Some quick updates on the status of the sequel.
Most of my beta readers have now finished reading the book, and they’ve sent me a lot of notes. I have about twice as many beta readers as last time, and that’s making responding to their feedback and edits a bit more time consuming than I expected.
On the plus side, no one has absolutely hated the book yet. On the minus side, I think the readers are about a 50/50 split on whether or not they liked it more or less than SAM, and I’d like to do more to improve that ratio.
There are some clear places that need improvement. The intro doesn’t adequately reintroduce some of the elements of the first book (like characters and politics), so people who haven’t read SAM recently are getting a little lost at times.
People also generally find the pacing at the beginning of the book a little slow; this is fairly common in my books in general, but I might see what I can do to smooth it over.
Most people seem to like the middle section of the book the most.
Opinions on the end of the book are mixed, but there are a number of people who found it rushed and want more added to specific scenes. I can do this.
I don’t think it’s possible for a sequel to please everyone, especially considering that SAM is inherently a bit of an odd duck in terms of style. If I put in mostly magical school content, the audience that is reading it for dungeon crawling might be disappointed, and vice versa.
Some people want the book to have a more linear and focused plot, with everything happening to support that plot. Others prefer the style of SAM, where it’s more about Corin learning about how magic works and developing his relationships.
Some people want Corin to have more romance with Jin. Some people want Corin to have more romance with Marissa. Some people are shipping him with Cecily, even though no one has any idea who Cecily is yet. =D
I’d like to try to make sure everyone enjoys the experience of the sequel, and I’m going to be making some changes to the book to improve it. I still think there are always going to be people who won’t get what they wanted out of the book, though. Hopefully if Book 2 doesn’t work for someone, they’ll still enjoy it enough to read on to Book 3.
In terms of my schedule, I’d say I’m probably about a week behind where I wanted to be. Maybe two weeks. This is largely because I have so many more notes to go through than last time, since there are more beta readers. Making the beta reader changes is going to delay me from getting the book to the editor as quickly as I wanted to, and thus it will push back the whole schedule a bit.
At the moment, my best guess is that the book will be pushed back a few weeks from what I’d estimated. That means probably April instead of March.
There are still a couple more readers who haven’t finished, but I don’t anticipate their notes delaying me much further than that.
Thanks for all your patience. I truly hope that my readers end up enjoying the sequel.