Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Daily Word Count – Real or Wishful?

keyboard

Good morning! As I sit here, typing my blog, making my Hootsuite schedule and surfing the social media world, I have to remember that I have a daily word count… Yeah, I’m supposed to meet it before I do all the above. Hope my assistant skips reading this post!!!

Anyhow… When I sat down and prepared my writing calendar for 2017, I decided to be realistic. In years past, I’ve given myself too high of a word count, then crashed and burned when I couldn’t keep up. This year, I took into account days that I’d be editing, redrafting and also had something on the calendar for that day. I also reined in my word count to make it more attainable, also lower than what I’m capable of.

As my assistant and I were working on this, I’d say a word count and she’d raise an eyebrow, then I’d lower until the eyebrow relaxed. What’s sad is that my writing calendar has room for me to post my daily progress, yikes that’s scary. SO far in 2017, I’m officially behind on my word count, which means I’ve got to up my game to catch up.

So, if you’re asking, how do I set my word count to be realistic, not wishful thinking, well, let me enlighten you. Over a couple of days, sit down and time yourself while you write. Also keep up with the number of words. If you have a day job, take into account the time you have available to write, which you need to try every day to make a little available time. Then, figure up what you can do.

For me, I write when my hubby goes to work and my son to school. I have two hours until I have to be in the office, so I try to write for at least an hour. During which time I’m boiling my morning egg, and eating said egg… yes, while I’m writing. Then I have time to shower and run across the driveway to open my accounting office. I also try to get in at least an hour in the evening. Of course, the weekends are my catch up time. I spend a couple of hours on Saturday and Sunday filling in for the lost words from the busy week.

So, how do you schedule your word count? Is it realistic or wishful thinking?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Go by and check out my website which has been revamped for the new year! www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and if you want to keep up with me and get cool stuff, sign up for my street team…

 


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Getting the word out!

Ok, it’s Monday, are you ready for the work week? Me, not so much, but got to get moving. I’ve been asked so much lately about my advertising strategy that I’m writing the post to get the word out. So here goes:

When I first started publishing my books, I had no clue about marketing my book. Four years later I’m starting to get the hang of it. I even have a website where authors can advertise their books for a minimal fee and I use what I’ve learned on that site.

This is what I’ve learned that works, it really works:

1: Use a service such as Hootsuite to make many posts, even while you’re sleeping. I especially like to use this service when I have a new release coming out soon. I usually set up several posts and have them go through my WordPress, Twitter, and Facebook pages. I do different posts for each time slot, that way I’m not overusing the same thing.

2: Twitter is a really cool marketing tool. I actually see a bump in sales when I do Tweets during the day. Make sure to be creative with the 140 characters. I use my buy link and a savvy, short piece from the book. It really works people, but you have to actually do it for it to work 😉

3: Facebook Ads: This I love and see lots of results. Facebook has made it easier to set up. One thing I love about this is you don’t inundate your friends and family with book ads. These ads go to where you want them too and go to people that aren’t friends on Facebook. I’ve gained many new fans from a simple Facebook ad. You can set up any price you want to and even the length of time you run the ad is up to you.

4: Website: Every author needs a website. There are so many places you can set up a website now, it’s amazing. but if you don’t want to go to all the trouble of setting up a professional author website, then get in touch with me, my company Horseshoe Publishing does this.

5: Blogs: This is very important to authors. It gives you the chance to talk about anything, but I suggest leaving off political topics, only for the reason of making someone angry. Blog about your life giving readers a look at what you do other than writing. It’s amazing the response you’ll get.

So, these are only a part of my marketing agenda, but I’m short on my word count this morning, so I have to get back to writing. My assistant gives me the evil eye if I get too far behind on my schedule.

One last reminder before I go, if you don’t have the time or drive to do any of these and want help, check out my new advertising site www.freshfromthebook.com and for a minimal fee, we’ll get the word out for you.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


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Just like editing a book, only a lot messier!

Saturday we started pulling up the carpet in our home and replacing it with hardwood. Let’s just say it’s been interesting. You don’t know how dirty carpet it until you pull it up. I was astounded to say the least. Twenty one years of living life were ground into the floor and no matter how much you’ve vacuumed and cleaned, it’s never clean enough.

Here’s some pictures of the finished den, still have kitchen, dining room and three bedrooms, yikes!

fireplace floor 2 floor

As I was ripping up the carpet and cleaning up, I realized that it’s similar to editing a book. How you might ask? Well, think about it this way, you make a draft. That’s the starting point, the place you’ve poured your heart into with sloppy abandon. You know the first draft is always riddled with holes, bad grammar, spelling issues and much more, like the dirt I found.

Then of course you dig in and start the editing process, much like the moment the broom and shop vac start clearing out the ground in dirt. Once you’ve got that first draft cleaned up, it’s time to lay in the shiny, squeaky clean new floor, uh I mean manuscript.

Now the work is done and it’s ready for publication or is it. Have you done everything you need to do? Even with the newly laid floors, we had to run a dust mop over the top and put down a little finishing molding. The same is needed for your new manuscript. It’s important to make sure you’ve read, reread and read out loud. This is your showplace and it’s got to be as close to perfect as you can get it.

So, what have you been up to lately?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

If you get a chance come over to my website for all the news…. www.stephaniehurtauthor.com

and like my Facebook to get updates  and help me break 100 likes! https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt


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What, it’s July already!

I don’t know about you, but for me time is flying! It seems like just yesterday it was Christmas and now we’re halfway to Christmas again. Guess it’s like my grandmother always said, time flies when you’re having fun.

Today as I sit here working on my latest manuscript I have to say I’m excited. As you know I am working on Chase and my historical romance, but I also have a surprise coming. It’s something totally out of my usual realm so I’m keeping it hush hush for a little longer. Let’s just say you’ll be pleasantly surprised, I hope.

What are you planning for July? Me, well we’re putting hardwood throughout our house starting in the next week. Yep, I said we’re doing it. I’m actually excited because we’re doing this as a family project. Thank goodness it’s a inside project because of the summer heat. I can’t wait to get a hammer in my hand and get to work. Well, I guess I’ll be allowed to hammer, but more than likely I’ll be handing wood to my hubby and son. Sometimes me and tools don’t work out so well.

Do you have some exciting plans for the 4th? I’m lazing away the day at the lake with family and food.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and my website for continued updates on my surprise!

https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt

www.stephaniehurtauthor.com


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Ebook piracy is real and growing…

Good Wednesday morning! Hope all of you are well and safe. I know several people in the flood ravaged south and I hope all of you are safe this morning. As I watch the news its devastating and tears at my heart. Prayers going up to all of you in the danger zones.

This morning I want to discuss Ebook piracy. When I started my writing career I was a little leery of putting my book on websites that I wasn’t familiar with. I’d spend hours checking out their ratings and BBB information before I’d even set up an account with them. We want to keep our work safe from those that want to take advantage, but what can we do in this day and age of cyber piracy? Nothing, not a thing…

I noticed about a year ago that when I googled my name, several websites came up that I didn’t recognize. Of course I checked them out and some of them are legitimate because they are distributors from Createspace that legally sell my book and I reap the royalties. But unfortunately a couple were actually pirating my books for free on their sites. A month ago I was searching out my books and found that the number of websites that my books are showing up on have more than doubled.

Of course it got me a little hot under the collar until a well known author told me something that hadn’t really hit me. She told me that it’s like free advertising. The word pirates as I call them were actually doing free promotions for my work. I still don’t like the fact that they steal your work and place it everywhere for free, but in a way it is getting my work out there. She also went as far as to tell me I should be proud that they picked my work to steal because that meant they evidently thought it would help them. Never thought of it that way either.

My question to several authors was how do you stop them, but all of them came back with the same response, you don’t. The websites change constantly and have crazy names. I keep a watch on it though because I don’t want someone else to list their name as the author of my work. Now that will spur me into action, but for now I’m just watching it.

I suggest if you’re a published author to keep an eye on your work. Do a cyber search frequently on your author name, book name and website. It’s just a precautionary measure, but it could save your work.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. Oakley is coming out by the end of next weeks!!! I’ll be posting updates by the end of the week. So go over to my website at www.stephaniehurtauthor.com and subscribe to my newsletter to get updates on new releases or exciting news. Or go over to Facebook and like my author page to stay up to date at https://www.facebook.com/StephaniePayneHurt. If  you’re a Twitter lover then check out my tweets at https://twitter.com/StephanieHurt4.


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Author Website – Do you have one?

Good Monday morning! As always I hope you had a great weekend. Have you noticed how short they seem sometimes? Well, on to Monday and the countdown to my book signing. Yikes I only have a few days…

Today I want to talk to you about websites. Do you have one? Have you thought about it, but didn’t know where to start? For a long time I thought about it and put it off. Well, now that I have one I’m glad I made the jump. It’s been a great way to meet need readers and spread the word about my books and releases. I can honestly say it was well worth the money to get it up and going.

If you’re unsure about the whole thing I give you some pointers to help make the decision.

1. Websites give you the ability to advertise to a wide variety of people. If someone searches a particular topic, then you could pop up.

2. Your fans will have somewhere to go to keep up with you and to know what’s new with your writing.

3. You can attached your blog to the website and add a new element.

4. Newsletters are easy when you ask people to subscribe to your newsletter through the website.

5. It’s makes you look more professional as a writer and you can sell your books directly from the site…

If you’re still unsure, just shoot me your questions. I’ve recently added Website design to my list of services at Horseshoe Publishing. Put your name out there and watch what happens.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Thursday Morning Shout Out…

Good Thursday morning everyone. I know I’ve been a little lax in my posts, but I’ve been on a deadline with Her Wish For Christmas. It had to be downloaded by midnight Monday and I met that deadline with six hours left over. That book took a lot out of me because of the emotionally charged content. When I typed the last words and finished the edits I was tickled pink with the results. My editor finished the final read and when she was done, the smile that spread across her face was priceless.

Her Wish for Christmas ad

It’s been a crazy couple of weeks around here. Of course with my other job as an Accountant, I had end of month, end of quarter and end of tax year. Also had Fall Festival and Trunk or Treat at Church. SO I’ve been a busy little bee lately, but if you’ve read many of my posts you know this is how I like it. The busier the better I always say.

Now that the Christmas book is in Amazon’s hands, I can focus on Ridge. It’s the first book in the new series that’s about a family owned ranch and it’s five children. Each one of them has their own special issues and personalities. Since I’m a cowboy romance writer at heart, this one is exciting. What can I say, I love cowboys and getting to write about them is fun. All I’m planning to say is I can’t wait for you to meet Ridge, the oldest brother. He’s my favorite sibling so far, but once I get into the other’s I’m sure I’ll fall in love with them too. Keep watching for updates on The Five Oaks Ranch series.

Ridge Advertisement

The article that I wrote for Southern Writer’s Magazine is out in their Nov/Dec issue. I’m really happy with the results and can’t wait to see the results. If you don’t already subscribe to this magazine, then I suggest you run, don’t walk over to their website and subscribe. It’s a must have for writers. Here’s a little snippet of the article.

Stephanie Hurt - SW teaser 2014.

Hope all is well with everyone and here’s a little shout out for my publishing service which is having a Christmas sale. We’re offering 10% off all services offered through our company. Find out more at our new website: horseshoe-publishing.com.

christmas sale

As always great writing and May God Bless You…