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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Without Internet! What I learned

Good morning! It’s good to be back with the rest of the world. If you’ve noticed I was absent for several days, which is due to the fact that I had no internet since last Wednesday. It was very eye-opening, to say the least, and here’s what I learned in those six days without connection to the world.

Let’s start with, I grew up in the age before the internet; so I’m aware of what it’s like not to have it, but when you run a business in today’s world, it’s detrimental to have it. I never realized until this past six days how many of my programs need the internet to run efficiently. Of course, I could do some things, but the bulk of the program wouldn’t work due to no connection to the main server, wow!

As a writer, it was a quiet time with no conversations with fans or fellow writers. Also, I finished a book and was set to release it, but guess what can’t do that without internet. And as a writer, I need to promote, promote, promote, that also can’t be done without the internet. I felt like I was out in a remote field somewhere without food or water, in regards to my writing. But as luck would have it, I was able to meet my daily word counts and expand on them without the interruption of social media, that was a plus!

In a whole, I felt disconnected with the world and I can say I’m happy to be back with the living. It’s not just the social media aspect, which is important when you are an author and also run a website/publishing company, but it’s the fact that in today’s world, the internet holds an important role in most everything we do.

With that said, it’s wonderful to be back with all of you wonderful people. Now, on with my life which is already in progress.

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Saturdays are for…

Hey, people, it’s Saturday! The day we’ve waited all week for. Here are some things I think Saturday ‘s are for:

  1. Sleeping in!!!
  2. Spending time with the family
  3. Cleaning house
  4. Writing
  5. Social Media
  6. Binge watching Netflix
  7. Did I say writing?
  8. No makeup
  9. Good time for afternoon naps
  10. Sitting outside, enjoying the day
  11. Writing, Oh wait, I already said that twice…

So, what do you do on Saturday?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Thursday Promotions

Mother's Day Sale

Good Thursday morning! Today I’m starting my Mother’s Day Sale, but of course, Amazon is on the ball and the sale prices started yesterday… In honor of Mother’s Day, I’m offering three of my books for .99 each. As you’ll notice, two are my newest books released and one is older. A Light Upon My Heart will be on http://faithfulreads.com/ today.

I’ve had authors ask me why I run sales every once in a while. My answer is simple, it’s like simple marketing. When you run a book that’s usually $2.99 or more, down to .99, people take notice. It’s the same thing when you make the first book in a series free. If they like that one, you have a good shot at selling the rest of the series. I’m seeing great results with Ridge staying free. The rest of the books are selling great, so it works.

Talking about selling books, my announcement is coming tomorrow! Just get your sharing and liking fingers ready. I’ll need all the help I can get. The key to getting it out there is all of my wonderful friends here and on all my social media outlets. So keep watching for the announcement. It’s been so hard to sit on this all week as the kinks are ironed out.

As always, good writing and may God Bless You…


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Is it your opinion or not? Truthfully!

Good Wednesday morning! Hope all is well with all of you. As for me I’m a little perplexed to say the least. Being a writer I use social media to advertise and promote my work. I’ve grown a tough skin over the last couple of years regarding the remarks that can be scathing and my opinion is it’s your opinion, or is it?

You may be wondering why I say it that way, well here goes. I was scanning Facebook last night and came across several really scathing posts regarding someone local. The bad thing is it all started from one side and it wasn’t pretty. It actually put a bad taste in my mouth regarding social media etiquette. Should you comment on a post that you’re not personally familiar with? It would be like posting a review of someone’s book without ever reading the book, just going with the flow of what others say. Is it right to do that?

Why is it that in today’s world we follow the leader and don’t go with our own hearts? We jump on the social media band wagon and destroy someone without knowing the facts. The problem with this is that every story has two sides. When we don’t know the whole story we shouldn’t push forward. It’s called everyone is considered innocent until proven guilty, it’s the American way, or have we steered away from that? As I sat and glanced over some of the comments I was amazed at the audacity of some of them. The pitchforks were raised and the witch hunt was started. Does anyone remember the ramifications of the witch hunts? Yeah, that’s what I’m saying, get both sides before you share or comment because someone’s life is at stake and many times these types of things affect more than just the person that you’re directing your anger toward. Think about all those that can be affected in the background.

I’ve written many posts regarding reviews, the good and bad. If you put yourself out there, you’re setting yourself up for people to throw darts or compliments at you. Have you ever noticed that if you get a good review, other reviews similar start appearing, but also goes with bad reviews. I’ve received some really great reviews and I’m eternally thankful. Of course I’ve received some nasty reviews, but I always use the ones that are done in taste as a learning experience. I actually followed one critical review with a rewrite. The rewrite actually went to the top 10 on Amazon charts for several weeks. It was a good review in my eyes. But then you have those that see a bad, scathing review and they suddenly want to add to it. The funny thing is, well actually it’s sad, a couple of bad reviews I’ve received were obviously not from an actual reader. They even got the story wrong in the review. It’s the same with the witch hunt’s that span across social media.

Should we learn social media etiquette? I think we should use tact when sharing or commenting. Can you imagine a social media without all the negative thoughts? I’ve seen more and more people stating this on social media. They want to see the negativity brought down a little. Of course some negative posts are beneficial if handled correctly, not just for the benefit of someones ego, but full of facts.  It would make for better reading in the early morning as I sip my coffee, but of course this is my opinion, possibly not yours.

What are your thoughts on social media etiquette? Would you enjoy a nicer experience?

As always, great writing and May God Bless You…


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Monday morning, so feeling it…

Good Monday morning! I do hope all of you had a great weekend. As for me, it was pretty good. It was a busy weekend, but a productive one. Even though I’m not a football watcher, our son wanted to watch the Super Bowl so we did. Well, I watched it between writing and social media surfing 😉

The one regret I had for the weekend was the extra glass of sweet tea I had last night during the game. Let’s just say, someone didn’t get much sleep. It’s amazing the thought’s that go through your head as you toss and turn, trying desperately to snatch up some sleep. If I could record my thoughts during those times it would make a novel or two.

I’m starting to get excited about my book signing on the Valentine’s Day. It’s such a wonderful honor and I can’t wait to get it started. Since I’m not a person that enjoys a lot of attention, this has been something I’ve been praying about. I feel a calming now so it’s all good.

So, what did you do this weekend? Was it productive or did you get some much needed rest? Did you meet your word count, sadly I didn’t ?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The problem with social media…

Good Wednesday morning all… Have you ever noticed what happens when you say, ‘I’m just checking my social media quickly and then back to work’ and then a hour or so later you’re still on the first site. Yep, that’s me. I have good intentions, but then I totally fail…

Here’s something I’m trying out. I write every morning for at least an hour, but if I go onto my social media sites I cut down my writing time, which is not good when I’m working on a deadline. So I’m starting tomorrow by writing first, then setting aside a short time to surf my social media sites. That way I meet my word count and get to check out my sites too.

What’s your social media hang up? Does it take away writing time?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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How hooked are you?

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Good morning! I do hope all of you are safe and well after those nasty storms that came through the southern US. As for me, did you notice no post from me yesterday. Well, I had no power for most of the day. If you know me well, or even if you just know me from social media interaction, then you know I try to post most days. 

While my power was off and I was unconnected to all of my electrical devices, I had lots of time to think. Think? Wow that’s a large word when you think about it. How often do we just sit and think? No really, how often? Yes we use our brains, but most of the time it’s connected to some sort of electrical device, especially internet driven devices. Whether it’s your computer, smart phone, or whatever it is that you use to do everything, you’re probably hooked. 

I sat here thinking about how much power means to us today. It’s like life shuts down when the power does. But if you think about it, we’re so hooked on the gadgets that make life easier that we can’t function when it goes south. I sat down on my couch and tried to figure out what I would do until the power came back on. The sad thing was, I had payroll for a client to complete, but my computer addicted brain had a hard time dealing with the process of manually completing the task. That’s when I sat down and took a hard look at me life. When it’s quiet and nothing is happening you can do that without interruption. 

I realized that I’m addicted to power. Whatever happened to actually doing something for ourselves without relying on a gadget to do it for us. I stood up and walked to my office with determination. Of course I had to drag my teenage son with me so he could hold the flashlight. I pulled out the employee paperwork on each employee, I dusted off the payroll tax sheets and I grabbed some checks and a pen. Oh yeah, and the solar powered calculator. I sat down with a old oil lamp and proceeded to figure payroll the old way. My son sat watching and shaking his head. He kept saying, ‘Can’t you wait until the power comes back on?’ I just kept going and soon I had a completed payroll ready for delivery.

The hard part was the social media disconnect. I sat for a moment wondering if I made any sales during the night, wondering how all my social media friends had faired the night of storms and wanting desperately to check my Twitter feed. Sad, but true. I realized again I’m addicted to everything power connected. 

Unfortunately, most of my work is connected to power. My clients files are loaded on my laptop, which has a battery of course, but my accounting program drains that battery really quickly. I did a couple of things that didn’t require my laptop, but I was limited. I did work on some of my manuscript outlines. I still do those old school long hand. It’s just the way I am. I tried putting those on the computer, but it’s easier to have them beside me as I write, not in a file that I have to pull up.

So, my question is this, How hooked are you on electricity or even the internet and social media? If you were without power for a week, would you pull your hair out or make the best of it? 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Social Media is Time Consuming

If you’re an author you know the importance of social media. It’s the backbone of your publishing and selling strategy. The only problem is we try to get on every site we can and then when we sit down to our computer we spend an hour searching all the sites for any inkling of a notice from fans or readers or anybody other than spam mongers. I sit every morning going through my sites and then I spend what time is left before going to the office writing.

We have to make sure we use our time wisely. I am trying to limit my site checking to twice a day. I try to post a blog everyday, but some days I may forgo my usual post for a shorter post or save it up for the next day. That way I have more time for my writing which is important. Since I have a full time job and a family I need to keep my time steady and straight. Following the right course is very important. 

As for my accounting office I’ve changed the times I work and added in tidbits of writing time during the day. It helps break the monotony of everyday accounting work with a little writing time. I make sure that every detail is taken care of in it’s own time. 

Time with my family is very important too. It’s become common place in my house for my laptop to be in my lap during tv time at night. My hubby and son are used to that’s writing time, but I’m still with them and not closed up in another room. It’s funny the small things that make a difference. I guess raising a child in an accounting office taught me alot about focus. I can depreciate an asset while doling out snacks. So in turn I can now write while watching tv with my family, helping with homework, and cooking dinner. 

So, how do you spend your time? Do you waste time on trivial things? Have you got a plan and do you stick to it?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Here’s a link to a great blog about Time from a blogger all writers need to follow:

http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2013/12/05/killing-time-is-a-crime-embracing-speed-by-redefining-life-play-work/


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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…