Welcome back. Now that you’ve had your introduction to using color to mark your books as a series, I’m sure you see that all over the place. About like noticing a particular make/model of vehicle once you’ve purchased it, or you’ve driven in it for longer than a test drive.
This episode is devoted to branding your series with patterns. For that, I’m going to turn to my own covers from the Followers of Torments Saga.
Though I use abstracts, I have also seen this done with more complex covers through borders, frames, even watermarked images that provide a backdrop to the main focal point. I chose this route because throughout the series, the spider and spider web are a central theme for the main character, and I wanted something to indicate that.
This is the cover for “Out of the Darkness” book 1 in the saga. Note that, I do not have the series name on here. By the time you see the rest; you will understand why I don’t need it.
The spider web serves as a backdrop to everything, and there are two spiders on the cover. The font is also part of my series branding, but that was coincidence, and not planned.
This is the cover for “Remember the Shadows”, book two of the series. And, yes, the web and spider are of the leap-out-and-grab you attention getters. I chose to put the web in front, because of what is going on in the story. There is also a second them running through these covers – it’s the shape of a circlet. In the first cover, the collar is shown empty, but standing up. In this cover, the Arena is shown empty, and standing. Both are circular objects. So, in this regard, I’m also using shape to help link the two books together.
Though I am not using color to link the series, I do use it to help mark what order the books belong in. Especially since I do not have the series name anywhere on my covers.
With “Into the Sunlits”, book three of the series, the background radically alters and the web begins to fade. To help ensure the series was linked together, I chose to return to the collar and spider, which is fully appropriate for what is going on in the story at this point.
Again, the circular objects provide an additional link.
With the cover for “And Keep This in Mind”, the fourth book of the series, there is a lot going on. The collar has vanished, leaving the same spider and web to keep the books linked together. The background links back to the last book, and the condition of the spider and web are starting to make promises about the next.
This is the last cover in my series. It’s for “I am You While You are I”. (Yes, I know it looks funny. It’s not done yet. Remember the first post of the series? I did warn you!)
The spider has “gone”, and in its place is a chalice made up of a mosaic from the crumbled pieces of the spider. (Warning – if you are adventurous and wish to try this make SURE you’ve got a strong graphics processor, lots of time, and a solid computer to back you up. The chalice had enough individual pieces it started bogging my gaming system down.)
The web remains, though once the image is complete, the deterioration will be reflected in running droplets from the left, and the flames that are already on the right. I needed it to be in place to link this to the rest of the series, but with what is happening in the story at this point, it probably should even been in good enough shape to do that. The chalice also provides a link through the circular rim, and the background links to the previous two books.
There is also another pattern here, though it is fairly subtle. It has to do with the titles, and part of why I let the font become an unexpected link as well. It is why I can get away without putting the series name on the books:
“Out of the darkness, remember the shadows. Into the Sunlits, and keep this in mind. I am you while you are I.” This is the final pattern that links all the books together, and helps keep them in order.
While you are waiting on the last episode, (next Sunday 27th September), I’ll leave you with a little homework once again: Can you find any other series that uses patterns to link their books together?