Stephanie Hurt – Romance Author

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Organizing your Published works…

It’s another cool morning here in Georgia, but I’m warm and cozy under my blanket with my laptop. Today we’re discussing how to organize your published works. You may be asking what I mean, well, let me enlighten you.

With over 50 published books, sometimes I get lost in where every book is already published. I can’t remember which book is on which platform. Organization is needed even if you only put your books on one platform. So, here is what I do…

Platform Organization

First, I sit down and make a spreadsheet. The header includes all of the platforms that my books are on. The first column lists all of my books. This way I can mark off the books that are already on certain platforms. And this also helps when republishing older works with new covers. Doing this, I don’t miss out on having my books everywhere.

The moment I started working with this spreadsheet, I realized that I was missing several platforms for some of my books. This is missed opportunity, so everyday I work on at least one platform, updating files and getting my books everywhere.

 PublishedAmazonKUB&NKoboAppleSmashAudibleGoogle
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

Book Organization

Now, you may be asking how this is different. Book organization is a spreadsheet similar to the above one, but this one is book formats. In this one, I just copy the previous spreadsheet and change the header. In the header I input Ebook, Print, Audio, Front Cover, Back Cover, Blurb, and Publish date.

This has helped me to keep up with what needs to be done for each book. It’s like a checks and balances, but for books.

 outlinecharacterfrontebookblurbexerptprintbackspine
5 Oaks Ranch Series         
Ridge         
Oakley         
Chase         
Luke         
Maggie         
A Christmas to Remember         
5O Collection          

I do hope this helps you in some way. It’s helped me a lot.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Tax talk… It’s almost that time!

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I know, the dreaded TAX word. As an Accountant, this is the time to gear up for the new season that is coming in only two weeks. 2020 was a crazy tax season with extended deadlines, call meetings and lots of questions. Let’s hope 2021 goes smoother.

But, as a author, there are many things to think about. If you’ve earned royalties, then you’ll need to file that. I do have some light at the end of that tunnel though, expenses…

Here are some of the expenses that an author can claim:

  • Writing Programs
  • Educational courses to help with writing
  • Office supplies – pens, paper, ink, notebooks, etc.
  • Subscriptions to writing sites or programs
  • Fees for book signings (Hopefully you were able to get some in before things changed)
  • Advertising
  • Computers (Remember to delegate the percentage you use it for writing.)

That’s just a small list. But, hopefully you did great this year and need to claim some expenses.

So, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Gifts for Writers…

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Good Tuesday morning! Are you doing the same as me, struggling to figure out what to get those loved ones that are hard to buy for. Well, if you have a writer on your list, then here are my top 5 suggestions that are a little out of the norm, but for a writer, are perfect…

  1. Give them a writing program. What am I talking about? Google writing programs. My favorite is Scrivener. But there are several out there and most are reasonable when you’re thinking about a gift.
  2. Give them a subscription to a creative website. There are so many that it’s impossible to name them all, but some that I use are Bookbrush.com, AllAuthor.com, etc.
  3. Also, a great gift for a writer is laptop if you’re looking to spend a little more. Make sure that it’s set up for graphics and writing applications.
  4. And don’t forget about journals, planners, pens, pencils, cute notebooks, writing desk, laptop bag, decorative note cards, wow, I could go on and on. Do you see a trend here? Every writer loves something to write on.
  5. Last but not least. Most writers have a love for coffee or tea. So think out of the box. Put together a basket of mugs with tea bags, coffee pods, warm throws and chocolates. Writers spend a lot of time in their own world and they need to be caffeinated and cozy.

So, I hope some of these helped you and made things a little easier. Of course, some of the above items might be good for college students, someone needing a little push into being creative and also, creative people.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You!

PS: Don’t forget to gift friends books from authors. You can send ebooks through most ebook platforms.


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Dreams – We all have them…

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Dreams fill our nights and guide our days. Some dreams are just imagination, but some dreams are real. Let’s explore them…

As a young girl, my dreams were filled with horses, grand pianos and writing… Well, I’ve made one dream come true, writing. And through my writing, my dream of owning horses can come true. If you’ve read any of my books, then you know most of them have horses in them. It’s my way of living one of my dreams.

Do you live your dream or just dream about it? Always remember that some of our dreams are right in front of us, we just have to focus on them. So, will you make it happen today?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Wednesday Wisdom – Be Yourself!

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It’s Wednesday, we’re halfway to the weekend! Today I want to talk about something that affects most writers. What is that, you might ask. Well, it’s being yourself in your writing. What? Go against the grain? Yes!

As writers, we have our own style and if you didn’t know it, our own brains. When a story comes to us, it’s from us, not what current trends dictate. We need to stay true to what we know and love. If you do that, then it will show in your writing. But if you try to write to make the trends happy, it won’t be from your heart. So, be yourself in your writing.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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The book that started it all…

Good Thursday morning!

My writing life started when I was a young teenager and I picked up the romance novel that made my fingers itch to put words on paper. And that novel was Remembrance by Danielle Steel. After reading it, I began to devour her books, one by one. This also started my obsession with reading romance and writing it. I still have my collection of her books and the Harlequin books that I’ve gotten over the years. 

It’s amazing what an impact that a book can have on you. I’m so glad that I picked up that book in the second hand store. I just wish I’d thought about publishing my work a long time ago, but maybe it wasn’t time yet. 

So, what inspired you to start writing? If you’d like to tell your story on my blog, just let me know.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

P.S. : If you’ve never read one of Danielle Steel’s books, then I suggest you start with this one. 

Remembrance


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Authors & Rejection

It’s Saturday, a day to relax and enjoy life. So, before we get to the easy-going weekend, let’s talk about rejection. Ouch!

Every author has to accept rejection. It’s part of the job. But, it’s not always that easy. Rejection is also good for us. Yes, I said that, but it is a good thing. Sometimes rejection is just what the doctor ordered.

So, let me jump right into the explanation. When a manuscript is rejected, it should make us look into it more. With each rejection I’ve received, it made me relook at my manuscript with different eyes. Sometimes I find things I didn’t see before.

Now, with that being said, rejection hurts, but I read an article a while back that told how many rejections some of the biggest authors out there have received. Even their bestsellers that went mega-platinum were rejected a time or two before they were snatched up. So, that should give us hope beyond the rejection.

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…

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Get up and move!

 

woman in black leggings while walking on brown road

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Ok, so yesterday I was talking about moving some. It’s important, especially when you sit for most of the day. Since I’m an accountant for my day job and a writer, well, that involves a lot of sitting, which causes health issues.

I try to walk at least three to four days a week for 45 minutes or more each time. And recently I set a timer to remind me to get up every hour and move! Yeah, I struggle with this one, especially if I’m in the middle of complex figures or a storyline that is filling my world at the moment. But, I’ve made it my goal to get between 8,000 and 10,000 steps a day. I use the health app on my phone to keep up with my steps. Since my mailbox is at the end of my steep driveway, I walk it several times a day.

Since I’ve started focusing on my moving, I’ve noticed reduced pain in my legs and I’m feeling more energized. Not to mention the health benefits and weight too. For many writers, this is a struggle, but with a little focus, you too can get moving.

Oh, and while I exercise and walk, I work through plots and scenes. It’s amazing how a brisk walk can remove writer’s block completely. Try it, you might be surprised. So, get moving and make a healthier you…

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…


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Outlining the story easier…

Good Tuesday morning! With tax season in full swing and a couple of manuscripts on deadline, I’ve been a little behind on my posts. But I found something that has helped me a lot.

So, as most of you know, I use Scrivener to get my manuscript typed up and ready to go. But, I had never taken the time to look into the outline part of the program. I’ve always typed my outline in Word or wrote it longhand, which was alright, but I had to keep it beside me, sometimes losing my place while going back and forth.

But now that I’ve taken the time to figure it out, I don’t know how I worked without it. In the program, you can have the outline points for each chapter on the same page that you’re typing on. It’s amazing. And you can also scroll the outline points back or forward while working, which helps you to keep on focus. This concept has made a huge difference in my writing.

If you haven’t started using Scrivener for your writing, then I suggest you give it a try. It’s great and keeps you on track. Not to mention your character bios are always at your fingertips and places. But now with the outline set up, wow!

As always good writing and May God Bless You…


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What’s in a character?

Good Tuesday morning!

So, how do you form your characters? Do you develop them as the story goes forward? Or do you write a character sketch before putting the first word into the manuscript? In Scrivener, I always start out with a blank page for each character. Of course, I know basically who my character is. When I start a new manuscript, I develop their main character sketch, but what is included?

Name – Oh, this can take hours for me. I play with first and last name combinations. It’s crazy, but as a writer, I know that when the right combination comes across, it will pop. So, I scan name lists, Scrivener’s name generator, and even newspapers. Sometimes things just stand out.

Flaws – Ok, so maybe your main characters don’t have flaws, but I try to make mine less than perfect. Of course, my first books had perfect characters, but I want my readers to relate to my characters, so I add flaws. It could be as simple as having an attitude, but I make it a flaw at the time.

Looks – Does my character have blonde hair and blue eyes? That’s something important because you don’t want to suddenly say something about their auburn hair halfway through. You need to know what they look like or at least have an idea so that it stays consistent throughout the book.

Career – What does your character do? Are they a lawyer, doctor or maybe a rodeo king? It’s important to know this so that you can add elements of what they do to your character.

Hobbies – This is not as important as other attributes, but if it’s going to play a role in the book, then you need to remember if they knit or oil paint. Changing it midway can confuse the reader at times.

You may be saying, but why are these important? Every writer is different in how they do their work. For me, I like to get to know my characters. As I write, I like to know what my character might say or do and why. In Scrivener, I always have a character note that details things and I can add to it as things happen. Believe me, it helps to keep the process going forward.

So, how do you create your characters?

As always, good writing and May God Bless You…