The Tricky Sequel

In December, I published the first book in a new futuristic erotic romance series called The Tau Cetus Chronicles, in which police agents and Beautiful Dolls sex robots are primary characters. The first book in the series is Programmed To Please, which has already gotten some rave reviews. It features a romance between police agent Jai Turner and notorious arms dealer Marque Callex.

Book two in the series is titled Programmed To Protect, and features Jai’s partner, Leith Wyatt. It was inspired by a fan who read Programmed To Please and begged for a sequel telling Leith’s story. Since he’s such a noble character, I was thrilled to give him a happily-ever-after of his own, even if it does come with a very unique twist.

Here’s the blurb:
Tau Cetus police agent Leith Wyatt is tasked by the ruling High Council with overseeing the production of a robot army for the planet’s defense. Wyatt doesn’t trust the oily robot manufacturer Anson Carron, and when Carron gives Wyatt the Beautiful Doll sexbot Ginger as a gift, Wyatt knows it’s for a sinister reason -- Beautiful Dolls are legendary for their addictive sexual prowess. Wyatt tries to resist the Doll, but Ginger is sweet, kind, sexy, and every intimate encounter they share manages to pull him deeper under her spell. And when Wyatt discovers Carron’s plan to overthrow the High Council in order to grab control of the planet for himself, Wyatt must decide whether his loyalty lies with the planet he’s sworn to protect, or the megalomaniac creator of the android he now loves.


Programmed To Protect was released last month, and so far it’s selling well, but I’m holding my breath waiting for reader response. Will it satisfy their request for a sequel? Did I give Leith a believable and enjoyable storyline?

In fact, this series was originally intended to be a one off, but I really enjoyed writing Leith’s story. If the books do well, I may decide to stay in my Tau Cetus world for a while – there are certainly enough interesting characters there!

That’s the beauty of self-publishing… I can get instant feedback on whether readers are buying/enjoying the series, and, depending on the response, I can either continue to write about this alien world that's much like our own, or move on to my next idea.

As an author, do you stress over sequels?  As a reader, do you prefer to read series instead of single titles, wanting to know more about the characters you’ve invested so much time getting to know?

Let me know what you think!



Vonda Sinclair said...

Congrats on the new release! I think series are the best way to go. Readers always want to know more about the characters and readers will follow them throughout the whole series. We as readers become emotionally invested in the characters and want to see what happens to them next. In my series, I do sometimes wonder, will readers like this book as much as the last one. But I don't stress over it. So far the response to my series is that readers like each book better than the last. Let's hope I can keep up that trend. :) Best of luck!

Kady Winter said...

Yes - congratulations on your new release, Jenna! I love series because when I fall in love with a book, I'm so glad there are more to read. I also think once we're hooked, we're on for the ride. As long as you're having fun writing the stories, your readers will have fun reading them. :-)

Jenna Ives said...

Thank you Vonda & Kady! It's reassuring to hear that you think readers will keep reading :)


Terry Spear said...

I just started a new cougar shifter series, and one of the first questions was: Is this going to be a series. I so agree that when I LOVE a book, I look for more of what the author has written in that world.

The biggest thing for me--with writing book 16 of the wolf series--is making sure each is different enough that readers don't feel like they're getting the same old story line. Since they still want more...I'd say writing a series is the way to go. :)

Congrats, love your covers!

Sam Beck said...

Congratulations on the release of "Programmed to Protect"! I'm a novice series writer too. I can say I think it must be easier to write books 2 & 3 if you're thinking "series" when you write book 1, but that's only a guess at this point. ;)

I relate to your worries. Will readers enjoy this book as much as they liked the prior one? Are the characters consistent? Is this a complete re-tread of what I already did in book 1? Do I suck? Why did I ever think I could be a writer? Do we have any scotch? Don't worry, it's all normal...right?

Jenna Ives said...

"Do I suck?" Love that, Samanthe! Every writer asks themselves that question :)

Thanks, Terry. I believe series do particularly well for self-published titles.


Kate Willoughby said...

What Sam said. LOL

Yes, the second book in my hockey romance series is coming out a mere four months after the first one. I AM nervous that it's not as good only because I personally don't like it as much as the first one. So I worry.

Still, I see on Goodreads that many readers will stick with a series even if one of the books disappointed them.

Alyssa Kress said...

I like to read series, especially if I've met characters I liked in the earlier books. I found Leith Wyatt a hero-in-waiting in the first book, so was glad you gave him his own chance to shine. Now I want to know more about that dark leader of Tau Cetus, Theus!

Kathy Bennett said...

I like to read series as well. When I pick up a second book in a series, it's like hanging out with old friends. I get a chance to catch up on what's going on in their lives.

I certainly agree that your world of Tau Cetus is rife with other characters who need to be explored.

Jenna Ives said...

Thanks Alyssa & Kathy & Kate! What you say is very reassuring :)