Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

This WordPress.com site confirms all things are possible through God!


Leave a comment

Thursday Thoughts…

Good morning! For some reason this morning I feel excited that something is about to happen with my writing. I felt this way just before I made it to the top 55 in Harlequin’s SYTYCW contest in 2015 and also right before I submitted Tuscany to Solstice. But I don’t know what it is this time.

You may be asking, Stephanie, do you have anything submitted to a publisher, and my answer would be no. I guess, but don’t know, it’s the feeling of a coming announcement or maybe the new series that I’m starting in a couple of months, which by the way is really, really exciting for me. I don’t know. It’s just this strange but delightful feeling that has me humming and singing, thank¬†goodness I’m alone in the house at the moment ūüėČ

So, how are you feeling today? Any news to share?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P. S. If you haven’t joined my newsletter, then give it a whirl. I just hit send on my latest newsletter this morning. It’s easy to join and I don’t fill your inbox with needless chatter, just upcoming releases, and sales… ¬†www.stephaniehurtauthor.com

 

 

 


Leave a comment

Authors Beware…Part 2

It’s Friday folk! Seemed to take long enough to get here, but hope you enjoy the day!

On the heels of yesterday’s post, I’m going to talk about another scary subject, Piracy! One of the comments yesterday mentioned that and it’s a real threat to authors in today’s world of the internet, but what can we do?

Sadly, there’s not a lot you can do. Always make sure that you have a copyright page inside the first few pages of your book. Some authors, although it can get costly, actually get a legal copyright for their work. But, most of us can’t afford to do this type of thing.

One of the things I do is to do a search every week on my name, and my book name. This will pull up some of these sites. I’ve had trouble with this since just after I published my first book. You’ll know the sites that shouldn’t have your book¬†because most of the time they have weird names and they’re offering your book as a free download.

Once you locate them, I suggest you do a little research on them, then email them and see how they received your book. That will be entertaining in itself. Then demand they take it down immediately or you will take legal action. Of course, they will probably take that site down and move on to another one, but at least you have them hopping.

A big time author told me once that if your book is being pirated, then don’t worry about it. She said that at least that means that it’s making headlines. She said most pirate sites only look for books they know will make them money. I’m not sure if people have to subscribe to these sites, but somehow they’re making money off our work. She said that yes, it’s a horrible thing, but to hold my chin up. Some days that’s hard to do knowing that your work has been stolen and you won’t make that royalty.

So, search yourself at least once a week, and write down a list of suspect sites. You’ll be glad you did. At least you’ll be proactive on the situation.

Let me know how you’ve combated piracy…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


Leave a comment

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…

 


Leave a comment

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 ūüėČ

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.

falling-snow-front-cover200

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…


Leave a comment

Saturday morning ramblings…

Good morning! First off, I need everyone’s help in voting for the Solstice Author of the Year! Here’s the link:¬†http://solsticepublishing.com/vote-for-author-of-the-year/¬†so please go by and vote. Voting will make you eligible for goodies.

Now, on to my post for the day. As I’ve been talking about this week, I have designed a neat calendar that helps me somewhat stay on track. But as most writers know, things happen, things change.

I’ve tried several kinds of calendars and nothing really worked for me, so, I sat down and figured this out. I knew that having a whole month in front of me just stressed me out. I don’t need to be reminded that I have something releasing in two weeks or have 20,000 words to do before the end of the month.

The calendar I created is a weekly calendar. Yes, I know there are hundreds of those out there, but not like the one I created. I made it large enough to fit a 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper. each day has a large enough square that I can write the name of the book or books for each day, the word count I need to do to stay on schedule, and I can also put how far I am from finishing. Also, I have a side column for each day that gives me room for notes and thoughts that I can use for future projects or just character adjusts. Then I can mark those off as I go.

So, forgive the amateurimg_2473¬†photo, I’m not a photographer, just a writer…

As I said, it’s nothing fancy, but it works really good for me. I have enough room to be wordy if I need to be. Also, and I stress this heavily, use a pencil for your entries. That way when life comes in and wrecks your schedule, you can just erase and move on.

On release days, write those in colored pencil, that way they stand out. Yes, I need something to jog my memory or I’ll go right by the release day and forget all about it…

This is just the way I do things… Hope it helps. I’ve been playing with the idea of doing a book on being a Self-Published author, but we’ll see where that fits into my schedule. My assistant informed me that the books I now have scheduled go into 2018, but I may have to squeeze it in. At least I have the room to write it in…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

 


Leave a comment

What’s in a cover…

Good morning! We’re halfway to the weekend… So smile!

How many times have you bought a book based on the cover? Not the blurb… Not the author… Not the title… But the cover… Me, I love to look at covers. If a cover looks interesting I’ve been known to pick a book because the cover enticed me.

So, with that in mind, how much time do you spend on your cover design? Me, some of my covers have taken weeks to make just right. When I write a book, I have in mind what I want the cover to look like, of course, in reality, it’s hard to make it exactly like my vision, but we try.

The picture says it all, means so much. When I choose the photos, they have to be exact. I want the people to have the same traits as the ones in the book. I’ve been using bigstock.com for a long time, but recently, I added romancenovelcovers.com¬†for the pictures that have models. it’s important to buy the pictures you use and have a license so that you don’t infringe on copyright laws.

The cover below took the longest to design and made my designer want to pull her hair out, but I had an idea and this totally went my way. This one took three pictures to make it happen, but it says it all.

Finding the Right Time front cover

Some of my covers have one picture and are simple, like this one.

Faith Through The Tears cover

So, whether you use many pictures or one, make a statement that tells the reader, pick me up, I’m good. The cover is the first thing a reader sees and if you don’t catch their eye, you may not catch the reader.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…