or does it fall flat at 1 or less?

Think of your life as a book you’re going to sell. Would you want to read about your life? Have you done anything remotely special? We all have moments in our life that are spectacular. Those moments can include marriage, the birth of your child, and vacations. But what about the in between moments. 

My challenge to you is to live life. Experience the moment. Don’t let life come to a close without enjoying what God has given you. Go ahead, write the great american novel, or try to. At least you can say I tried. Don’t come to the end and say I wish I would have…

As always good writing and May God bless you in all you decide to do in life. Remember to keep Him in your life and all will go well. 🙂