I find myself unexpectedly with a set of books on my hands. Blessings started out as a straight-up standalone book, and Illuminate jumped on board as a companion book/sequel of sorts, and other ideas are still coming.
It occurred to me the other day that I have an actual series, and no idea what to call it. Of course, it’s likely that whatever series title I come up with will be changed when/if it goes to publication. But I still need something to call the collective project.
Are you in the same boat? Well, below I’ve compiled all the research I did for my own brainstorming, and maybe it can help you out, too!
The Way Other Series Do It
In an effort to understand how normal series get their names, I went through my Goodreads records and categorized series’ names by the four major trends. I’ve listed them below for your convenience.
Disclaimer: Several of these series could fit in multiple categories.
1. Named After First Book
|The Giver Quartet
|Throne of Glass
(Sarah J. Maas)
|Julie of the Wolves
(Jean Craighead George)
|Something Strange and Deadly
|Sea of Trolls
|The Hunger Games
2. Named After Place
(Catherynne M. Valente)
|Great Plains Trilogy
3. Named After Main Character[s]
|Anne of Green Gables
|The Ender Quintet
(Orson Scott Card)
4. Named After Theme/Overarching Tie Between Books
|The Broken Empire
|The Queen’s Thief
(Megan Whalen Turner)
|The Dark is Rising
|The Inheritance Cycle
|Lord of the Rings
5. Series Named After Unusual Element in Story
|The Lunar Chronicles
|Monster Blood Tattoo
|The Time Quintet
Questions to help you find options for your book:
- Does your main character have a memorable name? Are they strong in each of your books?
- Is your setting unusual? Do all your books take place in the same location?
- Is their something strange and memorable in your books–a symbol, character/race, or concept?
- Do you have a clear theme that ties the books together?
- Do you just really love your first book’s title, and does that title encompass the later books as well? (Hunger Games is a perfect example of this, I think.)
To Qualify or Not to Qualify?
Sometimes series have a qualifier. Below are the most common I’ve seen, with my general definitions. (Disclaimer: I’m no expert.)
Trilogy = 3 books // Quartet = 4 books // Quintet = 5 books
Series = Any number
Saga = Any number, but ~*~fancier~*~
Chronicle = Any number, literary and historical implications
Cycle = Any number, based around central characters or countries, mythological implications
However, the vast majority of books seems to not have a qualifier, and the name stands on its own. So I guess that comes down to a matter of preference.
I’m still going to put some thought into my own series title, but hopefully this will help you with yours!