Today I would like to introduce you to Dylan J. Morgan, independent author of horror, dystopia and science fiction. Welcome to my blog for today’s Indie Spotlight, Dylan.
Now living and working in Norway, Dylan J. Morgan was born in New Zealand and raised in the United Kingdom. He writes during those rare quiet moments amid a hectic family life: after dark, with limited sustenance, and when his creative essence is plagued the most by tormented visions.
He is the multi-genre author of eleven books, all available exclusively to Amazon. Focusing on Horror, Post-Apocalyptic Dystopia, and sometimes a hint of Science-Fiction, his books cater for those readers who enjoy a dark, terrifying journey into worlds where a happy ending is seldom seen.
If you’re searching for that light at the end of the tunnel then stop looking—you won’t find it here.
Contact Dylan here:
So now we know a little bit about you let’s find out what you think about Indie publishing.
What made you decide to publish your books independently?
After putting so many hours, weeks, months, into creating a story it’s always a good feeling to have that work accepted by a publisher. It’s the goal of most authors, including my own when I started writing back in 2003. What follows next, however, is another round of edits, the allocation of cover art that you might not even like, and a wait for the novel to be published on said publishing house’s schedule. Potentially even more annoying is that once your book is available for readers, the publisher moves on to its next project and you’re often left to do the marketing and promotion virtually on your own.
So, basically, it boiled down to realizing that I could produce a much better product on my own than any publisher could deliver and—more importantly for me—I would have full control over everything: edits, cover art, and publishing date. In my own experience, being published by a publishing house was unrewarding and I had to do all the hard work anyway.
Sounds like it was a good choice. What are the benefits of being an indie author?
I have freedom and full control over everything I create. I can write what I want when I want without being tied down to deadlines or the decisions and creative directions of others. I select my own trusted proofreader who always ensures my work is as polished as it can be. And I hire my own artist, a company that delivers awesome covers that capture the essence of my story perfectly.
Sure, I have to pay for the proofreader and the artist, so I’m laying out money before the book has even been published, but I can sit here with a smile on my face and say that I am 110% satisfied with the finished product. I’m not a perfectionist, but this is my work, my “blood sweat and tears”, my time spent away from my loving family, so I’ll be damned if someone I don’t know decides when it’s released and what it looks like.
What challenges do indie authors face?
I think one of the biggest problems for indie authors is a saturated market. Amazon has created a wonderful opportunity for independent authors by giving them a platform from which to get published and have readers find their work. But if you look through the available books on Amazon, in whatever genre you like, you’ll find it’s crowded with countless books by countless authors. Without the luxury of being a household name like King, for example, it’s hard for indie authors to be spotted by readers. Having a great marketing scheme and promotional tools can help a lot with this problem, but that’s a whole different kind of challenge.
Yes, people despise marketing, but without it you really have no chance getting people to read anything. What advice would you give to inspiring indie authors?
Read a lot, in particular from your own chosen genre and peer group. Reading your own genre is a given, but do not solely read the big name authors. Read indie authors; get a feel for the concepts and writing styles among those who you’ll be sharing space with on Amazon. Support your fellow indie author—yes, it’s a saturated market, but if you support your fellow indie they will in turn support you.
Be professional, even if you’re technically not. Do not be content with your own editing and do not (unless you’re awesome at Photoshop, of course) design your own cover art. Hire a proofreader, hire a cover artist: make the book the best it can possibly be, inside and out, before releasing it into the world.
Accept one-star reviews because you will get them—everyone gets them, and they’re nothing to get down about. I think a lot of today’s generation has a short attention span, so for a reader to write a review about your book without immediately turning their attention onto something else, is positive even if it might not immediately feel like it.
I think you are very wise not designing your own book covers. They are definitely one of the most important aspects when it comes to drawing in a reader. I particularly love the cover of Highland Cove – it’s very creepy!! The cover of The Sickness is terrifying!
What have you learned from being an indie author?
An independent author … self-published … it all sounds so isolated, like it’s a lonely expedition through a torn and barren wilderness. One of the things I’ve learned from being an indie author is that there are loads of other writers out there, walking the same path as me. And while I’ve already mentioned that this saturation can be a challenge, it’s also comforting to know that I’m not alone on my journey.
The other thing I’ve learned is what an amazing group of people indie authors are. There’s so much talent out there, so many great stories—avid readers of any genre are genuinely spoiled for choice. The support I have gotten from my fellow indie authors is flattering and humbling, and I find myself surrounded by people I’m grateful to call friends. Okay, so they’re not physical friends, but online friends, but in this digital world of Kindle, eBooks, and social media, my indie author friends are the best.
That’s great! It’s fantastic that everyone in the community is so supportive of one another. So, final question for today:
What can we look forward to seeing from you in 2021?
Honestly, I’m glad 2020 is finally over. I know everyone has had their challenges and set-backs, but my hours spent writing each week has gone down over the past twelve months, whether because of the pandemic or just life, so for me personally last year was disappointing. With that said I am currently writing a novel, and it’s about a quarter of the way completed. I don’t divulge what my current works-in-progress are about, but even I wonder why I haven’t written a full-length novel about this subject before. I would like to have it ready for release in late 2021 but I think a more realistic outcome would be a 2022 release.
One of the most important things to do in 2021 is to have fun because 2020 totally sucked. The entire world needs to relax, be happy, and stay safe. Hopefully then we can all live the lives we want.
Well, thank you very much for joining me today, Dylan. I hope you have a better 2021 than 2020 and good luck with your novel!
5 Books by Dylan J. Morgan
View all Dylan’s books here: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156560.Dylan_J_Morgan
Highland Cove Sanatorium sits abandoned on a desolate island one mile off the Scottish mainland. It’s a dark, foreboding place, filled with nightmares. Even darker are the asylum’s secrets: a history of disease and mental illness, macabre experiments and murder.
The tales of ghostly appearances are said to be more fact than fiction, but no one has ever documented the phenomenon. Codie Jackson aims to change all that. Arriving from London with his small independent film crew, they plan to make a documentary that will forever change their lives.
But when one of the crew disappears, things begin to spiral out of control. A storm closes in to ravage the island, and in the darkness Highland Cove’s true horrors are revealed. Now lost within the institution’s labyrinthine corridors, Codie and his team realize that their nightmare is only just beginning.
Buy Highland Cove here:
Add Highland Cove to your To Be Read list here:
The Dead Lands
Lane is a bounty hunter for Erebus’ corrupt government, his life a constant battle against past demons. Framed for murder, Lane is offered one option to avoid the death penalty: rejoin the army and partake in a covert operation to the apocalyptic world of Hemera, Erebus’ sister planet.
A century after the nuclear conflict that ended mankind’s third age, Hemera has now sent a distress signal to its sister: the president has awoken, and he’s calling for aid. Early intelligence reports indicate the mission will be straightforward, that Hemera is a vacant shell with all forms of life and hostility extinguished.
They are wrong.
Bandits control the dead lands, but there are things much worse waiting for Lane and his squadron once they enter the city walls. Having lived with the nightmares of his shattered past, Lane must now face the mutated horrors of mankind’s future in the toughest battle of his life.
Buy The Dead Lands here
Add The Dead Lands to your To Be Read list here:
The Dead City
Nuclear war devastated the planet of Hemera and shattered its main city, Magna. A century later, its sister planet, Erebus, despatched a team of soldiers to the city to rescue Hemera’s president and restore that world to its former glory. What the reconnaissance team found however was a violent mutated population—all they discovered there was death. Now, four weeks after the final mayday call from her decimated soldiers, Erebus has sent a larger force to Hemera’s surface. Colonel Paden is coming with them, but his desires go way beyond the rescue of the surviving recon team. A mountain of jewels and gold is rumoured to lie buried beneath the presidential palace, and Paden is here to claim the wealth he believes is due to him.
Dropped into an unforgiving world, Ryan and the other soldiers of Erebus Superior Armed Forces soon discover everything is not as they thought. Magna’s population is more deadly than they could ever have imagined, their Colonel more corrupt than they’d ever known. Seeking refuge in the president’s underground bunker, the combatants are forced to sacrifice everything just to stay alive.
Bandit clans control Hemera’s dead lands and they’ve surrounded Magna in an effort to claim the fortune that belongs to their planet. Mutants control the city streets, but all they want is the taste of human flesh. Trapped inside the dead city, Ryan must fight against a mutated population—against the greed, betrayal, and hatred of those who stand at his side—in a desperate battle for survival.
Buy The Dead City here:
Add The Dead City to Goodreads here:
A husband confronted by his jealous wife . . . an old man abandoned so his grandson can claim his inheritance . . . a fifteen year-old boy disowned because of his handicap. All of them are dead. All of them have returned. And they have come for revenge.
James Harris is thirty-six years old, divorced, and has a sixteen-year-old rebellious daughter to contend with. His chaotic life is thrown into further turmoil with the phone call bearing news that his parents have died in tragic circumstances. Forced home to attend the funeral, James steps back into a world he’d tried so hard to forget.
Nash is a small farming community in rural England: picturesque and serene, but it has secrets—violent, horrific, depraved secrets. Wanting to keep their business hidden, someone is not about to let James leave. But when an unexpected visitor arrives in the village searching for James, things take a horrific turn for the worst and he is forced to face the horrors of his past if he is to have any hope of survival.
Buy The Sickness here:
Add The Sickness to your Goodreads list here:
The human race teeters on the brink of extinction in a solar system choking under the glare of a dying sun. An assassin for the Martian Interstellar Correction Agency, Steele has one more assignment to complete before a big payoff and the chance of a new life: a job that will reveal the true horrors of mankind’s futile existence and threaten the very people who make his life worth living.
As mankind draws its final breath, what would you do to save your family?
Add to your To Be Read list here:
Who’s next on Indie Spotlight?
Darby Harn will be stepping into the Indie Spotlight on 4th February 2021. His latest book Ever the Hero is a Sci-Fi superhero story with a female protagonist.
3 thoughts on “Indie Spotlight – Dylan J. Morgan”
Lovely to see Dylan here, our readers all enjoy his books.
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I’m a Dylan fan! I think I’ve read all these books. Thanks so much for hosting him, Sue!
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I am about to read my first!! Thanks for visiting!
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