I Need to Come Up With a Series Title

I’ve been trying like the plague to avoid the term “series” for Demonspawn, A Witch To Live, and Jack Kursed. Each novel follows a different main character, yet takes place in the same world, and I tried my best to write each one in such a way that the others weren’t required reading. There was some flavor if you’d done so. Characters and events would pop up and readers who had checked out the others would say “Oh, that’s cool.” I also thought it was neat to “check in” on what the others were up to.

If things go like I’m hoping they do, I don’t think this idea will work much longer. If I go on after Jack Kursed, it will be close to impossible to go in the direction I want without readers at least being familiar with the other works. So, I need to come up with some way to get the other titles known, just something simple along the lines of “If you enjoyed Alex’s story in Demonspawn, you might enjoy Kevin’s story in A Witch to Live.” I’m also thinking about just saying something like “Check out the XYZ series.” That’s the tough part, coming up with an actual series title. Goodreads actually has A Witch To Live as Demonspawn #2, but that’s not really accurate to me.

This all came up from a beta reader for Jack Kursed (I love my beta readers, thanks again so much to all of you). She liked Jack Kursed, but didn’t understand some of the things from A Witch To Live because she’d never read it. She figured out most of what was happening on her own, but I might have to change a scene or two to keep my “no required reading” idea in check. I have to do a better job at marketing (something I’m terrible at) at tying these novels together. This is a challenge I never considered before. 🙂

Comments (22)

  1. Sarah Wynde June 11, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Similar problem, no solutions. I worked very hard at making my second book work as a stand-alone, but the fact is, it’s still the continuing story of characters who appear in my first novel. When I went to put the name in KDP, that empty field for series mocked me. I finally went ahead and used the name of the town to turn it into a series, but I’m not really satisfied with my solution. I guess I’m at least a little satisfied with it, though, since I’m sort of recommending it — instead of calling it a series, you could go for “set in the Demonspawn universe” or something similar. Or “A Demonspawn Novel”?

    • Glenn Bullion June 11, 2012 at 1:37 pm

      I may go that route. I’m actually jealous, if I had a theme like that (a common setting, like a city or town), I think that would be an awesome way to name a series. 🙂

  2. John June 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm

    Something like ‘The hidden supernaturals’ or ‘The hidden magicals’? Or how does that phrase of your’s go? ‘Things that go bump in the night’? I wouldn’t think it has to be anything profound, just enough that a casual buyer will know that it goes 1, 2, 3, etc in order.

    Any update of Jack Kursed release?

    • Glenn Bullion June 11, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      Just waiting on a bit more feedback. This novel requires a little more attention. Where A Witch To Live only had connections to Demonspawn, this novel has connections to both. So I have to make sure I don’t confuse readers who only read one, or none of the above. 🙂 Plus I have to be very careful with Jack. He’s a challenge. He’s definitely not a hero, but I have to make sure he’s at least interesting.

  3. K. Mathis June 11, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    Do what other series do. Simply allow Demon spawn to be the first of the series, right? Look, like this

    Demomspawn: A witch to live
    Demonspawn: Jack Kursed

    Why? Because if you thin about it, you could say that they are ALL Demonspawn. Don’t constipate the cogitate…let it flow-ww…(was that too much? yeah. Maybe a wee bit. fifty-fifty)

    • Glenn Bullion June 11, 2012 at 1:47 pm

      Hahahh what an image 🙂

      I was thinking about something in that area, but as weird as it might sound, I think it places too much importance to Alex. Demonspawn was the first novel, his novel, and I wanted to try to come up something without Demonspawn in it.

      If I was going by appearances, I’d call it Victoria-spawn. 🙂

  4. Tim M. June 11, 2012 at 6:27 pm

    Love your books sir.
    If I may suggest, instead of having a series for each book, why don’t you combine the main characters from each book and have them form some kind of a supernatural detectives led by Victoria.
    On another matter, any news on Dead Living?

    • Glenn Bullion June 12, 2012 at 8:26 am

      You’re actually kind of close to the direction I want to go. 🙂 Let’s put it this way, the next novel wouldn’t belong to any one character.

      Last I heard on Dead Living, it was in the cover stage. I’ll have to see if I can get another update. I don’t know the process, I’m sure there’s more left than just the cover. I admit though, I can’t wait to see it.

      • Tim M. June 17, 2012 at 9:06 pm

        Read Jack Kursaid, and it was great. One of my fave character in all your books due to his kill-first-ask- question-later personality.
        With regard to your next book, I don’t think you can fit all these great characters in a 300-page book.

        • Glenn Bullion June 17, 2012 at 9:16 pm

          I like Jack for this very same reason. He is so opposite from Alex and Kevin, and even his “sister” Victoria. I’m having all kinds of cool ideas with how these four can interact.

          But you’re right. There are some challenges in my ideas I have to think about, that I’ll talk about in a later post. The first being, indeed, possibly too many characters. I wasn’t going to include Cindy and Alicia (from Demonspawn), but a few readers told me they were almost manditory, as in Alex, Cindy, and Alicia were a package deal. 🙂 It will be a fun challenge.

  5. K. Mathis June 11, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Hey, GB,,,try this on for size…’The Victoria Chronicles’ . Victoria is a must.

    • Glenn Bullion June 12, 2012 at 8:28 am

      Yeah I haven’t been able to have a supernatural novel without her in it yet. 🙂 This is in the future, like 4 novels out, but I am gonna have to give it a shot sometime. For example, Kevin and Alex have some kind of adventure, with no redheaded vampire involvement. 🙂

  6. Fate June 13, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    meh… If you do decide to put them all together, you can call the series whatever organization they’ll call themselves in the book. Or something that alludes to their job, which is taking out those of the supernatural world that aren’t ‘following the rules.’ So something that says they’re guardians of the innocent, but also hunter assassins when need be.

    In any case, the books do well as standalone, but one has to recognize that reading the books in order is the only way to not miss out on any references. Not everyone is savvy enough to check the publication dates, but for now I think a blurb in the description along the lines of “…appears in the same world as Demonspawn,” would suffice.

    As far as multiple PoVs go, I’m not really a fan of the switching between characters every chapter as it always makes me want to rush ahead and get back to the guy I like the most, but I have faith you’ll make the next one every bit as addicting as the last bunch.

    Keep up the good work, we’re with ya!

    • Glenn Bullion June 13, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      This is indeed the challenge ahead of me, the POV / character stuff. I have something big (well, big for me) in mind. I’ll talk about it more after Jack Kursed is out, but it’s definitely tough. I have to go slow and put a lot of thought in it. Just because I like my characters doesn’t mean everyone likes them. Would people read a novel with Alex Teague in it if Kevin Mishnar was also scattered about in there (as an example).

  7. Dave June 21, 2012 at 2:44 pm

    It’s the world and it’s progression that’s the tying factor, not the characters, right? Go with that. For instance, many people have heard of Forgotten Realms, which are all based in the same ‘universe’ as it were, and have many connecting storylines, but different characters. That way, rather than a series, it tells the reader/buyer that there are other books in same ‘world’ that may have history they want. Like, “a Visibly Invisible” book! Or “a Hidden Monsters” book. Something that doesn’t necessarily convey series, but shows that they’re part of the same thing.

    On that note, I’d totally read a novel with Alex and Kevin in. I’m curious as to what’s going to happen to Kevin since…uhm…no spoiler…Since what what was revealed in Jack Kursed changed what I originally thought would be the direction things were going for him.

    • Glenn Bullion June 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

      That’s an interesting way to look at it. I think I’m done creating characters for this world, but what if I’m not? 🙂 If I could up with something catchy like that, that would be cool.

      I’m glad I caught you off-guard with direction. 🙂 I’m not exactly known for my twists and turns, but if I can throw out the occasional surprise every now and then, all the better. 🙂

      • Dave June 21, 2012 at 2:55 pm

        You don’t need to create more characters; you just need something that ties the group together. Such as the comment earlier by Sarah, where she used the Town name to tie it all together, a common ‘area’ or world name can be what you use to mention them all together without making it really a ‘series’.

        I was very caught off guard. I completely expected that to continue in that regard, and when Victoria talking to him revealed that it didn’t, I was surprised. All the other characters in your books seem to end up going that route, so when he didn’t I wasn’t expecting it. It makes sense that it could happen though, so it wasn’t an unrealistic (as it were) thing to happen.

        • Glenn Bullion June 21, 2012 at 3:15 pm

          That was a very hard scene to write (along with a certain murder that took place before that). I debated a long time whether that was a direction I wanted to go. I do have a plan, I just hope people like it. 🙂

  8. Jeanne Miller July 1, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Maybe you could call them: The Super Naturals

    Just got one of your books tonight and can’t wait to read it. I know I will soon be begging you to let me be one of your Betas. 🙂

  9. Jeremy July 21, 2012 at 1:55 am

    To be honest
    I don’t really care
    About the other characters as much as I do about Alex, will there be
    More of him in the future 🙂 or should I move on. And by more I meen a sequel because
    Lets be honest you set up a perfect sequel.

    • Glenn Bullion July 23, 2012 at 8:19 am

      There will be more of Alex, Cindy, and Alicia. The next idea I have might not be to your liking, but even with that, I’m still not done yet. The next “Demonspawn universe” novel will also have Victoria, Jack, and Kevin.

      But, even after that, I’ll revisit Alex.

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