Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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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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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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Growing as a Writer…

As a writer you have to learn from your mistakes. I’ve changed my writing quite a bit since the first published book. I’ve started to slow down the process a little. Now I actually go back every so many pages and edit. Not every time, but some of the time.

I’ve learned to write from my heart and not to try to please everyone. It’s hard to please all the wants of your readers. Sometimes I add a couple of elements that readers request. I even made some changes to one of my older publications to please a couple of readers requests. They just wanted a little extra information on the characters out of curiosity.

It’s been a wild ride this writing gig. I’ve started several blogs and Twitter pages. So, I guess I’ve grown in social media. As I’ve said many times, I’ve never been a social media butterfly. My blog posts have evolved also. I’ve listened to readers and gained a lot of friends and followers through it. 

I’ve realized that not everyone is going to like your writing and not everyone is going to like cowboys. Why I don’t know, but that’s ok.

Have you grown as a writer? Do you learn from your mistakes? 

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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What’s up with people these days?

Have you noticed people these days are more opinionated? People have always had an opinion, but with social media taking over, it’s more apparent and out there everywhere. The reason I’m posting on this is the way people do things.

Take for instance. I received a review on one of my books. The person gave me a 1 star review which is their opinion and I can take criticism, but only when it’s constructive. The review simply stated “Pease relieve my mind. Whyis tender flame and moonbeames and roses using the ssme names but different stories. Nothimg is mention about others that were mention tender flames. What happened to sarahs baby……..damn why wright two books using wes and sarah”. I copied this from the actual review. Does anyone see anything wrong with this review other than the spelling and nasty word?

Now don’t get me wrong, Criticism is a big part of writing and I use constructive criticism for good. My issue is that Tender Flames and Moonbeam & Roses are two entirely different books and many writers use the same character names in different books. Why do people do this to writers? Moonbeam & Roses is a stand alone book and Tender Flames clearly states it’s part of the Flames of Love series. I just don’t get it. Let us know what you thought about the book, not the characters names. That’s a odd point.

Opinions run rampant, but when your opinions are not constructive but destructive should you voice them? Many people like to voice destructive opinions publicly. It’s bad for those that are public figures. Look at how movie stars get raked over the coals. If they make one misstep or wear the wrong color shoes with the outfit they get a social media dress down.

So, what’s up with people these days? Some people are like moths to the flame when it comes to negativity. I can say this, when you do a review for a book whether it’s a 1 star or 5 star, make sure it’s relevant to the book. What does it matter the names of the characters? When you watch a star do a interview, what does it matter the color of their shoes or the way they combed their hair? Look at what they’re saying or their acting skills, not their fashion sense.

Everyone has their opinion about something or someone, that’s their right, but should they go crazy with how they express it. I guess my upbringing taught me to not sling mud and to watch what I say because I could be on the receiving end one day. Boy was that ever right. 

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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Roller Coaster Sales…

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Have you ever felt like your sales were on a roller coaster? Sometimes I feel like I’m on a roller coaster. One day you’re on the uphill ascent then the next day you’re barreling down the other side so fast it takes your breath. 

Some of the sites where you can put your books for sale only report sales once a month and that really puts you to task. My sales sometimes amaze me. I can go on a tweet fest and the sales ramp up. I looked at my pages views on Smashwords.com last night and it actually looked like a roller coaster. The funny thing is all the hills were around a social media blitz.

So, if you’re having downhill sales, try doing a tweet fest. Don’t forget those hash tags. I’ve really learned a lot about the use of them. When I do a tweet fest I try to go to every site my books are on and tweet that book from the site. Also working on a list for one of my posts regarding social media sites that have worked well for me. 

Don’t let downward sales affect your writing. Sales are a fickle thing. One day you do really well, and sometimes you have really good weeks. Then a plummet for a day or so and you’re poking out your lip and giving up. Don’t do that! Have faith. If it was selling good those days, it will again.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Decisions…Decisions?

We have decisions to make as writers. What’s funny is if you’re a writer then you made a big decision, you decided to be a writer. You may say, ‘I haven’t published anything’, but if you write down what’s in your mind, then you’re a writer. 

Here are a couple of decisions to make as a writer:

1: Most importantly – Decide to actually begin writing. Whether it be an unpublished journal or a novel that could be the next big one. If you enjoy it, then go for it.

2: You have to decide if you’re going to make your writing public or just keep it in a drawer for your enjoyment only. I’m really glad I decided to get mine out of a drawer and blow off the dust.

3: After you’ve written your masterpiece (well that’s how we all feel after we’ve finished a manuscript. It may be only us that labels it this, but oh well.) do you try to submit to a traditional publisher and wait and wait and wait and wait some more or do you tackle self publishing it and taking a chance on your own.

4: If you decide on traditional publishing, who do you go with. Well, decide what genre your manuscript best fits, then check into publishers that specialize in your genre. Traditional publishers come in all sizes and needs. I’ve been approached by a couple and I was surprised at the diversity of each one. One guy was so funny that I laughed actually at him, he said ‘we want your book on our team’ then he proceeded to tell me how much money he wanted for the honor of them wanting my book, which was a couple of thousand and that included putting it on the same social media sites I already have them on. NOT! Then you have the publishers that only take a portion of your royalties. Here’s where it gets tricky, do you want to give up 50% or more of your royalties? 

5: Do you want to self publish? This is easier than you might think. The self publishing sites available is phenomenal and a statement of how popular this type of publishing is. With this type of publishing you have to be careful when reading the disclaimers, but most of the popular sites are just general and do not your first born up front 🙂

6: Marketing, Marketing, Marketing… As a self publisher you have to do this if you want to be seen. This is where you meet so many wonderful people from all over the world. I’ve enjoyed this part of the whole process so much. 

7: Finally, don’t forget the decisions about the book itself. You have the cover, the description, the trailer video pictures, the music for the trailer, etc. It goes on and on and on.

As I always say, this is just the wandering musings of a writer, but hopefully it gives you some food for thought. Each decision you make needs to be met with lots of prayer and contemplation. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Social Media and writing books

One year ago I was in the editing process of the first book I published. At that time I was just a normal (Well as normal as I can be) accountant. I didn’t have a Twitter account, refused to go on Facebook and didn’t think much about social media. Funny huh!

Now I’ve got social media accounts running out my ears. But that’s one thing I learned was that you have to go social media crazy when you publish a book. That is if you want to succeed.

My first venture into the social world was this blog. It has been so much fun. I at first wondered what I would write about on a daily basis. Then I laughed at myself because I guess you would say I’ve got a writers brain. If I could write a 400 page novel surely I could handle a blog post. So far so good. I don’t guess I’ve put anyone to sleep yet, or at least I hope not anyway. 🙂

Then the social media world spiraled. My editor set up a Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook for each book, then one for me, Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, Pinterest, Reddit, and the list goes on. It takes me a good part of two cups of coffee in the mornings to get through all of them. I actually look forward to the new additions to my pages from all of my new friends that I’ve gained from all over the world through these sites. It’s never a dull moment. I love reading all of the posts from other bloggers. I’ve learned a lot.

So, as a writer you’ve got to embrace social media and just go for it. I’ve been conducting an experiment with my smashwords book stats and Twitter. When I Tweet my books from the Smashwords website the views skyrocket. It’s funny how that simple click of the key just  makes people curious. 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you…


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Social Media! Oh Me!

Well, it’s official. I’m now on Facebook. My books have been on Facebook for a while, but now I am personally. I’ve been fighting it forever. My assistant has been telling me I needed this for my Author platform. Well, I did it. I broke down and joined the millions of people on Facebook. It’s a little daunting. I’m sorry, but I just don’t get into telling everyone what I had for breakfast. Yikes!

I have never been Mrs. Social Butterfly. It took my assistant forever to get me to publish my books. She said it was like pulling teeth to get me set up on Twitter. It’s funny because now I’m on every social media site I can think of. It’s crazy how being a published author can change your life. All of a sudden people want to know what I think. Me! Plain, nutty, me!. I had someone ask the other day what I drink while I write. Really!!! I told them with a smile, sweet tea. I’m a southern girl, gotta have my sweet tea.

So if you get a chance go on over to Facebook and friend me. I will friend you back when I figure out how to. You may be laughing but I’m serious.

On a book note, go over to Goodreads and check out my new book giveaway for “The Winner Is Love”. It goes through December 31st. It is available to US, Australia, United Kingdom, Ireland, India and Canada. I think that’s all of them.

 

As always, good writing and May God Bless you!this way, that way