Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Advertising and Promotions?

Well I forgot to turn the heater on in my office this morning. It’s a balmy 25 outside and inside my office it’s real close to that. My fingers are numb, but I ran into the house and warmed up my sweater by the fire. I’m sure my neighbors think I’ve gone nuts running back and forth between the office and the house, but it’s too cold to merely walk.

On to this morning’s writing topic. How do you advertise or promote? Well you may be saying, what’s the difference? I’m going to give you my view of the differences and then a few pieces of advice. To me advertising is something you pay for and promoting is getting your book out there via any channel you can get your two cents in.

Advertising

Advertising is a hot topic among authors. Do you pay a hefty fee and hope that someone will see the ad and buy your book? It’s a catch 22 really. I believe that you need some paid advertising to get your book in front of a different audience than just Facebook, Twitter and various other places. But choose wisely. I’ve heard of too many authors that paid for advertising and never saw the ad or much less found it on the site. Don’t choose too quickly from an exciting email you get from a “advertising firm”. 

Take for instance, yesterday I received an email from a company that said they’d put my book on many sites for a fee. They went on to paint a pretty impressive picture of their company. Funny thing is when I Googled their firms name I didn’t find anything, nada, nothing! That was a major red flag for me. They then went into their fees. WHOA!!! Let’s just say, I’d have to sell hundreds of books to even make it back. Needless to say I deleted said email and went on my merry way.

If you find a reputable place to advertise and it’s fairly reasonable for what you’re getting, then by all means go for it. If they say their service tweets and facebooks your ad, go to Twitter and Facebook to see the traffic they garner. If they only have 10 followers and no responses or few retweets you’d best move on. ‘Nough said.

Promotions

Now this can be fun and tedious at the same time. Don’t over promote in a day. The reason I say this is, I’ve tried to analyze the results from a study I did. I tested this theory on Twitter and was amazed. I spent two days just blowing up Twitter with nothing but promotional stuff from my books. I tweeted from every book site I had and yada yada. Then I watched as my Twitter followers started dropping off like wasps in a nest after they met Raid. Well, it’s obvious that this wasn’t a good plan. Then I did this in a more laid back way and gained several new followers. I only tweeted a couple of times during high traffic times and added in books from other authors and funny sayings or just daily writing tips. Amazing the difference. Even had several nice retweets, especially thankful ones from the authors I tweeted. Yes, the first test garnered a couple of retweets, but only from my most dedicated Twitter followers. 

A lot of sites say they’ll do the tweeting and posting for you, but let’s get real, we can do that ourselves for free. Well, that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it.

Here’s a couple of the places that I’ve done paid advertising and seen results:

http://www.rwa.org/ Romance Writer’s Of America – I put an ad in their monthly magazine and had some great results. It’s not very expensive and it reaches many readers that actually read my genre. They’re really easy to work with and totally worth it. Also join their organization to get the monthly magazine and all their wonderful help on their website.

http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/about-ian.html The Independent Author Network. This is a great site also to promote and advertise. The authors here work as a team to tweet and retweet each other’s books. I always notice a big upswing in views and sales when I go in and help other authors. Very reasonable to join.

http://bookclubreading.com Book Club Reading is a new one I’m using for both areas. They help you to get your name and books out to book clubs. Their advertising is fairly reasonable and it’s helped with sales of my Christmas book.

Promotional sites I worked with that are free and easy:

http://www.prlog.org This is a press release site. I use the free option and they produce great looking press releases that you can send out to all your social sites and they put them into several channels. It’s fairly easy to use and set up is easy.

Goodread.com Goodreads is a great promotional area. Set up events for upcoming promotions and join groups that are in your genre. It promotes your name and get’s you some great advice to boot. 

Shelfari.com Shelfari is a great place to put your books and gained followers. You can download your books directly from Amazon and even your reading list. I’ve made some great friends on this site.

http://worldliterarycafe.com/ This site is a wonderful promotional tool and I’ve learned a lot from them. Join their group on Facebook and ask what you need to know or just read what others have asked. Of course on the Facebook group don’t promote your books. That part of their site is only for Q & A or helpful hints. 

Now these are just a couple. There’s so many great sites out there and I know I didn’t mention even half of them.

As always good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 


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Amazing! Have you tried this?

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 As writers we try everything to get our work noticed. We go on sites and follow other established writers to see how they do it. We put our name everywhere. I’ve put my name in some of the most unlikely places. Some have worked and others have just plain out flopped around like a dead fish.

Well I’ve found a couple of avenues for my work and I wanted to share them with you. Some of you may already be using these channels and if so I hope it’s going well, if not I hope this gives you some new advantages.

1. The Independent Authors Network

     I’ve been playing with the choice of paying for a space on this network. I researched it and noticed that some of the authors I love are on there and it’s relatively reasonable. It’s a $24.95 one time fee for a basic membership and $74.95 a year for a Gold membership. I chose the basic. It’s like a author family of sorts. The network sends out your info periodically on their social media and other authors or readers send out your links and you do the same for them. I’ve noticed a real change in my sales since joining. My author page, yes I got an author page shows six of my books and some of the links that are clickable for purchasing my work.

2. Romance Writers of America

   I wanted to join this earlier than I did, but the entry fee kept me held back. I’m really glad I decided to join this wonderful organization. I get a magazine monthly and newsletters periodically. They both provide some great advice and instruments I can use in making my author platform more sturdy.

3. allromanceebooks.com

    This is one of the sites where you can sell your books. It doesn’t cost anything to set up a publisher/author account and have your books sold on their site through Paypal. You can put as many books as you want to on their site. It’s fairly easy to put your books on their site and they take several formats. Actually they recommend publishing them in several formats. I set this up and was able to put five of my books on there yesterday and already have had sales. You get 60% royalty. I figure that’s pretty good especially since it’s another avenue for my books to be seen and it’s FREE.

Maybe this will be helpful for you or just old news, but it helped me. My objective is to let others know when I find a great way to get my work seen. These are not my only avenues, but are my newest. If you use other sites, please list them and send to me. It could warrant a whole new blog post of what others use to market their work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Options? Turns? Which Way to Go?

In life we have several options. Do we go this way? Do we go that way? It’s funny how curvy the road is in life when we could make it straight and narrow.

In my life I’ve chosen some pretty curvy roads and ignored the straight, less stressful road.That’s what makes life interesting some say and others say that’s where you go wrong.

As for me I’ve done things I’m not proud of, well, who hasn’t. I’ve made decisions that I’ll regret for the rest of my life, who hasn’t done that either. But it’s how you change the turn in those roads that makes you who you are. 

One thing I’ve done is take on a second career which is writing. My grandfather always wanted me to be a writer. He always said I’d be a famous Journalist and he’d read my stories in the Atlanta Journal on Sunday mornings. Well, I did finally publish my writing, but in novels not papers. I’m sure he’s smiling down from Heaven. Oh, and I’m no where near famous 🙂

As for decisions I’ve made. Some are changeable and others you just have to forget and move on. I’ve put a lot of my past and life lessons in my novels. Have fun trying to figure that one out? There are some from my past that know what I mean and others that sit back and wonder. Well, I’ll never tell 🙂 Mystery is the privilege of a writer and the fun. It also adds to the stories that come from my head.

As for my newest turn in life, the release of my new novel “Rekindled Flame” is going well. I’m so excited about the response. Go over to Goodreads and check out my giveaway at http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/46038-rekindled-flame. Also, I’ve joined the Independent Author Network and have seen results in just one day. Go over and check out my author page at http://www.independentauthornetwork.com/stephanie-hurt.html.

Now I’m through rambling. As always good writing and May God Bless You!