Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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


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Getting the word out!

Ok, it’s Monday, are you ready for the work week? Me, not so much, but got to get moving. I’ve been asked so much lately about my advertising strategy that I’m writing the post to get the word out. So here goes:

When I first started publishing my books, I had no clue about marketing my book. Four years later I’m starting to get the hang of it. I even have a website where authors can advertise their books for a minimal fee and I use what I’ve learned on that site.

This is what I’ve learned that works, it really works:

1: Use a service such as Hootsuite to make many posts, even while you’re sleeping. I especially like to use this service when I have a new release coming out soon. I usually set up several posts and have them go through my WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook pages. I do different posts for each time slot, that way I’m not overusing the same thing.

2: Twitter is a really cool marketing tool. I actually see a bump in sales when I do Tweets during the day. Make sure to be creative with the 140 characters. I use my buy link and a savvy, short piece from the book. It really works people, but you have to actually do it for it to work 😉

3: Facebook Ads: This I love and see lots of results. Facebook has made it easier to set up. One thing I love about this is you don’t inundate your friends and family with book ads. These ads go to where you want them too and go to people that aren’t friends on Facebook. I’ve gained many new fans from a simple Facebook ad. You can set up any price you want to and even the length of time you run the ad is up to you.

4: Website: Every author needs a website. There are so many places you can set up a website now, it’s amazing. but if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of setting up a professional author website, then get in touch with me, my company Horseshoe Publishing does this.

5: Blogs: This is very important to authors. It gives you the chance to talk about anything, but I suggest leaving off political topics, only for the reason of making someone angry. Blog about your life giving readers a look at what you do other than writing. It’s amazing the response you’ll get.

So, these are only a part of my marketing agenda, but I’m short on my word count this morning, so I have to get back to writing. My assistant gives me the evil eye if I get too far behind on my schedule.

One last reminder before I go, if you don’t have the time or drive to do any of these and want help, check out my new advertising site www.freshfromthebook.com and for a minimal fee, we’ll get the word out for you.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Fresh From The Book

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Well, as I’ve been hinting at for a week or so, I started a new venture. Yeah, I know, like I needed something else on my plate, but… I’ve been listening to fellow authors and readers. Authors are constantly asking how to reasonably market their books and fellow avid readers always want to be able to find new books. So, in comes Fresh from the Book.

I created this website to help with those exact problems. As the marketing process of a book is expensive, I’ve checked out several upon several websites that advertise for authors. Some of them want a ridiculous price to place an ad, so I created this to help with that. Of course, I couldn’t do it all for free, but after many months of searching and experimenting, I’ve come up with costs that are below the normal costs.

I’ve set up the website and Facebook separate from my own author page, but the Twitter and Pinterest are connected to me. Since I have over 4000 followers on Twitter and here on WordPress, I thought that would be a better start to get the word out. Once the subscribers build, I’ll detach the site from my author sites.

So, in honor of the launch day, I’ve come up with a couple of incentives to share the good news. If you share the new website, like the Facebook page and share it, then go on Twitter and share, then I’ll give you 50% off your ad. Since you’ll be tagging me, I’ll see your efforts and thanks ahead of time. To receive your discount, I’ll send you a discount code to use upon checkout.

To say I’m excited about this new venture would be understating the truth. As you will see on the website, I’ve used my own advertising to give you a taste of what the ads will look like. Also, all ads will be archived on the site, so that way readers can scroll through older ads and still snag your book. It’s a win-win!

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

www.facebook.com/freshfromthebook/

www.freshfromthebook.com

 

 


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And the Winner is…

Winner

It’s time to announce the winner of my “A Light Upon My Heart” cover reveal contest. But first, I want to thank all of you lovely Bloggers, Tweeters, and Facebookers for all the wonderful shares and likes. It was a phenomenal reveal, but only because of all of you.

Of course, I can only choose one, so, drum roll………. the winner is Sara Beth Williams from over at https://authorswilliams.wordpress.com/. Congratulations Sara! Thanks for the shares! If you will email me at stephaniehurt4@gmail.com and give me your address, I’ll mail you a copy of the book as soon as it’s released.

But don’t worry, I have several contests coming up. Just keep watching. Also, I’ll be doing a backstock clearance sale in the next couple of weeks, so don’t miss an episode of my writing blog. Can I call it an episode? I don’t know, but it sounds good 😉

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Learning from others…

Good Monday morning! It’s drizzling rain here in Georgia, but that’s alright, we need it. Also since it’s Monday it kind of meets with my mood.

Today I want to talk about how you train as a writer. Some people say, ‘it’s easy to write, anyone can do it’, but that’s not the case. Writing takes more than you think to get from start to finish. You can sit down and write an idea for what you want, but it takes more than just an idea to get the full story. I’ve had ideas before and thought they’d be good, but they didn’t have enough filler to actually make a book.

I like to study what my favorite authors do. You may be asking what I mean, well it’s quite simple. I read lots of books in the genre I write. As I read, I’m looking at the sentence structure, paragraph lengths, the setup of the characterizations and the way the book is brought to the end. It’s amazing what you can learn from doing something you love, reading.

Then of course I read posts from other authors, writing magazines and even study courses. So, do you still think it’s all that easy? I’ve learned more English in the last three years that I’ve been publishing, not just writing. English skills are very important when you’re writing. Hey, I was thinking backwards for a while, but once you get into the business you realize, it’s more than just words on paper.

Several authors I follow have businesses that help other authors. All authors should want to help each other. It’s amazing the things you can learn from other authors about their own mistakes and how to correct them. I also join many Facebook writing groups, which just by reading them daily I can learn so much. Try it, you won’t regret it.

So, do you learn from other authors? If you’re struggling with something in your writing, there’s always someone out there or an article that can help you out.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you….


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Just like editing a book, only a lot messier!

Saturday we started pulling up the carpet in our home and replacing it with hardwood. Let’s just say it’s been interesting. You don’t know how dirty carpet it until you pull it up. I was astounded to say the least. Twenty one years of living life were ground into the floor and no matter how much you’ve vacuumed and cleaned, it’s never clean enough.

Here’s some pictures of the finished den, still have kitchen, dining room and three bedrooms, yikes!

fireplace floor 2 floor

As I was ripping up the carpet and cleaning up, I realized that it’s similar to editing a book. How you might ask? Well, think about it this way, you make a draft. That’s the starting point, the place you’ve poured your heart into with sloppy abandon. You know the first draft is always riddled with holes, bad grammar, spelling issues and much more, like the dirt I found.

Then of course you dig in and start the editing process, much like the moment the broom and shop vac start clearing out the ground in dirt. Once you’ve got that first draft cleaned up, it’s time to lay in the shiny, squeaky clean new floor, uh I mean manuscript.

Now the work is done and it’s ready for publication or is it. Have you done everything you need to do? Even with the newly laid floors, we had to run a dust mop over the top and put down a little finishing molding. The same is needed for your new manuscript. It’s important to make sure you’ve read, reread and read out loud. This is your showplace and it’s got to be as close to perfect as you can get it.

So, what have you been up to lately?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If you get a chance come over to my website for all the news…. www.stephaniehurtauthor.com

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What, it’s July already!

I don’t know about you, but for me time is flying! It seems like just yesterday it was Christmas and now we’re halfway to Christmas again. Guess it’s like my grandmother always said, time flies when you’re having fun.

Today as I sit here working on my latest manuscript I have to say I’m excited. As you know I am working on Chase and my historical romance, but I also have a surprise coming. It’s something totally out of my usual realm so I’m keeping it hush hush for a little longer. Let’s just say you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I hope.

What are you planning for July? Me, well we’re putting hardwood throughout our house starting in the next week. Yep, I said we’re doing it. I’m actually excited because we’re doing this as a family project. Thank goodness it’s a inside project because of the summer heat. I can’t wait to get a hammer in my hand and get to work. Well, I guess I’ll be allowed to hammer, but more than likely I’ll be handing wood to my hubby and son. Sometimes me and tools don’t work out so well.

Do you have some exciting plans for the 4th? I’m lazing away the day at the lake with family and food.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and my website for continued updates on my surprise!

https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt

www.stephaniehurtauthor.com


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If you cut it off, it will grow back, Who knew!

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You may be wondering what I’m talking about. Today’s post is two fold. Since I’m on a low calorie diet, that means I’m eating salads, salads, and more salads. That means I’m buying lettuce constantly. A couple of weeks ago as I scanned down the many thousands of posts on Facebook I ran into an article about regrowing lettuce. Well since I’m eating so much lettuce (feeling somewhat like a rabbit) I decided to read the article instead of passing it by.

It was talking about the kind of lettuce that I eat, which is Romaine. All you do is cut the hard end off which you can’t eat anyway and put it in a cup of water. Now I have letter regrowing in my cups. Yes I did a happy dance on my patio the other evening when I saw my little lettuce sprouts reaching up to the sky. Of course my hubby and son laughed at me and they’ve played some really mean tricks on me regarding my little baby lettuce sprouts. Who knew you could grow lettuce from your cut off stalks, well maybe some of your knew, but I didn’t.

As for the 2nd meaning, I’m talking about your manuscript. I’ve been working on Chase, the 3rd book in the Five Oaks Ranch series and something just didn’t feel right about one of the scenes. I read it and reread it until my eyes crossed. Then I made the decision to cut the whole scene and start over. Guess what? It worked! Once I decided to delete the whole scene that wasn’t sitting right with me, I felt better.

Then as I started back over with this section of the book it took on another feel altogether and actually led into another scene I hadn’t even thought of. So, it helped to cut it off and let it regrow and then it multiplied! Now that’s the kind of cutting off I like.

So, how’s your writing going? I hope it’s going well. Also, have any of you ever replanted something in order for it to regrow and multiply. I’d love to hear about it.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!

P.S. Just a little exciting news, I’m featured this week in Southern Writers Mic Nite! Here’s a link to said article:  http://www.southernwritersonline.com/mic-nite.html

photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/7467877@N07/4970032832″>Novelty Gene Autry Barlow</a> via <a href=”http://photopin.com”>photopin</a&gt; <a href=”https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/”>(license)</a&gt;