I have several book in my Three Con series, but that's a series only in the sense that the universe is shared. All the ThreeCon books assume a universe with the same history and level of technology, and there are some shared events but no shared characters. It doesn't matter what order you read them in.
The thing is, with a standalone story, clearly every reader is a new reader, With a true series where the same characters age throughout the books, you have to allow, at least to some extent, for three categories of readers:
- Those who recently read the previous book
- Those who never read the previous book
- Those who read the previous book, but it has been a good while
And of course, this is Book 2 of a trilogy. I already have a very rough draft for Book 3, Alien Skies, and this is one thing that I'll have to consider all over again after I get Book 2 published and go back to working on Book 3. I'll have even more places where I need to evaluate how much info can and should be repeated.
I've never put the two covers side by side before; I rather like how different they are because the second book covers a new generation. There are, in fact, two new protagonists, even though the original two make an appearance in the second story.
It's always exciting giving birth to a book.