D.T. Dyllin hasn’t been in the self-publishing business for very long. In fact, she only caught the writing bug only a few years ago when self-publishing began to gain industry traction. Dyllin used the surge of new online resources to research the changing landscape of self-publishing and spoke with other indie authors about their experiences. Now she’s a successful author with a hefty backlist. Dyllin credits her success with “watching what did and didn’t work for other authors and building a business model for my own career goals.” Publishers Weekly gave her latest title, Starblind, a positive review saying that “Dyllin hits all the right notes in this light SF romance” and that “fans of both paranormal romance and space opera will find this a refreshing mix of the two.”

Dyllin cautions other indie authors against spending money willy-nilly: “I wasted a ton of money on a lot of little things in the beginning, like book swag. I wish someone had told me that most book swag gets lost in the shuffle and is pointless. It’s a money pit that doesn’t necessarily result in more book sales. Money is better spent on making sure you’re putting out a quality product, and more of it, than hyping it with bookmarks and other cute do-dads.” Dyllin emphasizes putting money into the book itself. Similarly, she was surprised at how much a cover sells a book. A good cover, she says, can make a debut author a bestseller. Dyllin is currently working on a standalone romance titled Black Bird, to be release in July.

We asked Dyllin for her tips for aspiring indie authors:

Business Savvy

“Self-publishing is a business. You must treat is as such. Even if you’re hitting bestseller lists and making a decent amount of money, your business model is a failure if you’re spending more money than you’re receiving. You need to look at the bottom line if you want to have a successful career.”

Don’t Cut Corners

“You get what you pay for. That means if you don’t pay for quality covers, editors etc., you’re going to have a shoddy product, even if you’re a talented writer. Don’t fail by thinking you can do everything yourself or cut corners.

Find Your Own Path

“Go with your gut. If something feels wrong then don’t do it, no matter how many people tell you that it’s the way to go. Maybe it just isn’t going to work for you. Every writer has their own path. The same goes if something feels right and everyone is telling you that you’re crazy. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. But at the same time, don’t gamble with anything you can't afford to lose."