Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Hitting Publish…

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Good morning everyone! It’s a great morning to be alive. I’ve just submitted the final edited version of Breakwater Lane and I feel so nervous. When you put your work out there for the whole world to see and read, well, sometimes it’s overwhelming. Even after over 35 published titles, I still get the major butterflies when I push that button.

I love the newest messages on Amazon. This one had me getting another cup of coffee. Of course, you all know it doesn’t take much coaxing for that to happen.

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Does it ever get old seeing your manuscript in your hands? Never! My hands shake as I hold the manuscript and I never take it for granted. This is a special honor to me that I’ll always treasure.

So, what do you do just before hitting the magic button? For me, I stress over the manuscript, reading it over one last time, then my finger hovers over the keyboard before touching enter.  I hyperventilate for a few minutes, then I push the button and watch the wheel spin.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 

 

 

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Fear as a writer…

Good morning! Hope all is well with everyone as we start this Thursday morning or afternoon, wherever you wonderful people are 😉

Fear, everyone has felt fear at one time or the other. Don’t lie, you know you have. As a child, we had fear of strangers and storms. As adults, we have many fears. Maybe we fear financial issues, for our children, the future… etc. There are a lot of fears in this world, but I want to talk about the fear as a writer.

The moment I hit submit on Ghost Lover, the first book I published in May 2012, I was sweating. My palms were damp, my heart was racing, in easy terms, I was a mess. What if nobody likes my writing? What if this is a mistake? What if… What if… What if… Then the emails started coming from readers that fell in love with Jared and Jessie. The fear was alleviated for a moment, then came the next book and the next.

Does my fear ease with each book I publish? Some, but not completely. I’m always afraid of the unknown. Even though my books are poured over and over with edits and rewrites and such, I still have that fear that I’m sending out my work with flaws. Even the best-edited book has flaws and I have to remind myself of that. My fans are so precious and let me know every day the pleasure they get from the words I put on the page, but still, I feel like I could’ve added more to the story, went over it one more time, or even changed something.

Then there’s the fear of not selling a single book, yikes…. Yes, that’s a fear. In January, my sales went on a downward spiral and I had to catch my breath. After an amazing end of 2016, it was like a kick in the gut. But, as I sought out other authors to see if it was happening to them, they confirmed that they too were seeing a sharp decline in sales. Even the authors that normally sell thousands of copies a month were down to hundreds. Although that should make me feel better, it only made my fear worse. Had people stopped reading? LOL! Yes, it was an irrational fear, but it still came through this ditsy blonde head.

Then, the sales started to rise. Yes, my fear was going away, but then a new fear arose. Could I do more to keep that from happening again? The truth is, no. We can’t control what people do or trends, so, I picked myself up off the pity floor and moved forward.

So, as a writer, what do you fear?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Writing…A Resolution…

Happy New Year! Well, 2017 is up and running… New year, new you?

As I sit here writing this post, the Today show is talking about exercising for the new year. Many of you have made a vow to exercise more, but will you do it? I’ve made that same resolution, but have only stretched a couple of things. Now I’ve exercised my mind quite a bit, but not my body.

Another writer asked me if I had any writing resolutions… Don’t we all? I’ve seen several posts about writing resolutions. Some say they will write more this year… Some will publish the book they’ve been working on for a long while… Some say they will blog more… The list goes on…

The problem with this is that we still have the same amount of hours in the day. Yes, I’ve got my year of writing planned out and plotted on my calendar and schedule, but will I be able to see it through? Will I be able to squeeze out more hours in the day? Let’s just say that I’ve put my mind to staying more focused this year. We will see how that goes, but as of now, I’m behind…

Resolutions are a good thing because they make you think about your health, your relationships, and your career. Some people make drastic decisions just after the first of the year, vowing to make a change in their lives for the better. But, make sure that the changes you make are the best thing for you.

Will I write more this year? Will I publish more books this year? Will I make the New York Bestsellers list this year? Will I write full time before the end of the year? Will I write the novel of the year? These are questions I ask every year, but will they happen?

Have you made a resolution about life, relationships, or your writing? What are they?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The Monday before Christmas…

It was the Monday before Christmas and all through my house… LOL, it’s too early to rhyme! There’s only 6 shopping days left and I’m so far behind. Wow! Normally I’m done by now, everything’s wrapped and life is good. Not this year! What happened to the month of December? I know something happened to at least a couple of days because it just started and now it’s almost Christmas. Oh well, if all else fells, gift cards 😉

Not sure if anyone noticed, but I released my Christmas book in the last four days! Falling Snow is now available, but only on Amazon. Yes, you heard me right, I’m doing a little experiment to see how Kindle Unlimited does. I used it when I first started to publish but decided to expand the distribution further. So far so good.

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This book is an interesting mix of heartwarming romance and suspense. This romance is based at a bed and breakfast called Gingerbread House in the north Virginia mountains. If you like this one, then you’ll love the book that will follow it. It’s not called a series, but I’ve planned several books that go along the same type of heartwarming mixed with suspense type theme.

So, have you grabbed your copy of Falling Snow? If not, here’s the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NAK6V37. I want you to fall in love with Katie and Noah!

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Don’t put all your eggs…

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Good Monday morning! It’s chilly here in Georgia and great writing weather. Saturday I managed a little over 3600 words, even with cleaning the house and planting mums. It was a productive weekend, to say the least.

Ok, you’ve written your book, now it’s time to publish it. As a self published author, you have so many choices. I’ve talked to authors that only place their books on Amazon, which is alright if you just want to get in with the Kindle reader, but there are so many other places to put your book, so why not?

You may be new to the publishing world, so I’ll enlighten you on some places that are great for self published authors:

1: Amazon – without a doubt, most authors go here first.

2: Smashwords – This website offers a one stop shop. Your book can be placed with Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and a multitude of other places just through Smashwords.

3: All Romance Ebooks – They offer your book on their website and in many different formats.

4: Barnes and Noble – Through Nook press, but I usually just go through Smashwords to get here.

5: Kobo – Again, I use Smashwords to get here too.

6: Google Play – I have some of my books here, but I’ve never done well on their pages.

7: Createspace – You need to get your book into paperback form and here’s where you can do that.

8: Draft to Digital – This site will get you on a couple of different foreign site.

9: Apple iTunes – If you use a mac, then this option is available straight to the site, but again, I use Smashwords.

This is only 9 of the many sites, but it gets you on the road to discovery and if you spread out your wings, readers will find you.

I hope this helped. If you need help getting your book formatted or the word spread, let me know. Horseshoe Publishing helps authors get their books ready for these sites and Fresh From the Book helps you spread the word.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Just a little Monday promo – Highlander’s Heart will be only .99 for a short while! So fall in love with a Highlander… myBook.to/HighlandersHeart

 

 

 


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Submit, reject, Submit again…

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As a writer, you write… you submit… rejection comes… you continue to write… you submit again… It’s just the way it goes. In some instances, you submit and it is accepted. This is a time to celebrate.

I’ve had many ask me how I take rejection, well, I tend to think of it as a chance to make things better, especially when the rejection includes well-written advice on what needs to be changed. Of course, there are those that simply don’t give advice, they just tell you they’re not in need of your work at this time. What that means could be several things…

My advice to all my fellow writers is to keep pushing forward because one day, your day will come and it will be all worth it. The rejections will have less of a sting if you push forward, never giving up on your dream.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Stories filling my head…Yikes!

Good Wednesday morning! It’s halfway to the weekend, so relax a little. You’ve got this.

As a writer, sometimes the stories fill my head and I can’t get them out fast enough. Some days it’s hard to focus on one story without the other stories trying to edge their way in. That’s my problem at the moment. I have so many stories running through my head that sometimes I think my head might explode.

The picture I have of my brain is a little hamster running on her wheel. Yep, that’s my brain for sure. So, how do I prioritize12551866924_826fc1afef this craziness filling my head, I outline. I have so many stories pushing for first place in line, but only one or two can hold that spot at a time. To help with the breaking in line syndrome, I sit down and outline the fussiest, pushiest stories. At least that puts them at ease, for a time, but soon they are pushy again.

Now, don’t get me wrong, this is not a problem exactly. As a writer, this is a good problem to have, you just have to learn how to keep your stories in line, which is the hard part.

So, how do you wrangle the stories running rampant through your brain?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…