Iconic book series- what is the secret to their success?

Iconic book series- what is the secret to their success?

They are the franchises that have grasped nations all over the globe; movies, fragrances, toys, stationary and theme parks have all been dedicated to these magnificent novels. They have changed the literary industry and the way people view books that have been adapted in to films. The Hunger Games, Twilight and Harry Potter series have all dominated literature and film industries establishing solid brands that have made history like no other book series before.

It all began nearly eighteen years ago, in a small cafe in Edinburgh where a dedicated J.K Rowling took the world by storm with her debut Potter book which was released by Bloomsbury in 1997; making a sensation out of the extremely talented author. The remarkable story is based on an isolated orphan boy who leads a very challenging and peculiar life, living with his nasty uncle and aunt. On his eleventh birthday, little Harry Potter is introduced to a whole new life that was destined for him from the very beginning, a world of magic and witchcraft that he had inherited from his parents who were wizards. The raw originality and exquisitely detailed world that was created is almost implausible, how every component came together and no questions were left unanswered. A sublime plot that presents a well thought out world of adventure, the Harry Potter series has become so well known that it is almost unbearable to think that there is no real place called Diagon Alley and that we won’t ever be able to visit our local coffee shops and order a Butterbeer! There have been a number of great books about witchcraft and magic prior to the Potter series but for some reason the little boy who lived under the stairs managed to grab the attention of people all over the world like no other book series has done before.

The love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob had millions fighting over whether they were really Team Werewolf or Team Vampire for years. I mean you can see why it would be a tough one, both men are portrayed to be equally as intriguing in two very different ways. Edward Cullen who is articulate, polite and charming, he has really lived (107 years to be exact) and knows the world, a distinguished gentleman with a pure heart. The other Jacob Black is as impulsive as he is passionate about his friendship with Bella, protective and at times a little hasty but who doesn’t like a rebel? Especially a muscly werewolf one who wants to look after you and protect you? So it’s no wonder that poor Bella is so indecisive about which guy she sees her future with through the book series. This pulsating story is told by Arizona’s own Stephanie Meyer and explores the life of a very awkward Isabella Swan who moves to Forks in Washington to live with her father and becomes instantly infatuated by the mysterious Edward Cullen. The stories of tribes, vegetarian vampires and how the unconventional Cullens family have lived in peace with the werewolves for centuries is a driven and engaging concept that grips readers and makes them fall in love with both the characters and their story.

May the odds be ever in your favour. A dystopian world filled with bright costumes, eccentric hair, multi coloured make up and senseless high pitched voices, the Capitol is truly a place that makes readers feel sick to their stomachs. A shallow and ignorant world where ugly and evil things are masked by feathers, rainbows and glitter. The Hunger Games introduces Katniss Everdeen as the brave, strong girl who takes her sisters place in the merciless annual Hunger Games. A televised TV show which sees tributes from districts become pawns for the Capitol’s entertainment, a competition that can only see one winner; the person who survives the horrific dynamics of the ever changing games. Unlike Twilight, it is not this love triangle in this book series that convinces people of how amazing these books are; it is quite simply a fantastic concept, inspiring characters and an unusual and unique plot.

All three of these book series have been adapted in to huge blockbuster movies which have definitely helped seal their iconic statuses, but the books alone were bestsellers long before the films came along. A writer can only dream of entertaining millions of people through their words that they so effortlessly type on to paper and the worlds that they create so vividly in the minds of their readers. As a writer it is interesting to consider why these books resonated with so many people and what components make a book series this exemplary in the eyes of a reader. Is there a special formula or a pattern in these successful book series that make it clearly self explanatory on why they have been and continue to be such phenomenons? Is there something extra about the characters in these books that make their stories so historic? How does a writer create something so powerful that it continues to captivate numerous generations for decades?

3 thoughts on “Iconic book series- what is the secret to their success?

  1. There’s something about these characters that make us feel like we are them or could be them or have been in that similar situation. Sometimes these huge best sellers may not necessarily be the best written material but the author has a good story. (It’s fun to see them improve their craft further along in their career.)

    I found it fun to get lost in a story like Hunger Games and really enjoyed a strong female protagonist. Makes me want to take up archery! I haven’t read the Harry Potter series but JK Rowling rocks!

    If you find the secret formula, let us know! 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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