First, let me say that we really do have a new baby in the family. Our grandson Mkey and his wife, Brittany, have a precious new son named Cameron Michael, and my hubby and I got to go visit our number-four great grandchild yesterday. It was delightful!
But we also have another new “baby” in the family–my latest book release, The Deliverer, the third and final novel in the Freedom Series. I’ll admit to being almost as excited about the third book in the series as I was the first and second, but I’m wondering if that’s true with readers.
Over the years I seem to have noticed a trend with publishers. Could be I’m just imaging it, but I get the impression that they pour more time and enthusiasm (and maybe even advertising dollars) into the “firstborn” in a series, leaving the remaining books to suffer the “middle” or “youngest child” syndrome.
You know what I mean. With our first child we take pictures of absolutely EVERYTHING they do. We faithfully fill out their baby books, and we read up on proper parenting manuals in hopes of not making any serious mistakes that might scar the poor things for life. The second child? We still take a handful of pictures now and then, though we never get around to downloading them from our camera phone. And a baby book? Well, hey, at least we got one and put the child’s name in it. But by the third one? We figure the annual school pictures are enough, and who needs baby books anyway?
Back to my thoughts about book series. Is it possible to maintain the same level of excitement with sequels as it is with the first book? I suppose if that first book is an absolute blockbuster, then sure, no problem. Readers are already standing in line to buy it. But if that wasn’t the case, then what? It even becomes a bit more of a challenge to promote them.
For instance, my current series is about human trafficking. The first book elicited all sorts of media invitations to discuss such a hot topic. But are those same media venues going to invite me back a second and third time to discuss the same subject?
I’d love to hear from you authors about what you done successfully (or not) to help promote sequels in your series; I’d REALLY love to hear from readers about what it takes to sustain interest in a series for you. Can books be released too far apart? Too close? Was it the quality of the first book in a series that pushed you into line to buy the sequels? If the first book was mediocre, is there any chance at all you’ll consider buying the other books in the series?
Thanks for any/all input, gang!