As a writer, using words alongside your imagination to create a new world worthy enough to reel in your audience is part of the challenge. This is why only a few publishers become successful in a vast ocean of stories and literature. However, once you have written a successful initial novel, a new release or a sequel to the first book is essential to maintain your reputation as a good writer and keep a tight grip on the crowd.
It can be grueling to write a book, but surely achievable! We understand why the second sequel can be nerve-wracking. It can also be incredibly rewarding to pick up the characters again, explore the world you created, and give readers something new.
Here are five tips for publishing a successful sequel that will help you through the journey.
1. Build on the Previous Story
There are a few key things to attend to when publishing a successful sequel. This includes collecting ideas, reviewing what the audience has to say about the prequel, and deciding whether the book will reach the hands of the audience via self-publishing or traditional publishing. Do your research diligently to develop a firm base for your new project.
The most challenging part of writing a sequel is coming up with a good opening. That being said, writing a sequel is simpler than the first book since you already know how the continuation will unfold. To a large extent, the first chapter of your sequel should continue the story from the last few pages of your original work. Now that your characters and narratives have been well established, you may focus on marrying them up.
The sequel is all about building on the previous story. Remember your view for the last project and develop a narrative that can continue smoothly from where the first book left off. Additionally, you should use the first chapter as your primary weapon to hook your readers and assure them that this new book will be just as exciting as the last!
2. Remind Them You’re Still Writing
Just because your previous book turned out to be a great success, it doesn’t guarantee you will receive the same results, especially if the world is given the time to forget about you and find a new story to latch on to.
This is why it’s important to remind your audience and keep them entertained and excited about your new release, even if you are still editing the story. Advertisements, social media updates, blog posts, and interviews are all great ways of reminding your customers that the story they fell in love with will continue with more of the characters, settings, and plot they enjoyed.
3. Surprise the Reader
Readers enjoy new elements in sequels, so using the same formula and characters is just not a good idea. Instead, you need to surprise them. Tease the reader’s expectations and desires for this book. Ask yourself, “What will my fans expect to happen in this sequel?” Then, you can offer the reader what they want, without unfolding it quite as they might expect, by building on what worked in the first book and expanding on it with the sequel.
Examining the high points of your first work and trying to top them is another technique you can use to toy with your readers’ expectations. You can also introduce new narratives and characters into the story. A gripping narrative with lots of new content will entertain anyone and make this book a success!
4. Connect your Prequel and Sequel, But Not Too Much
Among these tips for publishing a successful sequel, you must know how far you want to explore. It’s also essential you don’t entirely rely on the previous success of the first book, as chances are the same narrative won’t work twice!
Connecting the events of your first book with those of the second will require careful consideration and planning. Try not to go overboard. When you compose a follow-up, it’s helpful to view your previous book as the prequel and use the novel’s events as inspiration for what happens next.
You should start with a relatively blank page, but remember to include any key information from your previous work so you can wrap up any loose ends. That being said, you shouldn’t forcefully jump to conclusions that may derail the reader’s interests or curiosity.
When incorporating elements from your first book, keep their context in mind. Maintain a conversational tone and keep your first book in mind as you write the sequel. This is not a recap but a continuation of the previous story.
5. Same Story, Different Book
The last tip for publishing a successful sequel to your first book is to review your work as much as possible. If you’re writing a sequel, it’s essential to consider the connections between your two books and the changes that have occurred. So let’s begin with the similarities.
To inspire a new book’s beginning, there must be room to expand upon the events of the previous one. Take advantage of the positive response you received from your readers for your first book by returning to the same topic from a new angle in your next work.
A sequel to your book can improve upon the original in many ways. Use what has been written and develop the plot in a new, more daring way. Remember that both volumes are separate entities and need their distinctive qualities to draw the reader in and keep them invested in your storyline.
The key takeaway here is that although the book will rely on the first installment for a good foundation, if the rest of the plot doesn’t build on it, the chances are your brilliant foundation will simply not be enough for the book to sell well.
However, don’t let the pressure suffocate you. Instead, challenge yourself to top your previous work in a way your audience least expects and give them a fresh yet connected story that reels them in for good! We hope these tips for publishing a successful sequel have helped, and wish you luck in your future endeavors.
Author: Elisabeth Washington
Elisabeth has been a freelance writer for years. A pet enthusiast who loves all things animals. Obsessed with dogs, tech, and a coffee addict. She also loves binge-watching tv and movie series on Netflix.