Friday, February 22, 2013

Nickel Nasties Series #16: Ten Tips for Indie Authors by Sandy Loyd

Welcome to the Nickel Nasties series! In celebration of my first scathing Amazon review for A Ranger's Tale (1 in 58 ain't bad), I've decided to devote February to the stories that garner so much stereotype and ridicule, but still comprise one of the world's best-selling genres: ROMANCE! I hope you'll enjoy this series. Please leave comments for the wonderful contributors. And...don't forget to check out their books!

Ten Tips for Indie Authors

Sandy Loyd

   1.      This is a business venture you are undertaking, so consider it as such. Take all emotion off the table.

   2.      Prepare financially for it. That means putting aside funds for producing the final product, i.e. editing, formatting and the cover. Make sure you have money left over for advertising and promoting once the final product is for sale. If no one knows about it, no one will buy it.

   3.      Make sure your story is as polished as you can make it. Use critique partners or other writers for feedback. Also, find a good editor. This is the best advice I can give. Having a well-written first book ensures future sales of following books.

   4.      Have a fantastic cover to grab attention. Make sure it looks good as a thumbnail, since that’s what readers see.

5.      Write a good, concise blurb. You have only seconds to entice someone. Think of the blurb as a pitch to an editor or agent. Let the reader know why they should buy your book.

6.      Join independent writing loops like,, & They provide a fountain of necessary information.

7.      Promote, promote, promote, but be a subtle promoter. E-publishing is getting more competitive by the day. There are so many good stories out there by such talented writers that it’s hard to be noticed. Go on blogs to talk about your work. Use giveaways to entice readers. Use social media to announce releases and hype your books, but don’t over-hype, which can be self-defeating. My best advice for an author with no following is to wait until you have a series before publishing and then consider putting the first in the series in Amazon’s KDP Select. This gives Amazon exclusive rights to e-pub it for 90 days. In return Amazon gives you 5 days to give it away for free and your book can also be borrowed and you get money for those borrows.  If you’ve followed steps one through four, sales for those second and third books will trickle in once readers ‘discover’ you. Also, you’ll collect reviews. Good reviews are like gold because they allow you to advertise on the bigger websites that draw readers. Bookbub, ENT, POI are three of the biggest. But they are also the most competitive.

8.      Give it time. Your books don’t have a shelf life, so you have time to build your audience.

9.      Do not look at your sales more than once a day. Some authors say once a week, but I like to have a better idea of what’s what, so I record sales once a day in the morning.

10.  Keep writing. A year ago it took three books to get consistent sales. Now it takes six or seven, and due to rising competition, that number will continue to go up. You need to continue adding new work to stay viable. 

      Sandy Loyd is a Western girl through and through. Born and raised in Salt Lake City, she's worked and lived in some fabulous places in the US, including South Florida. She now resides in Kentucky and writes full time. As much as she loves her current hometown, she misses the mountains and has to go back to her roots to get her mountain and skiing fix at least once a year.

      As a sales rep for a major manufacturer, she’s traveled extensively throughout the US, so she has a million stored memories to draw from for her stories. She spent her single years in San Francisco and considers that city one of America's treasures, comparable to no other city in the world. Her California Series, starting out with Winter Interlude, are all set in the Bay Area.  

      Sandy is now an empty nester. To date, she has published eight books – four contemporary romances, four romantic mystery/suspense /thrillers. All of her stories are heartwarming and consist of fun characters, who, like single people everywhere, are seeking that someone special to share their lives with among thousands of eligible candidates.  She always tries to weave a warm love story into her work, while providing enough twists and turns to entertain any reader. 

      Currently, she’s working on a time travel novel that takes her heroine back to Louisville, KY just before Churchill Downs came into being and the Kentucky Derby was formed. She hopes to have Time Will Tell out in April.  To see a list of her current books, check out her Amazon page at


A Matter of Trust by Sandy Loyd

      Tired of living in fear of an abusive ex-husband, Cat Tyler is taking charge of life by learning to fly. Unfortunately, she discovers what true fear really is when her cross-country flight ends in a forced landing. Now she’s trapped in the Montana wilderness with her flight instructor, Josh Buchannan—a jerk who’s been riding her butt since she first stepped into the cockpit.  She definitely doesn’t like the attraction that has sprung up between them. Worse, someone is trying to kill them.

      Josh doesn’t wait to find out why they’ve become a target—or who’s behind it. Instinct takes over and Josh spirits Cat away to safety.  Yet, while on the run, he discovers that an incident from his past, one he’s tried to forget, connects him to Cat.  He was in charge of a failed mission in which her parents lost their lives.  Is this her twisted way of getting revenge? Josh can’t trust Cat, but he protects her as they narrowly escape fiery graves, not once but twice. 

      Unwittingly, the two are fighting more than trust or attraction.  An unknown terrorist cell has unleashed its secret weapon—a human Trojan horse—which gives a new meaning to terror. 

      As Cat and Josh struggle to stay alive, their trust in each other is threatened at every turn. Josh senses Cat’s somehow involved in this mess and works doubly hard to keep his attraction to her under control.  Still, he craves her belief in his innocence, impossible once she discovers the truth about his involvement in her parents’ deaths.

      As they work together to uncover the plot that threatens western civilization, they must come to grips with the past in order to create a relationship built on mutual trust in the future.


  1. That cat made me laugh! And too right!

  2. Thanks, Mysti for having me today. I love the cat too, mainly because it says how I feel about self-promoting so eloquently.

    1. My pleasure! I just love that cat, and making memes has been too fun!!!

  3. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I've been thinking about putting one book out indie style because I love the idea but don't know that a publishing house will. I've definitely learned something new.

  4. Great tips Sandy.I especially liked number 4 and number 8. I'd never thought to consider how the cover looks as a thumbnail but that is really necessary in today's market. And I love number 8 - no shelf life....aaaagh relax! Great tips.

  5. Really enjoyed the post. There are great tips here for indie or traditional pub'd authors. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  6. Great tips Sandy. Thanks for sharing.


  7. Great advice, Sandy. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Thanks for the tips, Sandy. I'm looking to get my feet wet soon.

  9. Thanks for the tips, Sandy. They made a lot of sense. I wish I'd worked on a 2nd manuscript before sending out my first one.

  10. I'm glad so many of you find the tips helpful. If any of you have any questions once you decide to jump in, I'd be happy to help. I've had a lot of help and like so many of my fellow writers, I'm always eager to pass on what I've learned. You can go to my website and email from there.

  11. Thanks for sharing the tips, Sandy. Best wishes with the release.


***NOTICE*** Thanks to a spam bot infestation, every comment must now be subjected to a full-body search. If you pass, you can skip the anal probing...maybe.