Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Monday Morning Writing

Well it’s Monday again! Were you ready for it? Me, well not so much, but it’s a fact that it comes every week. Some Mondays I do better than others. This morning is cloudy and dreary yet again and I’m sleepy, but work beckons and it’s the start of my busy season. The reason for my grogy ramblings is I sat up way too late last night writing. I guess you could say it’s a writers lot to be sleepy and have blood shot eyes on Monday morning.

I couldn’t pull myself away from the current WIP. It’s funny how a story gets under your skin and you just have to get past a certain point before you pull away. I know other writers know this feeling. You know the point where you can stop but until you get to that point you don’t have the courage to stop. Does this sound obsessive, well maybe so? Writers are often carried away into obsession and that’s what makes a good writer.

Someone once asked me where all my stories come from. They often laugh and say that I must lead a very colorful life to bring about so many stories with vibrancy and life. I live my life just as anyone, well I guess that’s true. A writer’s mind goes beyond that of someone that doesn’t have writing in them. I can look at the simplest object and spin a story around it. A writer’s mind is constantly working on over load. Sometimes I think my mind actually spins around like a top.

As for the unfinished manuscript I found the other day, well I’ve been spinning this one in my head, but I’ve put it to the wayside. I remember somewhat the path I was headed in with it, but it just doesn’t feel right at the moment. For me, and I’ve talked to other writers about this, if the story is not with you, it’s best to put it down and come back a little later. Unfortunately that happens in series too. You finish book one or two and when you start the next part and it totally goes out of the realm.

So, how’s your Monday going? As for me I’d love to get some love over at Twitter or Facebook. Come by and follow me on either one. I’m trying to get over the Twitter hump per say. Also, I’d love to have some likes or follows on Facebook. Let’s put our heads together and have a follow Monday.

Here’s my links:

Facebook Author page: https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt?ref=hl

Facebook personal page: https://www.facebook.com/stephanie.hurt.330

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephanieHurt4

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Weekend on my mind…

At 4pm today I start my vacation. I’ve been so excited. Had planned a trip to Florida, but anyone that’s been watching the weather reports know why this has been cancelled. It’s going to be a writing vacation and a social media vacation. 

I’ve entered my newest work in the So You Think You Can Write contest on Harlequin’s site. I’m really excited about this contest. The fun thing is the manuscript is not completely finished. Yikes, this means I’ve got to spend a lot of time finishing it up. I have it completed in my head, but unfortunately I can’t print directly from my brain. So, I’m taking a social media vacation to keep down distractions. I’m not going to check my sites or post on them for a couple of days, but I’ll be back up and running at full speed next week.

Do you have weekend plans? For me I’m planning a restful, writing excursion. Not sure where it might take me, but my laptop will be attached to my fingers. If you get a chance go over to this link: http://www.soyouthinkyoucanwrite.com/manuscripts-sytycw-2013/finding-the-right-time/ and read my first chapter submission. If you feel inspired write a comment and forward it on Facebook and Twitter. 

Hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll be back on here when I come out on the other side of this writing frenzy. I just hope I can stay away from my social media sites and book sites. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Social Media and writing…

I was a little leary about starting a lot of social media accounts. Then when I started publishing my books it was a must. My editor/assistant got me started with a blog, then came Twitter and after much anxiousness Facebook. I’ve never been one to push myself in anywhere. 

Of course now I get up, drink a cup of coffee and look at all my many sites. It’s funny how many I have now. What’s really funny is when I tweet or send out my book links on any of my sites, the sales go up. What would happen if you didn’t do social media in today’s world? Would you sell a book? If you’re in book stores and various chain stores you would do alright, but people rely on social media and the internet to find books. It’s just part of life.

Make sure you keep your sites updated. Keep the posts going and don’t do anything that you don’t want the whole world to see. So go by and check out my sites. I have links on this page…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Who wants a free audio book?

Audible has given me 5 links to get free copies of my audible book “The Winner Is Love”. So, what else would I do but give them away. But how to do this. Well, I think I know a way. It could get tricky but let’s see who’s game.

The first 5 people to play this game all the way through get the code to unlock their free audion book. 

Here we go:

1: Go to Amazon and look up “The Winner Is Love”, take a close look at the cover and tell me what object the couple are encased in.

2: Direct message me on Twitter the answer to #1.

3: Go to my Facebook page and look on my main page. In the header I have all my book covers lined up. What is the 3rd book from the left on the top row? Direct message me on my Facebook page.

4: When you have completed this challenge come back here and comment that you’re done. I will announce the winner in a post tomorrow. That is if anyone is up to the challenge.

5: Have a great night.

Good luck and have fun rummaging through my pages.

Good writing and May God Bless You…


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Walking and Talking at same time…Bad Idea :)

Well, if you follow this blog you realize from my picture that I’m blonde. The problem with being blonde is the ever coming jokes and I always get “Can you walk, talk and chew gum at the same time?” I always laugh and say, “Yep, but don’t get near me because you’ll get run over.”

Found out yesterday how true this statement is. I was doing my 5 mile walk that I do 3 days a week. As we were walking up the road, a car started to pass us and I stepped off the pavement. Well, more accurately I fell off the pavement. I now have the strained ankle and bruised knee to prove it. I was walk, talking and not paying attention to where I was stepping. Not a good thing. Good thing I have a complete physical planned for in the morning. Please pray that goes well. Not looking forward to it, but it’s a necessity.

As for writing, you have to be able to do several things at one time. Multi tasking is a must as a writer, especially if you hold down a full time job and family. Usually my writing is completed while getting up and down to do laundry, cooking dinner, and just life in general.

I’ve learned a lot about time and how to fit in everything somehow. Of course then you have your blog posting, in my case 2 blogs, Facebook, Twitter and the myriad of other author promotional posts I do on a daily basis. Someone came up to me one day and said, wow, if you become a full time writer, you’ll be set. Well, I’ll be set in some ways, but their meaning was I’d have a lot of free time. I don’t think that’s possible. A writer’s mind is like a spinning wheel. The ideas and characters are constantly spinning around, so if I did this full time, I figure I’d sit writing most of the time. 

Life’s short, live every moment and enjoy the little things. That’s my advice for the day. Oh, and don’t walk and talk at the same time. You’ll feel the results the next day, believe me. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 


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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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Top 5 Things I’ve learned about self-publishing

Well, I’ve been self publishing for over a year now and I can tell you this, it’s not as easy as it looks. Here are the top 5 things I learned:

1: It takes dedication. As a self publisher it’s you that does the social media, the advertising, basically everything. You’re the one that’s got to make sure to post your tweet, update your Facebook, make a great blog post and first and foremost get your book everywhere.

2: Self Publishing takes patience. You don’t have that big publisher backing you or putting your work everywhere that as a self publisher you have to struggle to be. You have to remember that you’re starting out from scratch. It’s a waiting game to see if you’ve written the big one.

3: Self Publishing can be self satisfying. To know you did it yourself is an accomplishment to be proud of. When you sell the first book you can sit back and say “at least I sold one, that’s one more than if I’d left it in a drawer collecting dust.” 

4: I’ve learned a lot about social media. Wow, I was definitely not a social media butterfly before all of this. In one year I’ve started a couple of blogs, a couple of Twitter pages, I’m on Facebook (Said I’d never do that), and everywhere else that will let this country girl post.

5: To me self publishing is a great way to start out as a writer. You can build a platform and get noticed. Maybe if you’re lucky a big publisher or agent will notice you tenacity and give you a shout. It’s always possible. Look at all the self publishers that have turned into best selling authors. If it’s your dream, then go for it. Try it out and make a name for yourself. Who knows you better than yourself?

As writers we’re always looking at this or that to improve ourselves. Well, let’s work together. I’ve started a monthly Newsletter that will feature a Author Interview and three different book showcase spaces. Also I’ll be adding writing comments and pointers from my friends in the writing world.If you want to subscribe to it, please email me at hurtsbusiness@att.net. Also, to be a featured author just message me that you’re interested. It’s free so what have you got to lose.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Casted – By: Sonya Loveday Officially released July 31st

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Tomorrow is an exciting day for author Sonya Loveday and for us as readers. Her new book “Casted” will be released. Check out this synopsis and go over to check it out tomorrow.

Jade had spent the majority of her life running from the Triad. The Triad, are a powerful group, who would stop at nothing to obtain Jade and the missing spell book for leader, Lorenzo’s, nefarious plans. And now that she has absorbed the highly coveted magic contained inside the missing book, there is nowhere left for her to hide.

With the help of her friends, Jade steps out from the shadows and learns how to fight back. But no one is prepared for Elinor-the woman bound inside of the book that’s trapped in Jade’s mind. Now she not only needs to protect herself from the Triad, but from what’s hiding inside her mind as well.

Jade never expected the answer to it all would revolve around love.

Edge is dark, mysterious, and a sworn member of the Triad. He also hides a secret past that threatens the thin line he walks between good and evil. Lives are at stake when Jade and Edge’s two worlds collide. Can Jade learn to trust him when he says he is her pre-ordained and vows to do everything he can to protect her? But more importantly, can she trust herself and the woman in her mind?

Find out more about this talented author:

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About the Author

 

Sonya Loveday, first and foremost is a reader, an avid one. It is of that love that brought her to the realization that this was the answer to the nagging persistent feeling that ‘there’s got to be something more’.

The dream came alive in 2009 when she purchased her laptop and began the tedious step of becoming a published author.

When she’s not reading, she’s writing. When she’s not writing, she’s reading. And when she’s not doing either of those things she’s sleeping, shuttling her children back and forth to school, letting the dogs and cats in and out of the house for the umpteenth time in the last hour and dreaming of a clean house.

 

You can find Sonya Loveday on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and WordPress on the links below:

http://www.facebook.com/sonyalovedayauthor?ref=hl

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/11660396-sonya-loveday

https://twitter.com/SonyaLoveday – @SonyaLoveday

www.sonyaloveday@wordpress.com

 So go over and check out her and Casted.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Social Media Follow Blitz

Several people have asked me where I can be found on social media. So here are some of the sites that I’m on and the links. Come by and follow me for all the fun and excitement that goes on when social media takes over 🙂

Twitter: https://twitter.com/StephanieHurt4

Website: www.stephanie-hurt.com

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/pub/stephanie-hurt/48/34/578

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/StephanieHurt

Independent Author Network: http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/stephanie-hurt.html

Avon Publishing Contributor: http://www.avonromance.com/user/stephanie-payne-hurt

Facebook:  www.facebook.com/stephanie.hurt.330

Shelfari: http://www.shelfari.com/StephanieHurt

LibraryThing: http://www.librarything.com/home/StephanieHurt

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/hurt6862/

So come on and join the fun!


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Advertising…

Authors have to wear many hats. We have to be creative, innovative, and an expert in advertising. Well, not an expert, but at least willing to learn. I’ve learned so much in the last year about advertising. There are so many angles to advertising. 

Do you pay for advertising or just go the free route? I’ve investigated many options and found that free still works well. Although sometimes we do have to go with some that charge a fee to broaden the scope.

The free routes can include Twitter, Facebook, Blogging, Goodreads, Shelfari, Library Thing, Press Releases, Word of Mouth, and that’s to name a few. These have worked well for me. It’s funny that when I tweet from one of my book sites I get several hits on my books. It’s like hitting refresh.

Some of the not so free advertising I’ve done. Book Barista is really reasonable. I’ve expanded my WordPress to a website. The Independent Author Network is an awesome tool for any author or reader for that fact. This last one has a huge author network that works together to help get your name out.

The main thing is to follow as many blogs about writing as you can. You can learn so much from your fellow authors. My wordpress blog has really broadened my knowledge. I am so thankful for all my blog friends. Keep the great posts coming.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…