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Old 04-09-2021, 11:46 AM   #1
gtriever
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Series Numbering Question

How would you folks number a series of books that are divided into smaller sub-groups?

Let's use as an example 'The Riftwar Cycle' by Raymond E. Feist, which is a huge literary saga composed of multiple series of books authored or co-authored by Raymond E. Feist. The recommended reading order is in order of publication.

Let's hear your ideas, and Thanks!
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Old 04-09-2021, 11:53 AM   #2
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Riftwar.Cycle [# in cycle] >>- Calibre series column notation

I also have a Series-like column for when I want alternate numbering.
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Old 04-09-2021, 12:11 PM   #3
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Overarching series goes in the series field with the index. Sub-series goes in a series-like column with index.

So the Melissa F Olson Old World series are composed of a number of sub-series set in a linked chronology as the series (Old World):

Blood Sick: Scarlett Bernard prequel, Old World 0
Dead Spots: Scarlett Bernard 1, Old World 1
Trail of Dead: Scarlett Bernard 2, Old World 2
Hunter's Trail: Scarlett Bernard 3, Old World 3
Boundary Crossed: Boundary Magic 1, Old World 4
Boundary Lines: Boundary Magic 2, Old World 5
Boundary Born: Boundary Magic 3, Old World 6
Midnight Curse: Disrupted Magic 1, Old World 7
Blood Gamble: Disrupted Magic 2, Old World 8
Shadow Hunt: Disrupted Magic 3, Old World 9
Born Magic: The Diary of Scarlett Bernard: Disrupted Magic 4, Old World 10
Boundary Broken: Boundary Magic 4, Old World 11
Boundary Haunted: Boundary Magic 5, Old World 12
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Old 04-10-2021, 05:36 AM   #4
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Depending on the circumstances I either use a fractional series #, e.g. 1.0, 1.5, 2.0; or I add a # to the series name, e.g. Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series which splits into Humanx(1): Founding, Humanx(2): Commonwealth, Humanx(3): Icerigger, and Humanx(4): Pip & Flinx.

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Old 04-10-2021, 04:25 PM   #5
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I've not done it with real books yet, but I've tested with the idea of setting Calibre's series column as hierarchical so I could set it to Series.Subseries 1 or whatever. Though right now I don't really have enough subseries to bother with.
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Old 04-10-2021, 05:09 PM   #6
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I would forget the sub series and just number them in the order you will be reading the books.

So for Riftware, I would call the series Riftwar and then number them in the order you will be reading them.
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Old 04-10-2021, 11:56 PM   #7
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I would forget the sub series and just number them in the order you will be reading the books.

So for Riftware, I would call the series Riftwar and then number them in the order you will be reading them.
That's pretty much what I do, which - for me - normally equates to publication order. (My logic being that if the author thought it was suitable to release in this order then it ought to be suitable to read in this order.)
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Old 04-11-2021, 07:03 AM   #8
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That's pretty much what I do, which - for me - normally equates to publication order. (My logic being that if the author thought it was suitable to release in this order then it ought to be suitable to read in this order.)
Sometimes you do get the author's preferred reading order. But whatever order you decide to read in, the way I suggested is the best way to handle sub series.

But there is one other thing that can be done if you have a Kobo. You can create a custom column for the subseries and use the subtitle to be able to display it. on the Reader.
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Old 04-11-2021, 11:29 AM   #9
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That's pretty much what I do, which - for me - normally equates to publication order. (My logic being that if the author thought it was suitable to release in this order then it ought to be suitable to read in this order.)
But the really great authors sometimes do Prequels to flush out a plot element that was mentioned in passing,

Ruth
(a suposed minor Character)

Stupid minor characters taking up a life of their own .
I wonder how many Authors have been affected by this curse??
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Old 04-11-2021, 08:45 PM   #10
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There was one series I read when the prequel was written between books 3 and 4. The prequel had a caution that it should not be read until after book 2 since the backstory contained spoilers for the first two books. One of plot threads was searching for a missing person and the prequel told where they went and why.
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Old 04-12-2021, 07:33 AM   #11
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But the really great authors sometimes do Prequels to flush out a plot element that was mentioned in passing,

Ruth
(a suposed minor Character)

Stupid minor characters taking up a life of their own .
I wonder how many Authors have been affected by this curse??
David Weber is notorious for splitting off sub series that are somewhat intertwined with the main series. The Honor Harrington series is a classic example. He has two different sub-series that split off the main series to effect actions in the main series. It's very hard to come up with a reading order if you want a continuous narrative.
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Old 04-12-2021, 07:44 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by gtriever View Post
How would you folks number a series of books that are divided into smaller sub-groups?

Let's use as an example 'The Riftwar Cycle' by Raymond E. Feist, which is a huge literary saga composed of multiple series of books authored or co-authored by Raymond E. Feist. The recommended reading order is in order of publication.

Let's hear your ideas, and Thanks!
I added a Subseries column. I also have the very series you mention. So I have Riftwar Cycle in the series column (1..27 or so), and then the individual series in the subseries column (Riftwar 1-3, The Empire 1-3, Krondor's Sons 1-2, Serpentwar 1-4, Riftwar Legacy 1-3, Riftware Legends 1-3, Conclave of Shadows 1-3, Darkwar 1-3, Chaoswar 1-?)

I'll be starting the Conclave of Shadows series next time I pick one from the Rightwar Cycle. I'm still waiting for the Chaoswar and subsequent volumes to become available on a special offer.
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Old 04-12-2021, 08:24 AM   #13
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But the really great authors sometimes do Prequels [...]
Even with prequels I have found that publication order generally works best. The writer and publisher know at the time they release a prequel that a significant part of the audience will be fans of the original books, so part of preparing the prequel for publication is making it acceptable to those who read the books as they were released. There tend to be spoilers whichever order you read.
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Old 04-12-2021, 09:34 AM   #14
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Even with prequels I have found that publication order generally works best. The writer and publisher know at the time they release a prequel that a significant part of the audience will be fans of the original books, so part of preparing the prequel for publication is making it acceptable to those who read the books as they were released. There tend to be spoilers whichever order you read.
Agreed on all counts.

People are, of course, free to read in whatever order they like, but I'm strictly a publication-order kind of reader. In my mind, a prequel not read (for the very first time) in publication order cannot actually be called a prequel. Turns it into more of a reboot in my mind. If that's what someone is into--fine. But if it didn't occur to the author to write/release the 4th, 8th, 10th--whatever--book in their series before the 1st book, then I'm going to assume there's a reason it was released the way it was. Just like flashback scenes in a single book are to be read out of chronological order.

It's always puzzled me a bit that some people seem to view prequels as some sort of editorial correction process.

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Old 04-12-2021, 10:31 AM   #15
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Even with prequels I have found that publication order generally works best. The writer and publisher know at the time they release a prequel that a significant part of the audience will be fans of the original books, so part of preparing the prequel for publication is making it acceptable to those who read the books as they were released. There tend to be spoilers whichever order you read.
Yep. My one exception to reading the books in publication order was Bernard Cornwell’s Sharpe series, where I went with chronological order. There were drawbacks to both methods. By reading in chronological order I got the full sweep of the Penninsular War and it was worth it, but there were both obvious discontinuities in referring to earlier events (that hadn’t been chronicled yet) as well as the constraints imposed by what happened in later books (already written). A side benefit to chronological order in this case was that the weakest books were buried in the middle, at which point you were most likely already committed to the series.
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