Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Stepping up the game…

Good Monday morning! Wow, the weekend seemed way too short, but today is a new day. With a new day, starts a new game…

If you’re wondering what I’m talking about, well, it’s promotion of our books. Look, you know as well as I do that the competition is steep. We have to make sure that our book outshines the thousands of other books in our genres. Some days it seems useless, but then the writer in me say, keep pushing.

For me, I’ve stepped up my game. How you might ask? Well, here’s how. I’ve stopped trying to be on every social media site out there. That’s just plain out exhausting and a waste of writing time trying to keep up with all of it. My main goal is to blog, keep my website interesting, and promote on a few social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Also, I’m making sure that all of my more than 30 books are on Allauthor.com. If you haven’t checked out this site, I suggest you do. You can put up to four of your books on there under the free membership and then set up automatic tweets. With as many books as I have, I went ahead and did the paid membership.

Don’t forget to build up your newsletter subscribers. I’ve met so many wonderful people through my newsletter and blog. Which if you can, keep posting several times a week. make it interesting and fun.

So, how will you step up your game?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Hashtags – Useful or not???

#23173416364_e8f8ee489e_sGood morning! Hope all is well with all of you.

Hashtags, do you use them or not? Well, I’ve been in and out on this subject, so I did several posts on Instagram and Twitter, using popular hashtags and the response was surprising. I started gaining followers and the retweets, likes and even comments went up in numbers. Not to mention my sales did a nice run up the scale.

Now, is this coincidence? Could be, but I think not. The reasoning behind this comment is that I have over thirty published titles and I did the test on only a couple of them. One was a back stock title.

I used the promotional methods that I learned in one of my latest promotional studies. Everything pointed at using hashtags that were similar to your book.  For example, I promoted Tuscany with #Italy #Tuscany #Oliveoil #amreading #truelove and I had several followers from the tourism industry and even some from the olive oil industry. (If you have read Tuscany, then you know why I hashtagged olive oil).

I even went one step further with the test, just to have a random selection. I used pictures from my personal everyday life and hashtagged the different things pertaining to the picture. Like our bbq chicken on the grill. My husband laughed at this one because, within minutes of posting it, I received several likes and comments from grillers, bbq restaurants and the like. It was great. Now I had my answer.

So, do hashtags work? Well, according to my little study they do. Have you had success with hashtags? Either way, let us know.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Finding your audience…

Good morning! How do you figure out your audience? What am I talking about? Well, who reads your books? What age group? What demographic? How do I know this stuff? LOL! It’s called search and figure out.

The reason I know this is that I’ve been looking into promoting books. This is one of the questions asked: “Who is your audience?” It makes sense. So here is what my new series ‘Wishful Harbor’ brought to mind.

  1. Age group: 18 – 25 (This is just a start, but…)
  2. Loves Small Town life
  3. Loves sweet romance with a Happily Ever After
  4. Hallmark movie lover (So far we’re describing me… except the age group ;))
  5. Needs to get lost for a moment or two

Ok, so this is just a sampling, but you get the idea. The point is to steer the advertising in the direction of the above people. In other words, I’ll focus on hashtags that steer my tweets, promotions, and advertising toward this focus group.

Have you tried this concept? If so, how did it work?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…wishful harbor design


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Book Promotions made easy!

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Good morning everyone! It’s a beautiful day, so make sure to stop today and enjoy a moment of it. I know I will because I’ve found something that writers will want to hear… Are you ready for this?

Easy book promotion… I’ve spoken on this subject before and after a couple of tests, I’ve proven it on my own. As I sat, wondering through all my social media, trying to promote my books on my Twitter, Facebook and WordPress, I was getting a little frazzled, bouncing back and forth. Well, here’s the thing, why not do it all from one site…..

Some of you already use a program that posts your promotions on all your sites, but I’m going to talk about Hootsuite today. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

First, let’s talk prep:

  1. I set up several under 140 characters promotions and put them on a spreadsheet for ease of use. Also, I use booklinker.net for my short links on Amazon and it actually promotes the book link to any country on Amazon.
  2. Then I pulled up my Hootsuite account, looking at the spreadsheet on one side of the screen and Hootsuite on the other. This way I can do it on one screen, not bounce back and forth.
  3. Now, on to the posts. I copy and paste each ad, then schedule them one hour apart. That way I’m not overloading my followers. It spreads the word gradually, but not as invasive.

It’s so easy, but I know, you’re wondering the results. Well, I found out that the retweets went up, my back stock sales went up and my new release sales went up. Now you may be saying, that was just a quirk, well, I did this on three separate occasions. It worked. Every time I had a Hootsuite campaign go out, the sales showed an increase.

So, if you’re looking for an easy way to promote your book and get some interest stirring, then try it out. I’m now scheduling several days of posts at a time, which leaves me time for writing, what more could an author ask for.

Let me know how it goes for you. Also, it doesn’t have to be all book posts. You can do cute kitty posts the same way, to change it up.

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Promote or not to promote…that’s the question!

Good morning! I do hope all of you are staying warm. As for me I’m sitting beside the fire wrapped in a blanket. It’s only 12 degrees here in my part of Georgia which is not funny for this southern girl. It’s a beautiful day outside from the bright sunshine, but then you step outside and it hits you like a ice wall. Not even going there!

On to my post for the day… How do you promote your book? Or do you even do any promoting? For me I do promote when I can. Some authors say that they can’t afford to do a lot of promoting, but I have some good news. You can do some really good promotions for free. Yes I said FREE!

Here are some of my favorite free promotional places:

1: You are looking at the first place. Your blog is an excellent place to promote your book. But be careful, don’t overdo it. Sprinkle in promotional posts here and there, but make sure to keep it light. I’ve seen some really good results from it. You can set up a blog for free and make sure to assign a page for your books within your blog setup.

2: Twitter is an excellent place to promote, but as I’ve said above don’t overdo it. I tried an experiment with Twitter and it went really well. A couple of days I didn’t post anything about my books and my sales were normal, but then for a couple of days I sprinkled in some tweets directly from my book pages on Amazon, Smashwords and some of my other book pages. It helped my sales. I actually sold extra books on those days and the trend went that way for days afterwords and then back down to normal. If you spread out your book tweets to several hours apart and use hash tags such as #amwriting #amreading and #ebooks you’ll see some great results.

3: Facebook is another great place. As with any other promotions don’t overdo it. Make sure you have a separate page for your books because your friends my not enjoy seeing your posts repeatedly. I have a couple of different pages for my books and series. That way it keeps them sparse. Make it interesting…

4: Do a press release. I use PRlog.com and it’s really easy to set up. When I have a new release I set up a powerful press release with tags, then you can share it almost anywhere straight from the release page.

5: Your website. You may be saying ‘but you have to pay for a website’. Well actually there are several free places to set up websites, but keep in mind these free websites can be limited. They are still a great place to tag your books.

These are only 5 of the many free sites where you can promote your book. I hope these help out. My publishing service Horseshoe Publishing can help you for minimal costs to set up any of the above options. But if you’re computer savvy then you should be able to do these fairly well.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Changes make all the difference…

Yep, I’m doing a happy dance this morning. With All My Heart (Revised Edition) Is doing really well on Amazon. 

You may be wondering what I did as far as changes. Well, I did a couple of things to change this book from the original edition.

Here are the changes I made:

1: I updated the cover. The original cover was awesome, but as one author explained to me, if you change the manuscript and republish you have to change the cover.

2: I went in and changed the voice slightly in this edition. I also added a couple of elements that made the story flow better.

3: I changed the categories that the book was put into. Amazingly enough, as the numbers above tell the tale, it worked.

I’m in the process of revisiting a couple of my older published books. As my writing becomes more refined and I learn new techniques it causes me to think of my earlier works. Now when I go back over them I smile. Things have changed with my writing voice and I have to make sure that all my work changes with me.

So if you have older works that maybe need a facelift, then go for it. It’s been an awesome thing for With All My Heart. Of course this book has done well in the past, but the numbers from just the last two days have been, let’s just say, awesome!

I also want to thank my Twitter friends that took over the post from the other day regarding the republishing. They spread it like wildfire over the Twittersphere and I’m humbled by their wonderful comments and promotions. It’s amazing the support I’ve received from so many, so thanks to you from the bottom of heart 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You… 

 


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Promoting your work and News…

Good Friday morning 🙂 It’s been a crazy week for me. I’m still playing catch up from three months of long hours and bad tax programs. My son was on Spring Break this week so I’ve tried to get in some Mama/Son time in. 

The one thing I had to get done this week was promoting my books. I’ve been kind of slack on that lately. Well for obvious reasons. But I had a really good prompt this week to get back into the grind. A couple of months ago I sent a promotional letter to several local book stores and a Barnes & Noble store sent me an interesting response. They said that I needed to send a printed copy of each of my books to the New York main office for submission to their brick & mortar stores. They are interested in my books which totally excites me. I’m already on their online store, but they are interested in them for stores. 

Well, if any of you have gone through their process then you know it’s a time consuming deal. I got it all ready and boxed up yesterday. I’ve set up a mail pick up this morning. I can’t tell you how excited I am. It’s been such a crazy road since last May when I published my first book. Wow, I can’t believe it’s been a year. Time flies when you’re having fun…

I’ve been on a wild ride of Tweets, Blogs, Press Releases and making wonderful new friends from all over this wonderful place we call Earth. Well, I have a bit of news. A month or so ago I hinted at some news that a big change was coming for me. Well after much prayer and some real big talks with the hubby I’ve finally almost made a decision. Some of you have been asking what that decision was, well here goes. I’ve been contemplating expanding my Accounting business and backing off the tax preparation side of it. For me that’s a huge step and I’m not sure how it’s going to go but it’s a real possibility. I was shooting for this being my last official tax season, but a couple of factors that are still in the works have to come to life before I can make that official decision. I need a lot of prayers for this to be a done deal. 

Another thing is I’m starting a monthly writers newsletter. If any of you would be interested in being interviewed or add a note or two please contact me. I’m really excited about this as I hope you will be too. I hope to get a big response from this and for it to help other writers showcase their work and ideas. 

Hope everyone has a blessed Friday and remember that God is with you in everything you do so make sure you do it the best way possible 🙂

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…