Tuesday, July 5, 2016

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with D.J. Adamson, author of 'Suppose'

Award Winner at the Midwest Book Festival and Nominated for a Clue Award in Suspense, DJ Adamson is the author of the Lillian Dove Mystery series and the mystery/science fiction trilogy Deviation. Author, instructor, she is also Vice President for the Central Coast Sisters in Crime and Membership Director for Sisters in Crime, Los Angeles. She is an active member of Mystery Writers of America.

Her latest book is the mystery/suspense, SUPPOSE.
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About the Book:

What did he want to know about me?”

“If you were still alive.”

Connivers, murder, and the international shipment of drugs unites the local PDs and the Federal Government, and drags Lillian into a hailstorm of manipulation and danger, whereby she is given two choices: Join? Or die trying?

For More Information

  • SUPPOSE is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.

Before you started writing your book, what kind of research did you do to prepare yourself?

My family roots are from the Iowa area where I set the Lillian Dove series. While I was born in Oregon, I still have much family there.  Each time I visited, I made sure to visit areas I was not familiar with and kept a journal.  I am also lucky to have connections with rural police stations.

Did you pursue publishers or did you opt to self-pub?

Many thought I was nuts not to continue with the publishers showing interest with this series. However, I am my own worse boss with schedules, goals, etc., and at this point in life, I didn’t want more stress.  Having a business background in sales and marketing and having taught writing at a college level for the last seventeen years, Indie Publishing seemed the best fit for me, and it has nicely worked. The research I did in this area said, “go for it” and very little discouraged me.  The key, write a good story.  It’s my goal with every novel I produce.

If self-published, did you hire someone to format the ebook version for you or did you do it yourself?  Can you tell us what that was like?

So far, I have hired someone to put my files up both on Createspace and Kindle. I haven’t wanted to take the time out to learn this process, yet, but I plan to do so. From my records, Kindle is the best sale and I’ve been told putting up the files isn’t too hard…even for us non-techies.

If self-published, how did you determine the price?

Research again. I perused Amazon checking out books in my genre categories.  Also, from having entered this field in 2014, I have made many friends and have asked many questions. Writers should help writers. I am always happy to answer questions for those who want to learn what has worked for me.

Did you purposefully choose a distinct month to release your book?  Why?

I thought a great deal about which month to release my first book in the Lillian Dove series, Admit to Mayhem.  No timing seemed best.  Before summer, but months like February, April, and May are generally not good selling months.  By end of May, for the summer reads, but I didn’t have it ready then. Also, many people are on vacation and not buying books.  So…I opted for when I had it done….October. I thought it would be perfect, just before December. Only, my husband had an accident at the time of my launch, so that definitely gave me challenges. I had no time then to market when taking care of him.  Lesson in all of this…maybe no time is perfect.  But promotion, pre and post is a must.

How did you choose your cover?

I have Karen Phillips create my covers and give her credit for doing so in my books. She is a great at creating them and great to work with.  Both book have a collaboration of both of our ideas.  I generally like to pick out my own photos to set the tone, and then the balance of the magic is hers.  My covers are great!

Did you write your book, then revise or revise as you went?

Actually, I do both.  Hemingway always read the last three chapters before moving on to the next.  I adopted him system many years ago with all my writing.  I read and edit the last thousand words before moving on to the next thousand. This takes a bit more time but allows me to find holes in my plot.  After the draft is as good as I can get it, I send it to five readers who give me their opinions. They are not afraid to tell me what’s wrong. I think that is the most important element to look for when asking someone to read for you. I then let the manuscript set while they are reading, then pick it up for my last rewrite.

Did you come up with special swag for your book and how are you using it to help get the word out about your book? 

I swag J.  Well, a little bit.  I have bookmarks, stack cards, etc. What has helped most for me, however, is joining support groups.  I am the Vice President of the Central Coast Sisters in Crime in California and Membership Director of the Los Angeles Chapter.  I am also active with the Southern California Mystery Writers of America. Going to meetings is informative and beneficial for networking; however, becoming as active as I can be gets me to the meetings.

Did you consider making or hiring someone to make a book trailer for your book?  If so, what’s the link?

Okay, don’t laugh.  I used fiverr.com to make the book trailer for both my first Lillian Dove Mystery Admit to Mayhem, and then again I used them for making the trail for the first book of my science fiction-suspense trilogy, OutrĂ©.  I like both, and both can be found on my website http://djadamson.com and on Youtube.  Outre, on Youtube, has been watched almost five thousand times. Did that create sales, I don’t know. But I made the trailer for less than a hundred dollars…it worked for me!

What’s your opinion on giving your book away to sell other copies of your book?

I do giveaways for promotion on Goodreads.  I have found it especially helpful when I do a giveaway before putting out the next book.  It reminds people who I am and what I have done in the past. If they like it, they may pick up the newest out.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do before their book is released?

I would say, write a good book, but everyone knows that. So….
1.       Pre-promote as much as you can. Cover reveal, twitter, facebook, hints the novel is coming up, etc.
2.      Some authors do a fairly large launch. I did for my first book. I haven’t for my second and third. There isn’t always a lot of time, and how often can I invit my friends to come buy my books? However, I do send out promotional snail mail and keep a good email list. I have a newsletter I put out monthly and I put up a new blog every ten days.
3.      Don’t be shy in letting people know.

What are three of the most important things you believe an author should do after their book is released?
1.       Again, number 2 above. Promote by email, snail mail, newsletter, blog, social media.  Be interested in other authors and their work. Be willing to help those who still are learning. Become active in your area of genre.  Work for success means enriching yourself around those who do.
2.      I guess I have only two important things here. I am still learning, after all. My second is to continue doing number 1 while writing the next book.  I have scheduled myself to write two novels a year, and I would like to write three. So far, I am close to my goals.

What kind of pre-promotion did you do before the book came out? 

I think I answered that already above, but I would love to hear ideas from others.

Do you have a long term plan with your book?

No, I have a long term plan for me.  I think I have the ability to write for another twenty years. I would like to have those years jammed with over a million words and at least forty-sixty books.

What would you like to say to your readers and fans about your book?

The latest in my Lillian Dove series, SUPPOSE, continues to look at reinventing life after having struggled through to the point Lillian takes up her story. Her involvement in mystery comes like most everything comes to her—out of a desire to discover.  It is my hope that my readers gain something from Lillian’s story as well as having a good read. Because to any writer, well money is nice, readers are the treasure.

Thank you so much for these questions.  They allowed me to access my own experiences, goals and shortcomings. 


  1. Thanks again for having me. I so enjoyed being here speaking to your readers.

  2. Lots of good stuff here, Diann. Thanks.

  3. Great interview, Diann. You've nailed it as far as promotion goes. Keep those great books coming!