Before I even started writing this novel, I knew there was zero chance a traditional publisher would even consider releasing this book. Based on some publishing houses’ new position of Sensitivity Reader, I was pretty sure Alicia Williams and friends would quickly find themselves on the rejection pile.
I had self-published my first two novels, The Field and Midnight House, and I had had a great working relationship with BookBaby. I knew I wanted to work with them again, but I wanted to ensure they would publish The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female, as is. After looking at their Terms of Service, I knew my book was in the clear. Alicia Williams was on her way to publication!
My first two novels were published as a paperback and an eBook. For this one, since the option was available, I decided to publish The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female, as an eBook and as an audiobook.
For the eBook, I uploaded the completed manuscript, book cover, book blurb, and author bio and was asked for metadata for use by Amazon and other sites. Once the process begins, you can’t make changes to the manuscript, so it’s important that whatever you submit is exactly what you want to have published.
A couple of weeks later, BookBaby sends up suggested revisions for your blurb, bio, and metadata, and you can choose to accept the changes, reject the changes, or make new changes yourself. I did a hybrid of the two and resubmitted. I liked some of what was suggested, but the story’s essence was lost in how BookBaby had rewritten the blurb. It’s not their fault; they hadn’t read the book and didn’t know the sexual nature of the story.
With the changes completed, I submitted the items back and waited for the initial proof of the eBook.
Meanwhile, I had also submitted the same stuff (completed manuscript, book cover, book blurb, and author bio and was asked for metadata for use by Amazon and other sites) for the audiobook. This was a new experience and one I was excited about.
After all my info was uploaded, I was given dozens of A.I. voice options that could be used to read the book. I sampled several before I settled on the voice used for the audiobook version. After all, this would be “the voice” of Alicia Williams. I wanted to make sure it sounded like how I pictured her voice in my mind.
I wanted to make sure both versions of The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female, were released at the same time, so I had to wait to approve the proofs for both on the same day. Even when I had the eBook proof ready to approve and be completed, I had to hold out to get the audiobook at 100% before both were greenlit for publication.
When I got the first version of the audiobook and pressed play, it was a surreal experience. A woman was reading my book back to me! It was really neat to hear the story told to me by someone else. But this wasn’t just a snapshot of author narcissism; I had to listen to ensure the voice pronounced words correctly.
It was about 90% spot-on, but some words were totally wrong in how they were pronounced, and I had to submit the phonetic versions to BookBaby to correct them. I was glad this wasn’t a fantasy novel since I’m sure the pronunciations would have been a challenge to get right.
The one word that took the longest to get right was “asshole,” which the audiobook voice kept pronouncing as “ash-ole.” I Googled how to say the word phonetically and was given this: [AS] + [HOHL]. I submitted it, and the voice said it correctly.
Boom! The audiobook and eBook were approved and ready for publication.
I was asked to choose a publication date and picked Tuesday, November 7. I picked this date for two reasons: 1) Most new books are released on Tuesdays, and 2) It was Election Day, and part of the book takes place on Election Day, so it was a fitting release date.
Now, I had two versions of the book headed toward publication and an official release date. It was time to get the word out that The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female, was about to be unleashed worldwide.
Next time, we’ll talk about marketing, social media, and what I did to tell people about The Sexual Misadventures of Alicia Williams, Alpha Female.
See you next week!