The Problem with Sequels
I recently joined the website Scribophile. Essentially, writers gather there to critique and be critiqued by other members of the site. It works on a sort of tit-for-tat system where you get “Karma” for doing critiques and then spend that “Karma” to post stories for critique.
I’m 23,000 words into The Hydra Offensive; Book 2 in the Ansgari Rebellion Series. I didn’t post The Cerberus Rebellion on this site so as I start posting The Hydra Offensive, I’m running into the issue of bringing new readers to my world.
At first, I thought of this as a problem. Why would someone start with Book 2 in the series? Then I remembered, that’s how I started the Honor Harrington series by David Weber. I bought Ashes of Victory (Book 9 in the series) because of the cover art; I bought Books 1-8 and the 3 Honorverse anthologies because of the writing.
I came to the realization that you have to hook readers at the beginning of the book whether they are invested in the series already or not. I need to make sure that the beginning of the book keeps moving, without bogging down with backstory and infodumps.
Have you ever started mid-series and gone back and purchased all of the previous novels? What caused you to do that?