#298 – Word-of-Mouth Marketing with Alison G. Bailey

In this episode, we are joined by Alison G. Bailey, award-winning author of contemporary romance and new adult novels that are full of emotional narratives with a focus on love, laughter, and romance. Alison’s latest novel, Forever Perfect, is the latest instalment in her Perfect Series, released earlier this year.

In this episode, we are joined by Alison G. Bailey, award-winning author of contemporary fiction and new adult novels that are full of emotional narratives with a focus on love, laughter, and romance. Alison’s newest novel, Forever Perfect, is the latest instalment in her Perfect Series, released earlier this year.

We chatted with Alison about her writing career, her life in Charleston, how she got started right at the beginning of the indie publishing boom over a decade ago, her success via word-of-mouth marketing, her background and experience writing for the stage, and much more.

  • Alison talks about her experience becoming an avid reader and writer in 2012, and what spurred her motivation to start a writing career
  • She speaks openly about the differences between publishing indie in 2012 vs. independent publishing today
  • Alison discusses her success via word-of-mouth marketing, and how that kind of marketing has evolved over the last decade
  • We chat about her early interest in writing dialogue, and how to write great dialogue that sounds natural and effective
  • She tells us where she gets her inspiration for her books – by discussing topics that are important to her, and being inspired by aspects of her own life
  • Alison goes into detail regarding her writing and editing process, and how it has developed over time – and how working with an editor has helped her career
  • We hear about how Alison reads, and how she balances her critical, editorial eye while reading
  • Alison gives us more information about her next book, and the research that went into it
  • And lots more!

Useful Links

Alison on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and TikTok

Alison’s website

Forever Perfect

The Perfect Series

Alison’s books on Kobo

Mentioned in this episode:

The Assistant by Marni Mann

The Lawyer by Marni Mann

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Alison G. Bailey is an award winning, Amazon and International bestselling author living in Charleston, South Carolina. At an early age she fell in love with writing, reworking scenes from her favorite TV shows and movies with new dialogue. Alison wrote and produced several stage plays before turning her sights on the book world.

Under the influence of a copious amount of Diet Pepsi and nonstop listening to her Spotify playlists, Alison writes unique emotional stories full of love, laughter, and romance.

Episode Transcript

Transcription by www.speechpad.com

Joni: Hey writers, you’re listening to the Kobo Writing Life podcast where we bring you insights and inspiration for growing your self-publishing business. We’re your hosts. I’m Joni, author, relations manager at Kobo Writing Life.

Rachel: And I’m Rachel promotion specialist at Kobo Writing Life.

Joni: Today’s guest is Alison G. Bailey, who is an award winning and international bestselling author living in Charleston, South Carolina. At an early age she fell in love with writing, reworking scenes from her favorite TV shows and movies. Under the influence of a copious amount of Diet Pepsi and nonstop listening to Spotify, Alison writes unique emotional stories full of love, laughter, and romance.

Rachel: And aside from the wonderful conversation we had with Alison about her career and about writing, the main takeaway that Joni and I have from this interview is that we need to visit Charleston, South Carolina as soon as possible. I have the Charleston website open on my laptop right now. If you have Charleston recs, hit us up, we’re planning a visit. But otherwise, we had a wonderful conversation with Alison, we talked about how she got started in indie publishing kind of right when indie publishing was becoming a thing back in 2013. And how her first book kind of just took off from word of mouth and inspired her to pursue a career in writing. We also talked about her background in theater and how that inspires her writing. We talked about her process, her latest release, it was a really fun conversation, and we hope you enjoy.

Joni: We’re here today with Alison G. Bailey, thank you so much for joining us, Alison.

Alison: Thank you for having me. I really appreciate it.

Joni: So for any listeners that are unfamiliar with your work, can you tell us a little bit about you and the type of books that you write?

Alison: Well, I write mainly contemporary romance, new adult romance, I do have a couple of rom coms. And I do have a YA romance, then I have some other books that are like women’s fiction.

Joni: And how did you get started with publishing? Were you always indie? Did you plan to publish independently from the beginning?

Alison: I’ve always been indie. Actually, I started this kind of on a fluke. I had been reading. And I haven’t been a long time reader either. I’ve probably started reading like real heavily 2012-ish. And I was in a book club group on Facebook. And there are some people in that group that… they had started writing. I didn’t know anything about indie, I didn’t know what a beta reader was. I didn’t know what a book blogger was. I was not in the book world. And I was talking to one of them, just kind of by happenstance, and she… I had told her that when I was in college, I had written and directed some plays, that I really enjoyed writing the plays. And I said, “But I never thought about doing this, like for a career, or even writing books.” And she said, “Well, why don’t you give it a try, since you enjoy writing the plays?” So I thought, “Okay, I’ll give it a try.”

So I started about three times trying to write the book. And the fourth time, I actually kept writing the book. But I still didn’t know if I was gonna publish. That first book, every step, I decided what I was gonna do when I got to that step. So it was like I wrote it, okay, now I’ll get it edited. And my editor at the time, I didn’t realize that she was handing it off to a group of beta readers that she had got. I good feedback from that. And so then I thought, “Well, I guess I’ll need a cover.” So I got the cover. And then I decided, “Well, I might just go ahead and publish it.”

So it came out in 2013. And it was just overwhelming. I don’t know how the word got out about the book. Because it was really big time word-of-mouth. That yeah, I had people messaging me that I didn’t know and I would get on Facebook. And I would see, like, these long posts about the book and how people were crying while reading the book. And so it just kind of snowballed from there.

Rachel: So after getting such like warm reception from your first book, which is always so exciting, what spurred you to keep writing and turn this into a career?

Alison: Well, there was a character from the first book that was a jerk in the first book, but I loved writing him. And I thought, “Well, you know, maybe I’ll write a second book and make it his story.” And I just, you know, it was one of those things I didn’t even know I would write a second book. I think because the first book was so well received. Now I also have my credits. People were very…they either loved the hero in the first book or they hated the first hero in the first book. So there’s no gray area.

So anyway, and you know, it was successful and it sold. So I thought, “Well, I could make some money just sitting in my condo and coming up with stories. ” And I did enjoy the whole process once I got to the end of it. The reaction to the book was overwhelming. But like I said I did. I enjoyed the writing part and the research part that I had to do for certain things in the book.

Joni: So you really were right there at the beginning when self-publishing was just really taking off.

Alison: Yeah, the Golden Age.

Joni: Yeah. How do you find it compares to publishing today? Do you think it’s more difficult to get started now that the market is saturated? Or is it easier because there’s so much information out there?

Alison: I think on one hand, it’s easier for a writer to start because there is so much information, you know, back in 2012-2013. I mean, it was basically, if you knew somebody that had written a book, then you’d ask them, or you found a group of authors on Facebook. I do think it’s harder now. Because there are so many, especially in romance. And like I said, it’s harder to get seen. I think to, you know, the ones that started back when I started, it was sort of a more organic readership that you got. I mean, there wasn’t Instagram, back then. There was mainly Facebook. And I think bloggers, a lot of bloggers were getting started then. So that helped everyone. But yeah, I do. I don’t know if I could do it today, because of how hard it is to get seen. Not that it’s impossible. But you just have to work harder at the marketing part.

Joni: Yeah, it’s a different landscape. Did you do any marketing for that first book? Or was it as you said, mostly word-of-mouth and organic reach?

Alison: It was just organic. I didn’t know. I did do a blog tour. But this was after it had been out for a little bit. And TV blogs at the time, had picked up the book and read it and gave it good reviews. So I think it was just more word-of-mouth, and people sharing…you know, sometimes, like now, I don’t know, if people like to talk about books like they used to. I was talking to a blogger last week and she was saying, too, she said, “I miss the days when we just talked about the books.” And I said, “Yeah.” So like I said, I think today, you’d have to be more focused on advertising, like Facebook ads, Amazon ads.

Joni: Yeah, I think that’s absolutely true. But I will also say that it comes up again and again, on this podcast, that word-of-mouth is still I think the number one way that people find out about books and buying books. And that’s how I find out about books for sure. But yeah, I think you’re right, I think you can’t quite just put your book out into the world now you better do so.

Alison: I think if you do it word-of-mouth, I think it’s good because usually that will be somebody that may be you know, and so well, if they like it, you know, it might be a friend or even someone you just know on Facebook.

Joni: Or librarians also, I think do a lot of book recommendations.

Alison: Yeah.

Rachel: So what does your marketing plan look like now? Because obviously, it’s had to change and adjust as the market changes. So how do you prepare for a book launch now?

Alison: Well, I have a publicist now. And we do sign ups, you know, we still do the cover reveal make that a big deal. Of course, there’s TikTok. We do that now. And so it’s mainly trying to get new readers, you know, we do like a art giveaway and reach out to new blogs, and influencers. So it’s really that or do podcasts like this, you know, to try and reach more readers, and new readers.

Joni: How’s your experience been with TikTok? We’re hearing more and more about it on this podcast and we’re always interested.

Alison: Well, I wanna confess to you, my niece do my TikTok.

Joni: That’s exactly how you should do it though. Like, those are the people that know about TikTok.

Alison: She’s 26 and knows how to do everything.

Joni: That’s awesome.

Alison: But even on…like she just started doing that for me last month. And so I noticed a difference. I mean, I am getting more followers and more likes, but I’m still a babe in the woods about that. I focus a lot on Instagram. And then my reader group that I have on Facebook.

Joni: How does your reader group work? Is it like a book club or is it more just people that are fans of your book that wanna talk about them?

Alison: It started out as… this lady that started it. It started out like a support group for that first book. And then it’s grown into…some people have, you know, read all of my books, some people are just finding me, maybe I’m gonna take over in a group, and they wanna know more about my books and stuff. So it’s a little mix of everything.

Rachel: I just kind of wanna take it back a little bit and talk about your writing process and how you got started. Because in your bio, you talk about how you started writing by reworking the dialogue and scenes of your favorite TV shows, and then moved on to writing plays. So how has this kind of influenced how you approach writing books?

Alison: I think because I love doing the dialogue. And I see the book in my head before anybody else reads it. So, you know, I think the plays…that was my favorite part of plays is doing dialogue. So I do I think that that’s, you know, when I was a little girl, I would look at different shows, and I would think in my head about being the main character, and well, I would change it to, you know, for it to get this way or that way.

Rachel: Can I asked which shows were the most influential on your take?

Alison: Well, y’all are probably too young to remember this. But my number one show was “The Bionic Woman.”

Rachel: It’s a good show. It’s a classic.

Alison: Well, see I think it’s a classic too. And the original “Bionic Woman,” I think they tried to bring her back a few years ago, and that didn’t work.

Joni: That’s a really fun writing exercise. Like, I think a lot of writers struggle with dialogue, or they find it the most challenging, or maybe the most tedious part of writing. Do you have any tips for people about how to make dialogue really great and realistic?

Alison: I think you have to trust that the reader will find that rhythm in your dialogue. I know a lot of writers out there think they need to put, like, you know, she said, she said, So readers know, like who’s talking. And you do have to do that sound. But I think, like I said, I think you should trust that the reader will…they will know. And write like people talk you know.. I mean, I’ve read something where I think people don’t really talk like that. So…

Joni: Yeah, definitely. Do you read out loud? Or do you go through any kind of process to see how it sounds?

Alison: I usually go back and have the computer read it. And I see how it is. Or I’ll go over it in my head several times to try and get the rhythm of it. It’s weird when I’ve had audiobooks, because I hear it one way in my head. And then the narrator, for the most part, gets it. But there’ll be some times where it’s like, “Well, I wouldn’t I have said it that way?”

Rachel: And when it comes to your writing process of actually sitting down and writing the book, do you find that you tend to focus on dialogue first, and then kind of fill in the rest? Or are you able to sit down and write out the whole book at once.

Alison: Usually, how I start is I’ll start with like a subject matter that I’m interested in, or that I feel like needs to, like have a light shone on it. And then I’ll sort of work the love story around that. And I go all over the place. Sometimes I start at the very beginning, sometimes I just have sections of dialogue in another document. And I’ll notate, “Okay, I want her to say this at this point.” But sometimes I’ve started, like, just writing scenes that I know I wanna put in the middle of the book, or even go ahead and write the end of the book first.

Rachel: So when you have all of these, like scenes in your head, and then like disparate scenes on paper, how do you bring them all together? Do you find, like, you just write a whole bunch of scenes, and that’s your first draft? I’m so curious. I love talking about writing processes.

Alison: My first draft is a lot of junk. So it might be the narrative part. And I’ll make a note. Well, I want it to end up like this. But, like, I don’t know, yet, like the details of how I want it to end up like this. So that first draft, I always have to go back. And when I go back that’s when I see if I’ve written some dialogue, that’s when I’ll go and do my cut and paste and insert it where I want in the book. But, yeah, that first draft is a glorious mess.

Rachel: I think that’s a sign of a good first draft though. So you wanna nice messy first draft to start off right?

Alison: Yeah, and you might not find a lot of authors say this, but I love the editing process. Like, once I get it done, you know, I’ll do my self-edits. Go back and do that and then I’ll send it off to my editor, so when she sends it back to me, I love sitting there and seeing her notes. And it kind of inspires me to maybe parts of the book that we’re lacking that needed to go a little bit more in-depth. It helps me figure things. And ultimately, I think it makes a better book that maybe I didn’t think about when I was first writing it. But, yeah, that’s probably my favorite part of writing.

Joni: Yeah, it’s nice to be able to fine tune and really perfect, something that and make it exactly what you want to. And I think the editing process is kind of where the magic happens.

Alison: Exactly. Oh, yeah,

Rachel: How many drafts do you usually go through from your, like, first scenes to finished products?

Alison: Now, I go through four drafts. I was trying to count. The first book I wrote, I think I wrote it 10 times, you know, the goal is to get better, the more you do it. So I’ve certainly learned in the seven, eight years that I’ve been doing it, so I don’t have to do as many drafts as I used to.

Joni: Yeah, I think that it’s one of those things where, yeah, you’re gonna get better at it and more efficient, but you’re never gonna be perfect at it? And that’s part of the fun, right? Like, it never stops getting challenging.

Alison: Yeah, you’ll never learn everything. So it’s I mean, I like taking different online webinars or classes, the things that I said, “Well, I’ll get to demonstrate here that I didn’t know about that.” So you’re always learning.

Joni: Yes. And so because you’re you’re kind of genre gnostic, like it’s a lot of contemporary romance, that you’ve explored different genres within that, do you think about the things when you’re going like, I know that you write a lot about mother-daughter relationships, and you have a lot of strong female characters? Where do you start? Is it plot that you start with are you thinking like, “These characters are in my head, I want to explore their relationship, or I want to talk specifically about this thing that’s important to me?”

Alison: Usually, I start with, “I wanna talk about this thing that’s important to me.” And usually, in the books I write, there’s some part of my experience in my personal life, that one of the characters will have that, you know, might be one little thing, or it might be two little things, or the whole character might be based off of me. So I do, I take certain things from my life and decide, “Well, you know, I’d like to explore that, and build on it, just, you know, and see where it goes, to fit the romance in there.”

Rachel: And when you’re taking things from your personal life and inspired by your life, do you find it harder to go through the editorial process when it’s something so close to you? Or do you find it’s kind of therapeutic to barf it all out into a story?

Alison: I think the hardest part is when I’m actually writing it. Like, before it goes to the editor, like when I do the first draft, and then I go back and do the second draft, which is just my edits, that’s part of it. By time I get to my editor’s notes and stuff I think I’ve gotten all my emotions out. It is cathartic, and I’m not a real talkative person. So a lot of my healings that that’s what’s on the page.

Rachel: And, like you said, you start with the idea of what you wanna talk about, at what point do you decide which genre you’re gonna be exploring that topic? Whether it be YA women’s fiction or romance?

Alison: Well, I don’t really…I always hate categories, because I feel like it holds you. You know, somebody might look and see, “Well, that’s women’s fiction. I don’t read women’s fiction.” I really sit down and talk to my publicist and say, “Okay, well, this is, you know, the book, well, this is what happens in the book. This the age of the characters will then that needs to be new adult romance for their older contemporary romance.” If the story is where you could take the romance part out of it and still have a story, that’s more women’s fiction.

Joni: Yeah, I think we’re seeing that more and more is that especially with indie authors, people don’t really want to be siloed into these very specific categories. And there is more space to play around with it and just say, “Well, let’s see what the story develops and see who wants to read it.”

Alison: And I think indie authors, they do, they have…I think they can be more creative. Try things more. You know, if you’re with the publisher, of course the publisher is gonna dictate, to some degree, what you’re writing because they wanna make sure it’s something that they can market.

Joni: Exactly.

Alison: So indie authors, you don’t have to go…you don’t have to approach subjects in a traditional way. You can just try it. And sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t work, but you at least get the chance to, you know, sort of stretch your wings a little bit.

Rachel: And I know you just said you’re not crazy about categorizing and, like, narrowing it down. But is there a sub-genre that you haven’t explored yet in your writing that you would like to try your hand at at some point?

Alison: I don’t know. I’d thought about…because I’ve read some, like romantic suspense. I really liked the books that I’ve read. So if I was gonna try anything, it might be something like that, I would go towards.

Joni: That would be a good challenge, I think, because there’s so much about writing suspenseful novels that’s different. Like, well, you have to build the suspense, you have to go back and drop clues in. And it always seems just a … too challenging.

Alison: Yeah. Well, you have to figure out at the end, you got to keep people, you know, hanging for a while. So like I said, I admire authors that that’s what they write.

Rachel: Well, look out for your next upcoming suspense novel.

Alison: Yeah.

Joni: And so your latest book on Kobo is “Forever Perfect,” is that right?

Alison: Uh-huh.

Joni: Can you tell us a little bit about that book and about the “Perfect” series?

Alison: Well, the first book was “Present Perfect.” And so this is the next generation. So the daughter is the daughter of the couple in “Present Perfect,” and the son is the son from the couple in the second book. And, of course, they meet, they fall in love. But she’s his sister’s best friend. So he’s a little leery about getting involved with that. And also, there’s animosity between the fathers, as she’s very close to her dad. So there’s some push and pull with that. It takes place here in Charleston on Folly Beach. It deals with a few serious topics. But I also try to put humor in my books. I don’t think that, you know, a person can only take so much drama, you got to have something to cut it up. But yeah, like I said, I had fun writing this book.

Joni: And the series is everything’s kind of linked together. But each book can be read on its own right?

Alison: Yeah, each book, I tried to write it. So you get a little bit of backstory. So the reader’s not completely lost, even with “Forever Perfect,” you get an understanding of why the fathers are like they are towards each other. And just certain things, I don’t think I have too many spoilers in that book. So you could go back and read the first book can be okay.

Joni: So how do you keep all that straight in your head when you’re doing these kind of intertwine stories? Like, do you have some kind of schematic where you keep track of everything? Or is it all in your brain?

Alison: You know, I did have to go back and reread some things in “Present Perfect,” and in “Past Imperfect” because it’s been a few years. And usually I know, once the book is out, I don’t read it. Unless I’m looking for, say a quote for a teaser. I mean, I’ve had readers tell me certain lines from a book and I’m thinking, “I don’t even know where that’s from.” But, yeah, I you know, it was a little hard getting back into that world with the parents. Because, you know, they were younger than the initial books. But, you know, I just treat it like anything else. And if I have a question about something, then, you know, I have the books for reference. So, because I mean, I’ve got some readers that have read, “Present Perfect,” and know it better than I know it.

Joni: Yeah, that’s fun. When you have readers who are superfans of your book and know, the whole…everything in the canon, it’s a nice place to be.

Alison: I actually had in my reader group, there was a reader that she posted a quote. And then she said, “Oh, this is my favorite quote.” And I looked at the quote, and I was like, “I think she’s talking about a different author. I think she’s got the books, you know, confused.” But I wasn’t gonna say anything in the group. Well, then another reader posted, “Well, what book is this from?” Somebody said, “Well, ‘Past Imperfect,'” and I’m like, “I don’t even remember that.”

Joni: That’s really funny. “Did I write this?”

Alison: Or I’m seeing quotes that I think, “Man, that’s a good quote.” And then it’s like, “Oh, well, that’s from one of my books.”

Joni: “That’s me being wise.” I love it. What do you think in your years in publishing, what is the best thing that you’ve done for your publishing business?

Alison: Gosh, that’s a hard one.

Joni: I know. It’s a big question.

Alison: I think what I did best, not at the very beginning, somewhere down the line, I started treating it like a business. And, you know, there’s the creative side. And, you know, that’s all well and good, but once you publish, you do become a small business owner. And the first couple of years, I didn’t really treat it that way, I kind of waited around. It’s like, you know, “When will I come up with an idea?” And so I think that probably was the main thing. It’s like it is a business. And you have to treat it like a business.

Joni: I think that’s really solid advice, because I think it’s easy, especially when, like writers are creators, and readers, and sometimes it can be difficult to bring the business side into it and say, “Well, I’m doing my creative thing. I’m expressing myself, but also like, I want this to be my full-time career.” So you do need to figure that part of it out.

Alison: And I mean, if you’re creative, and you have that other that business side to you, that’s fantastic. I didn’t. But, yeah, you don’t find a lot of creative people that are also business people. So…

Joni: What did you do before you were writing?

Alison: Well, I worked in theater. I was a theater major. So I did that right out of college. And then I did medical transcription.

Joni: Oh, no way. Okay, interesting.

Alison: Yeah. So that’s how I learned to type.

Joni: That’s cool. And being in theater’s another very creative area to be in.

Alison: I love theater, I still…there’s nothing, like, going to a live performance, whether it’s musical, or straight play. I just I’m always in awe of, you know, what people can do. It’s like, there’s no electronic manipulation or anything. It’s just, that’s how talented they are.

Rachel: I’m a huge theater person. So I have to ask, do you have a favorite production that you’ve seen?

Alison: I have two, “Wicked” and “Gypsy.” Those are my two favorite musicals.

Rachel: You have excellent taste.

Alison: Yeah. Thank you.

Rachel: And you mentioned off the top that you weren’t a huge reader until shortly before you became a writer. Do you still find time to read while you’re writing? Or when you’re kind of in the zone and writing, do you leave books off to the side?

Alison: I don’t read as much when I’m writing. But I do still read. And then once the book is finished off, I’ll go right back to my old reading self. So I think it’s important for authors to read in their genre, whatever it is. It just, it helps you. It might inspire you. It gives you a flavor of other authors, what they, you know, what their voice is. But yeah, I do. I don’t see how you could be an author and not be a reader.

Rachel: Yeah. When you are reading while you’re writing, do you still read in your genre? Or do you like to read romance not when you’re writing so you’re not influenced by somebody else’s work?

Alison: I still keep reading the genre. I mean, I love… my favorites are “friends to lovers,” and “enemies to lovers.” Like I said earlier, I’ve made a few. I’ve read a few like romance suspense. But, yeah, I still read in that.

Rachel: I asked because we have had authors who are rabid romance readers, but once they start writing, they want to have, like, only their work. So I always find it fascinating how different people’s brains work when it comes to reading while writing.

Joni: My brain can not. I would get influenced, I think.

Alison: When I first started publishing, and I was reading, I think I had more of a critical eye, because I was writing, too. But as the years have gone on, I think kind of I can shut that writer part of me off and just enjoy a book as a reader.

Rachel: I think that’s so impressive that you’re able to do that. I know, Joni and I both have backgrounds in editorial, and sometimes it can be hard to shut that part of your brain off and be able to enjoy something. So it’s always really impressive when people are able to do that.

Alison: Yeah.

Joni: And that leads us nicely into rapid fire book questions. Let’s talk a little bit about what you’ve been reading. And for this one, you are welcome to substitute any book, or play, or show. Let’s make it fun. Do you have a favorite book that you’ve read this year?

Alison: Yes. I love Marni Mann. She was a new author to me, starting last year…

Joni: She’s been on this very podcast.

Alison: I know. I listened to it. She probably thinks I’m stalking her. But, yeah, I read “The Assistant.” She is such a good writer and storyteller. Now, she’s one that kind of keeps you, with some of her books. She kind of keeps you on the edge. And you can’t figure out what’s gonna happen until you get to the end.

Rachel: We do love Marni Mann on this podcast. She was a lovely guest. Do you have a go-to book recommendation when somebody asks you for a book rec. Do you have one that you’re usually, “Yes, you need to read this?”

Alison: Probably “The Bronze Horseman.” And don’t be scared that it’s long, because I didn’t read it for a long time because it was like a 700-page book. But, man, that was a good book. All three of those books are good.

Joni: What was the name again?

Alison: “The Bronze Horseman,” by Paullina Simons.

Rachel: “The Bronze Horseman.”

Alison: Yeah.

Joni: Okay. We will add that. And then you mentioned that your favorite trope is “enemies to lovers” or “friends to lovers.” Do you have a favorite book in that genre? Or in that story?

Alison: Yeah, I can’t think the one off the top of my head.

Joni: Okay, we were putting pressure on you.

Alison: I’ll don’t think that fast. And that’s why I’m not good at rapid fire.

Joni: That’s okay.

Rachel: Joni, I’m going off book on this question.

Joni: Go for it.

Rachel: But you mentioned that those are your favorite tropes. Are they also your favorite tropes to write?

Alison: Yeah, they are. Maybe a little bit more than “enemies to lovers.” But yeah, they aren’t my favorite ones to write.

Rachel: Yeah, “enemies to lovers” tends to have a little more angst, which is a lot of fun.

Alison: Yeah.

Joni: Yeah. And next book on your to read list. Do you have anything that you’re waiting to read?

Alison: Not that I’m waiting to read. But, I mean, I know it might sound like a broken record. But I’m reading “The Lawyer” right now by Marni Mann.

Joni: Awesome.

Alison: So I don’t know what’ll be up next.

Joni: And what are you working on? What can readers expect from you next?

Alison: The next one is going to be a military romance, which I’ve never done before…

Joni: That’s exciting.

Alison: …called “Pieces On The Ground.” And it deals with PTSD. And the way the two characters meet is they are in a surf therapy group for veterans. And that’s all I can tell you.

Rachel: That sounds really interesting.

Joni: Yeah, I like this concept. Was there a lot of research for you involved in writing about that?

Alison: Yeah, I did. And I’m still researching. That’s always one of the big things. And it could be some little thing that nobody else notices, but then I research it to make it accurate and right. So, yeah, I’ve been reading a lot of articles about female veterans that have come back and had PTSD.

Joni: And I’m curious, just that this has come up recently on the podcast is, do you use trigger warnings when you’re writing about sensitive topics? Do you like to give your readers a heads up? Or is it kind of being in a blur?

Alison: I used to not do it. I do it now, not on every book that I have to do it. But, yeah, if there’s a sensitive topic, that’s anywhere in the book, I’ll put right there in the blurb that there’s just sensitive subject matter. So we don’t know nowadays. I mean, some people may look at that. And people go through so many different things and so…

Joni: You wanna take care of your readers.

Alison: Yeah, you wanna it to ultimately be an enjoyable experience for them.

Joni: Definitely. Cool. So we will look out for that book, coming soon. And where can readers find you online?

Alison: I’m everywhere, Facebook, Instagram, and I’ve already talked about TikTok. And I’m Alison G. Bailey on all of them.

Joni: Perfect. And you like the Instagram? That’s your happy place?

Alison: Yeah, you’ll probably seen me post, mostly on Instagram.

Joni: Perfect. We’ll include links to all of those and your books and show notes.

Alison: Thank you.

Joni: Thanks so much for doing this. This is a lot of fun.

Alison: Well, I appreciate you having me on. This was fun.

Joni: Yeah.

Alison: Rapid fire wasn’t too bad.

Joni: Not at all. One day, we’ll turn it around and let someone do it to me and Rachel. And just, you know …

Rachel: That’ll be a nightmare.

Joni: Where you book a segment.

Alison: Then you’ll know what it feels like.

Joni: Exactly.

Rachel: Thank you for listening to the “Kobo Writing Life” podcast. If you’re interested in picking up Alison’s books, we will include links in our show notes. And if you’re enjoying this podcast, please be sure to rate, review, and subscribe.

If you’re looking for more tips on growing your self-publishing business, you can find us at kobowritinglife.com and be sure you are following us on all of the socials. We are @KoboWritingLife on Facebook and Twitter, and @kobo.writing.life on Instagram.

Joni: This episode is produced by Joni Di Placido and Rachel Wharton. Our editor is Kelly Robotham. Our theme music is composed by Tear Jerker, and a big thank you to Alison G. Bailey for being our guest today. If you’re ready to start your self-publishing journey, you can sign up for free at kobo.com/writinglife. Until next time, happy writing.