09 April 2012

Defining a Sequel, for Marketing Purposes

Godson’s Father James Treadwell’s fantasy novel Advent has been published in Britain, and is getting some fine reviews.

He’s still working out the marketing process, though:
I was invited last week to appear on the BBC News 24 channel “Meet the Author” slot. Sadly, I didn’t get to meet any authors, but I did have a pleasant chat with BBC’s effortlessly genial and knowledgeable Nick Higham.
James was just on an Olympus (Eastercon) panel on the topic “Sequel-itis,” but says on his home page that he’s finishing the “second novel,” not the sequel:
I don’t think [“sequel”] quite describes the relation between Advent and the story that’s falling into its final shape now. Sequels are really the same thing again, aren’t they? — the timescale and events may be subsequent to the first book/film/whatever, but basically they exist to repeat what’s already been achieved. The case of Advent won’t work like that. Presumably you can’t have advents twice, anyway. There has to be an arrival after a coming.
But aren’t sequelae simply things that follow? Advent is an open-ended story, and its last pages set up a story in quite a different place. The result may be as different as The Dark Is Rising from Over Sea, Under Stone, or Witch Week from Charmed Life. But for marketing and saga-construction purposes, those are surely sequels.

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