I am about to self-publish the first book in a five-book series. The second one is already drafted, and I have some notes on the final three. I say this to show that this is not merely a book with an open ending, but that for once I actually have a plan for how the rest of it will go.
So, I’m thinking it terms of branding the series with a common look for the covers, similarly structured titles, common font choices… everything that you expect to see in a series, and one of those things is that little splash of text on the cover beneath the title, proclaiming it to be Book One of the Impressive Series Name.
But just what do I call the series? Sometimes these are named for the protagonist like “The Dresden Files” or “The Honor Harrington Series”. Other times it’s the setting, like “The Hollows” or “Chronicles of Narnia”. And then there are enigmatic elements from the tale itself, “A Song of Fire and Ice” or “His Dark Materials”.
How do I pick one? I’m asking both for some general guidance, and I’m also going to try out a few on you and see what you think.
These books are space opera, and they deal with a 17-year-old boy growing into adulthood after the death of his adopted father. Part of the deal with that, though, is that he didn’t find out about the adoption until after that death, so there are all kinds of father-son issues going on here. The first book is titled Ships of My Fathers, and all the rest will be similarly titled, i.e. [Nouns] of My Fathers.
Common elements across all five books include the protagonist, the ship he inherited from his adopted father, and a shadowy villain who is tied up in both his past and his future. My instinct is to name it after one of those elements.
For the character, it would be: Book One of the Michael Fletcher Saga
For the ship it would be: Tales from _Sophie’s Grace_, Book One
For the villain it would be: Book One of the Father Chessman Saga
I’m not particularly married to the “Tales from…” or “Saga” aspects. It’s the other words that I’m struggling with. Naming it after the rather plain-named Michael Fletcher seems boring. I like the ship one better, though that particular ship is actually sidelined for most of the first book. And that leaves me with my current favorite, “the Father Chessman Saga” since it sounds all impressive, but I feel weird naming the series after the villain. It would be a bit like calling the Harry Potter series the Lord Voldemort series.
So… reactions? Advice? Mockery?