Bookish Musings: Consistency in Series Book Titles

 
 

The other week I talked about consistency in series book covers, but what I didn’t mention in that post was book titles. And just like I love when covers are matchy and consistent, I love when titles are matchy and consistent too! I would never avoid or dislike a series just for having titles that don’t relate, and in most cases it doesn’t truly bother me, but it makes me extra happy when the titles DO match. So let’s talk about it!

 

 

Why Consistent Book Titles in a Series are a Good Thing

Most of the same reasons as why covers consistency is a good thing—it’s good branding (making the series recognizable) and it just has a nice feel to it. This is probably not as important as consistent covers, but some books are so uniquely and consistently named that you would know just upon hearing a new title what series it belonged to, even without seeing the cover or author, which is a good thing. It also makes the titles easier to remember, at least for me, as long as they each relate to their book in some way. (It gets confusing though if they’re all just kind of random, abstract words.)

 

How to Make Book Titles in a Series Consistent + Examples

– The number of words. Some series have one-word or two-word titles. But they also need to be the same figure of speech or type of word or it’s not really consistent, in my opinion. For example, if the first book title is a noun, they should all be nouns. It actually does bother me when the title of the first book in a series is a noun, the second book title is an adjective, the third is a verb, etc. SJ Pajonas especially nailed the one-word title since each word even starts and ends with the same two letters. (Titles: Removed, Released, Reunited, Reclaimed, Revealed.)

Series Covers - The Nogiku Series

– The format/setup. Like, [Verb] the [Noun]. Or, A [Noun] of [Noun] and [Noun]. Or, [Adjective] [Noun]. Or, [So-and-So] and the [Something]. The Thieves series is an especially great example, I think, because the titles of each book also relates to the stories, making it easier to remember which title goes with which book. (For example, Steal the Light is about them stealing an artifact called “the Light of Alhorra,” Steal the Moon revolves around a werewolf gathering, etc.) (Titles: Steal the Light, Steal the Day, Steal the Moon, Steal the Sun, Steal the Night.)

Series Covers - Thieves

– A common theme. Titles don’t need to sound the same in order to be consistent if they revolve around the same theme. The Ink series titles are a good example of this because they’re all different, but they’re all related to comic books since the MC is a comic artist. Also I already had a graphic for these from my last post, haha. (Although, sadly, this series might be getting a makeover with new titles and covers soon, according to the author.) (Titles: Sketches, Fine Lines, Vanishing Point, Abstraction, Darken.)

Series Covers - INK

 

Final Thoughts

This probably seems nitpicky, and authors can do whatever they want with their books, but I like what I like, and I like when titles in a series match!

 
 

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Do you like when book titles in series are consistent?
What's one of your favorite sets of series titles?

 

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44 thoughts on “Bookish Musings: Consistency in Series Book Titles

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  1. chucklesthescot

    The Sj Pajonas books are a beautiful set and I like that they all match like that. The INK series does match nicely as well and you know the books are all from the same series. The titles match well in the Lexi Blake books though I’m not keen on the actual covers for them. I’m a bit OCD about my books so I prefer things to match, both covers and titles though titles are less important to me.

  2. Lola

    Yes definitely I love it when book titles in a series match or follow a trend of some sort. It’s also no big deal if they don’t, but it does make me happy when they do match.

    I love the Nogiku series! So I am happy to see it being featured on your blog ;). And how pretty and consistent are those covers? The book titles are well done too and fit the books too. And it’s nice how the author went one step further and also had each title start with Re.

    That Lexi Blake series also sounds like the titles are well done and neat they also fit the actual books and having the steal in each title adds another layer of how well they match.

    And yes a common theme works great too. Many cozies go this route, with each title referring to the theme of the book, while the format might be very different, there’s still the matching with the theme.

    Like you said authors can do whatever they want and I would never skip a series or book because the titles don’t match, but it’s just a little bit of extra yay feeling when everything does match and fits well.

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, it’s not a big deal if they don’t, it’s just nice if they do! I haven’t actually read the Nogiku Series yet, but they have really nice covers and titles, and it’s good to know that the titles match the books too!

      Oh, and another great thing about the Lexi Blake book titles is that every book has a heist of some sort, so that makes the word “steal” even better!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, it signifies that the books belong together. Except I feel like at least half of the series out there and don’t have consistent titles, so I guess not everyone agrees with us lok.

  3. Wattle

    I like it when things match, but I think the most important element of matchiness for me (erm, on series I care that much about) are the cover visuals! The Peter Grant series by Ben Aaronovitch is my favourite, it has the best covers (and I 100% ignore the fact they renamed the first book Midnight Riot – instead of Rivers of London – and screwed with the cover on the US version, the UK ones are gorgeous).

    I find if titles are too similar (like the Kate Daniels series) I get them confused. But that’s probably because I’m a visual person, for the Peter Grant series I just have to think of the title and the colour of the book/where it fits pops into my head.

    1. Kristen Burns

      I agree, the covers are more important than the titles. I just looked up the ones you mentioned, and they are really pretty!

      I tend to get titles confused when they don’t really relate to the books. But what you said about being a visual person, I totally get that. This isn’t really book-related, but when I was in school, I used to remember where things were visually in my notes, and that would help me to remember the information.

  4. Greg

    I do like consistency in titles, although yeah it’s not as big a deal as covers. And I agree with SJ Pajonas example- she did that well. And if a title actually pertains to the book lol that’s always a plus!

    One thing I’m a sucker for is evocative titles- you know titles that conjure a place or just sound cool ha ha . The Outlander books are an example- haven’t read em, not my thing, but the titles- perfection. I mean Dragonfly in Amber, drums of Autumn- that kinda thing. Same with the Game of Thrones titles. Or the Wheel of Time series- I have no actual interest in that series, but some of the titles- The eye of the World, Crossroads of Twilight. They might sound kinda pretentious but I love those titles. :)

    To Green angel Tower was another one. Had no idea what it meant, the book was so big they had to split it into two parts, but it made sense at the end.

    Greg recently posted: Game of Thrones: Jon Snow

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s definitely a plus if the titles pertain to the books, otherwise it’s just like random words and it gets really confusing lol. See, those evocative titles are good and bad because they’re interesting, but they also tend to do the random word thing sometimes lol.

  5. Cyn @ Bookmunchies

    I love consistency in the titles in a series! It makes my heart happy. V.E. Schwab’s Darker Shades of Magic is really good since the syllables match. I was so sad when Marie Rutkoski’s series titles were The Winner’s Curse, The Winner’s Crime than The Winner’s Kiss (could have been Winner’s Crown!) even though it still sort of matches.
    Love the examples you showed! Great post!

    Cyn @ Bookmunchies recently posted: Blog Tour: Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis

    1. Kristen Burns

      It’s great when syllables match because then each title flows the same too! At least all the Winner’s Curse titles have that hard C/K sound though!

      Thanks :-)

  6. Annemieke

    It is great to see the consistency in titles like the first example you used. It makes me feel it is an actual series. But I also like what The Darkest Minds did. The three seperate titles make a sentence (The Darkest Minds Never Fade in the Afterlight).

  7. Danya @ Fine Print

    I haven’t thought much about it, but you’re totally right: there’s something so satisfying about a long list of titles in a series that have the same format. The one that comes to mind immediately is the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier (which, as an aside, also has coordinating cover art!) where the title format is “The [Person] of [Place].” They look so lovely together on my shelves as a result!

    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted: Review: Mapping the Interior by Stephen Graham Jones

  8. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I’m not as picky about titles as I am about covers but I really think it draws your attention when they are consistent. I read a lot on my ereader so I find when I’m not looking at the physical copies, things like covers and titles don’t hang me up too much. I’ve read a lot of the Mary Janice Davidson Undead series and it’s always fun to see what title she comes up with next with the word “undead” in it.

    Barb (boxermommyreads) recently posted: Weekly Reads (06/22/2017)

  9. Victoria Grace Howell

    I like it when titles are consistent as well. The Blood of Kings trilogy is “By Darkness Hid,” “To Darkness Fled,” and “From Darkness Won” and the Out of Time series is “A Time to Die,” “A Time to Speak,” and “A Time to Rise.” Like you said I immediately know the books are all in the same series. ^ ^

    Victoria Grace Howell recently posted: A Book Review of Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

  10. Laura

    I much prefer consistent titles too. It just makes the series seem so much more cohesive, and I think it can help with the whole consistency in the covers too if the titles are roughly the same length and structure (so three words, two words etc.). Great post! :)

    Laura recently posted: 30 Fun Hobbies To Try

  11. kris @ lemon-notes

    I feel like this is one of those super satisfying things that just makes a series that much better. The first thing that came to mind was the Divergent trilogy. At least, I think those are all adjectives?? I’m too lazy to employ google :P Then, I thought of ACOTAR because they’re all a court of noun and noun. Which is just nice! It’s like, I would know it was part of that series if I heard the a court of… It’s REALLY good branding for series! I’m surprised more authors don’t do this??

    1. Kristen Burns

      Exactly, it’s not necessary for me to enjoy a series, but it adds to the overall awesomeness. I thought about using the ACOTAR series as an example, but I went with the Thieves series instead because I already had pictures of the books to make the graphic lol.

  12. Rachel

    I have a really hard time when a series isn’t clearly marked with its numbers. Like, Book 1, Book 2, Book 3. It drives me absolutely crazy. I usually come into series once all of them are already out. So if it doesn’t say on the cover, “Book __ of the __ series,” I will be confused. That’s how I bought the THIRD freaking book in a series once because I thought it was the first. Still shaking my head over that one.

    Rachel recently posted: Pines by Blake Crouch book review

    1. Kristen Burns

      Oh, yeah, it’s so much better when the book number is shown on the cover. I normally read ebooks, so it’s usually easy enough for me to figure out the first book since they show the numbers on GR and Amazon usually, but I still like when it’s on the cover too.

  13. S. J. Pajonas

    I went to DisneyWorld for the week and missed this post! When I saw the title of the post in my feed, I thought, “Man, I’m a stickler for titles in series.” Lol. Yes, and you got that, I see. I do love my Nogiku Series titles, but often times, people do get the names of the books messed up because they’re so similar. I think titles in a series should have a certain cadence to them. I made sure to do the same with my short story series, and will be continuing with my upcoming Hikoboshi series. It’s funny that this is something I’m particular about. Must be the Capricorn in me! Thanks so much for featuring my books on your blog! <3

    1. Kristen Burns

      Lol I’m just psychic like that ;-) As long as the titles have something to do with the books so that I can relate them, I can usually remember titles. But I read this one series, for example, in which all the titles are “verb the noun” but the verbs and nouns are all just random intriguing words, so I don’t have the slightest clue which goes with which book or even what half the titles are lol.

      No problem, I was happy to share your books!

  14. Olivia Roach

    I like when titles are consistent, but not too consistent. I feel like these are too obvious in being so? I think a good example is the Divergent series. They all end in the same ish kind of letter grouping, and they all are complex enough words for most people to look them up, and they all have to do with rebellion. The Twilight Saga does it well too. But then books like The Mortal Instruments… City this, and City that. It’s good becase as you said, it’s recognisable and branding. But I find it a bit too boring for me, hehe.

  15. Wendy @ Falconer's Library

    My silly mind goes to “Harry Potter and the X of Y.”

    The Chronicles of Narnia and the Lord of the Rings did NOT do this, and I don’t think the titles are any less for that. However, there is something innately pleasing about related titles.