Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guest Post: Caitlin Hensley and Self Publishing

Sunny here: Caitlin Hensley comes to us from her blog Pen Over Sword to chat about her experience with self publishing. If you'd like to guest post on SOI, feel free to send me an email and we can talk about ideas. Let's give a warm virtual round of applause to Caitlin!

Around September of last year, I had recently finished writing a series of five books. They were edited to the best of my ability, and so far I’d only let my younger sister and a friend read them. I got really pumped up and sent off query letters to multiple agents. But my precious Paranormal Legacy kept getting rejected, because, according to the agents, the paranormal genre was dead. That really stung, because I cared a lot about my characters and their story, and I wanted other people to read my books.

For about two months, I kept reading my books, editing them endlessly. I lost my writing spark, because I was just rewriting the same five books over and over, and creating nothing new.

Then I thought of self-publishing. Why not publish PL that way? It might be a lot of work, but at least I could reach potential readers and allow them to meet Haily and all the rest.

So I researched, asked questions, and polished PL. I set the release date for March 6, 2013, which gave me a deadline. I learned how to design a cover, format the interior pages, and how to market and promote my work.

I published through CreateSpace and KDP, both of which looked challenging at first, but weren't actually as bad I expected.

And so, finally, after writing PL’s first draft six years earlier, and learning as much about self-publishing as I could, I became a published author.

Being an indie writer isn’t easy. Every time I decide to publish a new book, I have to design the entire book myself, promote it on my own, and edit until the book is ready for its release. As long as you don’t mind doing all that on your own, I definitely recommend self-publishing. It’s fun, and, of course, there’s the added bonus of being able to reach for a book on my shelf, crack open the front cover, and see Haily’s world stretching out before my eyes.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to let us know in the comments below. And thanks, Sunny, for having me on your blog! :)

Caitlin Hensley has been telling stories since she learned to hold a pen, and is pretty much obsessed with writing. When not typing frantically on her laptop, she’s usually clogging, catching up on reruns of her favorite TV shows, or getting lost in a great book. By day, she’s currently attending a two-year program to become certified in graphic communications, and at night, teaches classes on blogging at a nearby college. Caitlin lives in rural Oklahoma with her family and a slightly nutty Chihuahua.


  1. I'm a year late but I'm excited to read this post :) I'm kind of weighing my thoughts on traditional pub vs self pub, as I work on my book! I am so glad Caitlin had a good self publishing experience, I'm sure it was not at all easy!

    1. It's never too late to comment! Thanks for stopping by.

      It's a ridiculously hard decision to decide the merits of self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. If you're interested the blog Go Teen Writers wrote a really good post comparing the two.
      Here's the link:


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