Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dear O'Abby: Ooops! I wrote a sequel.

Dear O'Abby,

I've had this idea for a book for a long time now.  I even tried to write this book about ten years ago, but ended up writing a YA about the characters as teenagers instead because that backstory seemed really important to understand.  Now I feel like I'm finally ready to write the book I intended to write originally.  The YA was never published, but as I set out to write the adult book about these characters 15 years on, I'm wondering if it would make sense to publish that first book? The new one is, essentially, a sequel.... Or should I keep it as a marketing tool for when the new book comes out?  I could give it away as a free gift with purchase or something.

Any advice on this will be gratefully accepted.

Yours,

Unwritten

Dear Unwritten,

It sounds to me like the YA you wrote was something you did for yourself as a way to discover your characters and their personalities and voices, and how they came to be the people they are today.  I don't know if that book has a compelling storyline or arc or any of those things, so I can't really tell you if it's something you should publish, or give away.  That's something only you (and maybe your agent, if you have one) can decide.

It sounds like the new book is going to be an adult book, so I'm not certain a YA about the same characters will even be a useful marketing tool because the target audiences for the two categories are different.  It is certainly an interesting idea.  I've never heard of something like that being done before, but that doesn't mean it hasn't.

To be honest, I think you're putting the cart before the horse a little here because it sounds like you haven't even written the new book yet.  And writing a new book takes time.  So I don't think this is something you need to be worrying or even thinking about at this stage.  Just get your butt in chair and write that new book.  When it's done, that's when you can start thinking about the marketing and how this earlier book could be used to sell the new one.  Or if it even can be.

Do any of our readers have any input on this one? Have you ever seen a YA book used as a marketing tool for an adult sequel?

X O'Abby

1 comment:

  1. Cinda Williams China did something like this for her series, SEVEN REALMS. She first wrote an adult book (THE STAR-CROSSED WARDER, I believe?) and then ended up writing a 4-book YA series where the main characters from WARDER were teenagers. Her reasoning was similar to what Kate said here, to get the writer familiar with the characters.

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