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efreysson
11-27-2014, 02:39 AM
I will be self epublishing one of my fantasy novels in English early next year. The series numbers six books and counting, but they focus on three different protagonists in different parts of the setting, getting into conflicts that are only distantly related, basically a meta-struggle that is called the Silent War, which I've made the title of the series as a whole.

However, the first three books I plan to publish in English do focus on the same character and her rather classic journey.

I'm wondering whether I'm more-or-less required to come up with a sub-title for the trilogy, if only so people don't assume the following books will focus on the same character. The following books won't have the classic trilogy format.

If I just keep things simple the lineup will look like this:

The Call (The Silent War Series, Book 1)
The Sarcophagus (The Silent War Series, Book 2)
Firemoon (The Silent War Series, Book 3)

Lord of the Blind (The Silent War Series, Book 4)
Dreadmoon (The Silent War Series, Book 5)
The City (The Silent War Series, Book 6)

I'm also wondering whether to include the series title on the covers.

Brightdreamer
11-27-2014, 03:01 AM
It depends on how the overall story flows. If the trilogy forms an independent tale within the greater universe, then, yeah, I'd think it would be a good idea to group them with their own name. (The White Hat trilogy and the Black Hat trilogy, in the Universal Closet series/world, as a quick for-instance.) If all the stories flow together into one really big story, then you could just have Books 1 - X in the series... though if they have their own inner arcs by the characters, readers might appreciate knowing who stars in what. (Books 1 - 3 of Joe's Tale, or Joe's Song, or A Book of Joe, etc., a Universal Closet story.)

As for including the series name in the cover, my vote is for Yes, Yes, Please Do. Let the reader know it's part of a larger series before they go in expecting a single-volume resolution. (I can't tell you how often I've been blindsided by the Whoops, Forgot To Tell You It Was A Series non-ending. It doesn't make me a happy reader, to realize that things won't be reasonably resolved... or explained, because it's actually Book 3 in a 10-book cycle and the author couldn't be bothered to let me in on that fact before I picked it up. A series commitment and a single-book commitment can be two very different things. And, for the love of literature, if it matters that you read Joe's Trilogy before Mary's Trilogy in the greater series, give the reader a hint; you can't assume that everyone will be following you from word one, page one, book one, and latecomers will appreciate knowing where to get on the story train for maximum enjoyment of the ride.)

Witch_turtle
11-27-2014, 04:13 AM
I second Brightdreamer's advice.

The only other thing I would highly suggest is drop the "series" part of the title. So it would just be "The Call: Book One of The Silent War"

Good luck :)

KaseetaKen
11-27-2014, 07:27 AM
I just thought I would show you what others have done:
http://www.amazon.com/A-Call-Duty-Manticore-Ascendant/dp/1476736847
The Honorverse has grown so much that David Weber now has co-writers who co-write segments of his Universe.
He has his main stories... a series of anthologies... and four spinoff series.
I would suggest not trying to re-invent the wheel. Find out what others are doing and choose what fits best for you.

Good Writing :)

efreysson
11-27-2014, 10:26 AM
As for including the series name in the cover, my vote is for Yes, Yes, Please Do. Let the reader know it's part of a larger series before they go in expecting a single-volume resolution. (I can't tell you how often I've been blindsided by the Whoops, Forgot To Tell You It Was A Series non-ending.)

I thought maybe it would be safe to skip plastering it on the cover picture, since it's epub and the full title is going to be on the Amazon page.

Brightdreamer
11-27-2014, 10:38 AM
I thought maybe it would be safe to skip plastering it on the cover picture, since it's epub and the full title is going to be on the Amazon page.

People are visual creatures. They like seeing basic information on a cover, eBook or not - and whether or not a book is part of a series is part of that basic information. It can (and probably should) be in smaller print, but IMHO the series name should be there.

If it doesn't matter what's on the picture, because the full title's printed in full on the Amazon page, then why do eBook cover images include titles at all? Why not just have a pretty picture? Because people still expect a book cover to have that info.

Peter Kenson
11-28-2014, 03:02 AM
I agree. Put it on the cover. Small (smaller) typeface but it's got to be there. It's what people expect to see. And, if they pick up the middle book in a trilogy or series, it immediately directs them to look for the previous books.

efreysson
11-28-2014, 10:23 AM
Alright, but I'm still vary of adding a title to the trilogy. I guess "Redcloak" would be the logical one, but how would I add it without it to the book title and series overtitle without it being awkward. I don't want to create a clumsy, overlong Frankenstein of a title.

AnthonyJones
11-29-2014, 08:34 AM
Honestly, I really, really, really wouldn't include the series name on the cover at all. I feel like that would be too many words on the cover. You could use that space for a catchy tagline. Just include the series name you choose on Amazon.

So it would be The Call (Book 1 of ________)

Since the title could get long, I would make a short series name.

These are just my opinions :)

Good luck! I've had this same question for a while, but I think I figured my solution.

efreysson
12-29-2014, 02:28 AM
Sorry about a bit of necromancy, but as this is important and the time draws nearer I would like some more opinions on what to do about my series title(s).

There are basically three sub-phases to the overall series, which I guess I can name Redcloak, The Outskirts and The Eighth War. The overall series is called The Silent War, and of course each book has an individual title. I'm wondering what to do about fitting all that on a cover smoothly. I'm vary of colon cancer (http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/ColonCancer).

Redcloak
The Call (The Silent War, Book 1)
The Sarcophagus (The Silent War, Book 2)
Firemoon (The Silent War, Book 3)

The Outskirts
Lord of the Blind (The Silent War, Book 4)
Dreadmoon (The Silent War, Book 5)
The City (The Silent War Series, Book 6)
The Black Wolf (The Silent War, Book 7)

The Eighth War
*Title undecided* (The Silent War, Book 8)
*Title undecided* (The Silent War, Book 9)
*Title undecided* (The Silent War, Book 10)

Bolero
12-29-2014, 12:35 PM
Haven't (yet) set up a book and series title on Amazon myself. My general comments are:

1. As a reader I really appreciate your labelling approach - so if I pick up a book I am readily told if it is the first in the series, or the next one I need.

2. How much of this has to go on the front cover, rather than the back cover or in the inside page? In print books there are often "other books by this author published by xxxx" sections. Are you able to put the layout for the whole series in the same way as on this thread in a page at the start of the book?

3. I'd possibly have "book title" at top and "Silent War" in smaller print at the bottom of the cover and put which one this is inside the cover if possible as mentioned in 2

4. It is useful to have the sub-grouping in the series - as in Redcloak etc. I think on balance if you were keeping content down on the front cover "Silent War" would be more important to me than say "Redcloak" so I know it is part of the Silent War and not a new series called Redcloak.