If you are tackling the exciting challenge of writing a book series, you are to be commended. Writing a series or book trilogy represents a significant literary undertaking as well as a long-term commitment. 

The pay-off for taking on a book series project is, well…the pay-off. Series authors tend to build a loyal customer base that can be counted on to purchase each new book release in a series. Examples of successful book series include Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings series, C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series, and Carolyn Keene’s Nancy Drew series. 

It is important to inform the reader that your book is part of a series, lest they feel frustrated when reaching the end of the book and there is no resolution to be had. If the customer knows in advance that they are embarking on a series, they will settle into reading it with the right mindset. 

This article discusses how the author should convey the message that the book is part of a series, and where in the book they should place this information.

Where Should You List that a Book Is Part of a Series?

When deciding where to insert the book series information, there are several options to consider. What’s freeing about this step of the book design process is that there is no single “right way” to convey that the book is part of a series. This decision is truly up to the author. Where to place the book series information may be based on a logistics decision, a practical decision, or a design decision. Let’s explore some of the potential placement options:  

On the Cover

Authors may decide to come right out with the information and place a statement right on the cover that the book is part of a book series. The notice can appear on either the front cover or the back cover. Here are examples of each:

Carolyn Keene’s first entry in the Nancy Drew series is clearly conveyed at the top of the front cover.

Author L.T. Ryan informs readers that the book, Hatch, is part of a series by including this information in the back cover text.

On the Spine

The spine is the most popular choice for placing the book series number. Authors of young readers series and fantasy series commonly choose the spine option.

Author Scott Blade includes the book series number on the spine of his books in a clean sans-serif font. Here he markets them as a set and includes the book numbers on the outside packaging as well.

On a Front Matter Page

Authors may opt to include the series information on a page within the front matter of the book.

J.R.R. Tolkien provided information about the books in the Lord of the Rings series on his copyright page, located in the front matter.

On a Back Matter Page

Authors might include a page in the back matter that mentions the book series at hand, as well as other series they have written.

Author John Patrick Green inserts a page in the back matter of his InvestiGators book that mentions the various animal-related series.

On the Title Page

The title page is another option for an author to show that their book is part of a series. The series number is typically listed under the title.

Author A.E. King inserts the series book number directly beneath the title of the book, Cruel Compassion.

Deciding Where to List the Series Information

What’s nice about deciding where to place the book series number is that the choice is completely up to the author. Authors should consider the cover art and the general aesthetic of their book when contemplating where the series number would best fit. If the cover design doesn’t provide a logical spot for it, the spine may be the best option. Placing the series number on the spine makes it easy for readers when standing at their local bookstore, to select the next book in the correct order.

Gatekeeper Press Can Help You Decide

If you are embarking on a book series project, consider partnering with the experts at Gatekeeper Press. We provide a full range of self-publishing services to guide you through the writing process, including cover design, book design, and formatting, editing, and proofreading. Call us today or contact us online!