When Should You Sequel?

In traditional publishing, there’s often a one year wait between a book and it’s sequel. Of course, in indie publishing, all of that notion that readers have to wait a year is thrown out the window. But if we’re throwing out the traditional publishing cycle, what are we replacing it with?
When Should You Sequel?
Well, that’s the great thing about indie publishing. You get to decide. Depending on what you’re writing and where you are in your indie career, this can easily vary. Today, we’re going to break down when you should start working on the sequel and when you should release it in relation to the first story.

My Story

Right now, I don’t have a book out. I’m hoping really soon to make an announcement on that and when it will be coming out. Even though I haven’t released the first book, I’m already 25,000 words into the first draft of the sequel. Why?
Because, in order to build momentum and really start kick an indie career, you need to have multiple works. If you make people wait a whole year for the next book, they’re probably going to forget about you by the time it’s out.
So, I’ll finish the first draft of the sequel before I go back to classes, probably the night before. Then I’ll turn around and finish edits for the first book with my blood pressure editor. Release the first book, edit the second, release the second one, and then turn around and write the third one. It’s an aggressive schedule, but if I want to be a successful indie author and one day write full time, I have to be aggressive.
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Because I’m being aggressive, I’m working fast to get the second book done. Of course, I’m writing full-length novels. The cool thing about self-publishing is that you don’t have to stick with full novels. You can write serials, novellas, novels, short stories. There’s no rule saying you have to abide by a story length.
Serials and novellas are shorter, and because of this, if you want to be aggressive, start them before you’re done with the first part. If you really want to be on top of it, wait until you’re done with the whole section (like a season in a serial) before you start releasing. Finish it all at once.
Novels, because they take more time, you can have a little bit more time, but if you want to ride that momentum of the first book, you need to be fast. You can’t go into self-publishing without a long-term goal, and if you’re trying to build a community around your book, you’re going to want a sequel, two, or even three (or nine sequels if you’re like me).
If you want to write a stand alone as a indie author, take the time and wait on it, from a marketing standpoint, you want readers to develop a love of the same characters, so that the reader trusts you enough to take a chance on your other characters.
So, when should you start your sequel? More times than not, I’d say before the first book is out.
When do you plan to start your sequel?

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