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Writing tips: self-publishing: how many books can you sell?

How many books should a self-published author aim to sell?  If you are writing a book, how much money are you likely to make from publishing it yourself?

When I lived in Germany, trying to get my second book published, I was friends with a German author.  I was rather jealous of him: he had written four novels, all published commercially.

But he was not happy.

‘My publishers don’t market my books properly,’ he would say.  ‘They simply publish them and forget about them.  I keep trying different publishers, but they are all the same.’

I asked how many novels he had sold.  He told me he had never sold more than 600 copies of a novel.

I thought of my friend when I self-published my first novel, “Blood Summit“.  I set a target of selling 600 copies.  How did I do?

The first year, I sold 246 copies (more…)

“Blood Summit” live readings in Berlin 21-22 February

My two live readings in Berlin are coming up.

I shall be reading from my thriller Blood Summit in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.  I will also be doing a tour of the Reichstag and nearby locations where the action in Blood Summit takes place.

A video by Sibylle Trost of me reading from “Blood Summit”.  Now you can see the real thing.

Unfortunately, the tour, first publicised last month, is sold out.  But the readings still have places available:

  • 21 February 18.00, a reading from Blood Summit in a room with a view of the Reichstag generously provided by Mazars GmbH & Co Berlin, Alt-Moabit 2, 10557.  Full details of how to register, plus help with planning your weekend in Berlin, are at this link.  This is a free event.  I will be signing copies of my books Blood Summit and Seven Hotel Stories.
  • 22 February 19.00, a reading from Blood Summit at the salon of Christiane and Ari Großkopf, Bamberger Str. 56, 10777 Berlin.  This is a free event which Christiane and Ari are kindly hosting.  If you would like to attend, please e-mail me on robertpimmauthor@gmail.com with your name(s).  I will also be signing books.

(more…)

“Blood Summit” readings in Berlin 21-22 February

It is time to plan your weekend in Berlin.

I shall be doing two readings from my thriller Blood Summit in Berlin on 21 and 22 February.

A video of me reading from “Blood Summit”.  Now you can see the real thing.

Details are:

  • 21 February 18.00, a free reading from Blood Summit in a room with a view of the Reichstag at Mazars GmbH & Co Berlin, Alt-Moabit 2, 10557.  Full details of how to register, plus help with planning your weekend in Berlin, are at this link.  This is a free event.  I will be signing copies of my books Blood Summit and Seven Hotel Stories.
  • 22 February 19.00, a reading from Blood Summit at the salon of Christiane and Ari Großkopf, Bamberger Str. 56, 10777 Berlin.  This is a free event which Christiane and Ari are kindly hosting.  If you would like to attend, please e-mail me on robertpimmauthor@gmail.com with your name(s).  I will also be signing books.

(more…)

Blood Summit – a Berlin thriller

Welcome to the opening chapters of my Berlin thriller, Blood Summit.  

I wrote Blood Summit from my personal experience, after years of working with real terrorist incidents and real intelligence agencies.  I have exercised with special forces and fired live rounds at their training facilities.  This is the real thing.

What if the leaders of the eight most powerful countries in the world were taken hostage by terrorists, who then starting executing them live on-line in a facility designed to be impregnable?

What if you knew how to stop the slaughter, but no-one would listen to you and those you loved were amongst the hostages?

“Utterly gripping: I devoured it” – Edmund de Waal, author of “The Hare with Amber Eyes

“Blood Summit is a cracker. Pimm has hit the ground running” – Matthew Parris.

You can find Blood Summit on Amazon as a paperback or, for instant download, an e-book.  For a sample, read on.

BLOOD SUMMIT

A novel by Robert Pimm

Prologue

Two years earlier

There were children playing in the street outside her door.  Turkish, Uli Wenger guessed from their dark skin and bright clothes.  He walked around them.  The first insect Uli ever killed had been a child.  Today, he had more important business.

The surface of the door was rough with dirt and spray paint.  Sixteen buzzers studded the wall.  The target lived on the third floor.  Uli pressed the button by her name.

There was a crackle.  ‘Yes?’

‘Post,’ Uli said.  ‘A package.’

‘OK.’  The door popped open.

The hallway was cool and dark and smelled of damp stone.  Two bicycles (more…)

Pictures from my reading in Innsbruck

What do you think a reading with Robert Pimm looks like?

I was delighted on 18 October to read from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit in Innsbruck.  

Some pictures:

The reading took place at the magnificent Stadtbibliotek

Q&A afterwards with Andrew Milne-Skinner

Questions were incisive and challenging

Afterwards I signed copies of “Blood Summit” and “Seven Hotel Stories”

As I mentioned in my curtain-raising post (links in bold italics are to other posts on this site), the reading was organised by the excellent English Reading Circle in Innsbruck.  I am particularly grateful to Maria Kandolf-Kühne, who brought the book to the Reading Circle and suggested I do a reading in Innsbruck; and to Andrew and Sandra Milne-Skinner, who were instrumental in setting things up.

If you want to know more about Blood Summit, see my blog Blood Summit: the US President in the killing chair.  It is available from English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna, or from Amazon.  If you have a book group, you may like to read my blog post Blood Summit: Reading Group Questions.

I also presented in Innsbruck my recently-published paperback of Seven Hotel Stories.  It seemed to go down well.

 

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please follow me on Facebook.  Or you can join my mailing list – I’ll be delighted to give you a free “Hotel Story” to say thanks.  Check out the range of writing on this site via my 5 pleasure paths.

 

Robert Pimm Live in Salzburg 20 February

Stop press: I will be doing a reading from my Berlin thriller BLOOD SUMMIT at 1800 on 20 February 2019 at The English Centre in Salzburg.

For a taste of what my readings are like, see the video below by Sibylle Trost, a film producer in Berlin.

If you live in Vienna, you may wish to note that Blood Summit  is available from English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna:

(more…)

Blood Summit: top reading group questions

Blood Summit is ideal for reading groups and book clubs.  This intelligent thriller appeals to a wide range of audiences (see reviews on Amazon) and contains a host of controversy and material for discussion.  Here are some questions you can use for discussion.

One publisher rejected “Blood Summit” because they said Helen, a female action hero, was insufficiently feminine or “too much like a man”.  Do you agree?  Is Helen lacking in feminine qualities?  Would it matter if she did?

How would the plot develop differently if Helen was a man?  Which elements of the story, if any, would be less compelling or make less sense?

Helen is furious that her husband refuses to leave London and come with her to Berlin.  How would life with Nigel fit in with her lifestyle in Germany?  Are they sufficiently compatible to live together?   (more…)

Thank you!

‘How many people are you expecting at your reading?’

‘Well, it’s impossible to know.  Maybe five, maybe 20.’

‘But how many people will you will be happy with?’

‘Well, anything over three.’

We’re on our way to my reading from my Berlin thriller Blood Summit at the excellent English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna.  Not only is it a Friday night, but the World Cup has started: Portugal vs Spain, no less.  I am managing my expectations appropriately.

We gather in the bookshop.  It is a beautiful place, in the heart of Vienna’s old town.  Outside, a cobbled street.  Inside, books reach to the ceiling: a temple of imagination, stories and ideas.  If you have never visited Shakespeare & Co, go today or, at the latest, next weekend.  They are open until 9 p.m. six days a week.

People keep coming.  By the time I start the reading, at 1930, the shop is already crammed – I count 19 people.  More keep arriving, slipping in cunningly through a hitherto unsuspected back door.

A wonderful place for a book-reading – Shakespeare & Co

(more…)

This Friday 15 June! My live reading from “Blood Summit”

What does reclusive author Robert Pimm look like in the flesh?

You can find out on Friday 15 June at the wonderful Shakespeare & Co bookshop at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna.

I will be reading from my new Berlin thriller “Blood Summit” (“a rip-roaring romp of a thriller” – Sir Christopher Mallaby). Entry is free and copies of the book will be on sale.

Come along – and bring a friend!

For a preview, see the video below, from my March 16 reading at Cafe Korb, also in Vienna.

In fact, you can buy “Blood Summit” in Shakespeare & Co any time: (more…)

Robert Pimm Live in Austria

Franz Schubert steps to one side.

The lights go down.

Robert Pimm looks up at the packed crowd.

‘My name is Robert Pimm,’ he says.  ‘First time I’ve said that.’

 

For those of you who were kind enough to attend my first reading from my new Berlin thriller Blood Summit at the Cafe Korb in Vienna last year, introduced by remarkable artistic director Franz Schubert (“this name is not a joke”), thank you.

The video of my reading from Blood Summit above was produced by the excellent Sibylle Trost in Berlin – thanks, Sibylle!

I was delighted to receive a good deal of positive feedback on 16 March, as well as news the next day that brilliant English language bookshop Shakespeare & Company at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna had run out of copies of Blood Summit.

They have since renewed their supplies. (more…)

Robert Pimm: my first public reading – 16 March in Vienna

Have you ever wondered what Robert Pimm looks like in person?

Now you can find out.

I will be performing my first public reading at 19.30 on 16 March at the Cafe Korb, Brandstätte 9, in the First District of Vienna.  Details are at the Cafe Korb Facebook page.

The Cafe Korb is a fine cafe, as I have reviewed separately.  Its glories include an Art Lounge – click on the link for a 360-degree view.  The cultural programme is eclectic and sublime – upcoming events range from “Who’s Afraid of the Jewish Mother?”, through the Korb’s famous Philosophical Evenings, to a performance by US jazz, blues and soul singer Margaret Carter.

It is in this splendid space that I shall be reading excerpts from my thriller Blood Summit – a world premiere.

The Art Lounge of Cafe Korb – worth a zoom, or a visit

The Art Lounge is not fantastically large and I am hoping it will be pretty packed.  Entry is free, and I will answer questions after the reading.  I look forward to seeing you there.

“Blood Summit” Chapter 6: a mysterious Russian

Here is the text of Chapter 6 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.  

“Terrorist Uli Wenger meets a mysterious Russian.”

Enjoy!  You can read the first six chapters of Blood Summit together here.

The Reichstag dome.  Bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”

 

BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 6

One day, Uli Wenger thought, he would be tagged.  If he lived that long.  The technology existed: the state would inject a chip into each citizen and track them by satellite.  If Uli were in charge, he would have people tagged tomorrow.  He would want to know where everyone was, so he could torment them as they had tormented him.

But for now, there were no tags.  That was good.  Otherwise, what he planned for tomorrow would be impossible.  The insects had saved him.  The insects hated change.  They liked their old-fashioned ID cards, which could be forged and bought and fixed.  (more…)

“Blood Summit” on sale here

The book fits right in, between Ian Fleming and John le Carré.  Good company.

“Blood Summit” at Shakespeare & Co in Vienna

Shakespeare & Co, the famous Vienna English language booksellers, stocks my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.  I am proud to see it there on the shelves.

If you live in Vienna, I suggest you nip right down to Shakespeare & Co and buy yourself a book from their well-stocked shelves.

Shakespeare & Co also stock my book Seven Hotel Stories.  

Shakespeare & Co is at Sterngasse 2 in central Vienna (1st District).  It is worth a visit.  A sketch, including of the excellent Guy Perlaki who helps run the shop, is on the Vienna Würstelstand site.

If you are do not live in Vienna, you can buy Blood Summit as a paperback or e-book at Amazon.com, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de (it is a big hit in Germany and Austria) and other reputable outlets.  I hope you enjoy it.  Hundreds (so far) of others have.  You can also read the first five chapters on this website.
P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

Blood Summit: the US President in the killing chair

The US President, British Prime Minister, German Chancellor, Russian President and other G8 leaders are taken hostage by terrorists at a summit in Berlin.

Rescue is impossible.

One after another, hostages are executed at point-blank range, killings streamed live, bodies left on show for fifteen minutes to prove that they are dead.

Then the U.S. President is thrown into the killing chair – and shots ring out.

Who is to blame for this cataclysm?  Who can resolve the crisis – against a background of terrorist demands which seem impossible to meet, yet which have demonstrators massing outside the Reichstag to support the hostage-takers? (more…)

“Blood Summit” Chapter 5: Things get worse for Helen

Here is the text of Chapter 5 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.  

“In which Helen Gale gets into even more trouble.”

The Reichstag dome.  Warning: bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”

 

BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 5

Helen watched Sir Leonard Lennox grow angry.  It was a rare, but frightening sight.  Even when the ambassador was calm, his rugged features tended to darken in response to obstacles or unreason.  Now, the combination of brilliant white bandages and a choleric outburst made his face look black with rage.

‘They say what?

Basil Nutter grimaced, glanced around the conference table and said nothing.  Decades of experience in the back rooms of embassies from Abidjan to Yerevan had left the wizened but career-challenged diplomat equipped with two convictions.  The first was that the key to a contented life was to avoid drawing attention to yourself.  The second was that efforts by governments to influence the media were at best pointless and in most cases counter-productive.  Basil was arguably, therefore, ill-fitted to the job of embassy press officer.  He seemed physically to have shrunk as the Summit loomed.  This morning’s blast had left his brow, and his suit, more deeply creased than ever.

Helen had been thinking of the injured child in the street.  She saw Basil’s plight and intervened.

‘Ambassador,’ she said.  ‘You need a cigarette.  Possibly two.’

‘First sensible idea I’ve heard all day.’  A lighter and a packet of Benson and Hedges were in the ambassador’s big hands in an instant.  ‘And before you say anything, Jason, this is an emergency.  Since the windows have been blown out by a terrorist bomb, we’re technically outside anyway.’

Jason Short said nothing, but looked at the overwhelmingly intact windows and pursed his lips.

The ambassador lit a cigarette, blew a stream of smoke towards the ceiling, and turned to Basil. (more…)

My thriller “Blood Summit” – Chapter 4

Here is Chapter 4 of my Berlin thriller Blood Summit.

The Reichstag dome.  Warning: bad things happen here in “Blood Summit”

How did Dieter Kremp, Deputy Head of the Summit Security Unit and a macho package of anger, “exquisite, toned musculature” and chauvinism, become the lover of Helen Gale – a Cambridge-educated top diplomat?  How did the US Secret Service almost stop the Summit happening?

Find out now.

BLOOD SUMMIT: CHAPTER 4

As he ran towards the Summit Security Unit command bunker, Dieter Kremp was reminded with a jolt how much he hated the logo for the Children’s Summit.  A Berlin bear on its back, for Christ’s sake, balancing a cute kid on each of its sharp-clawed paws.  The bear was grinning playfully – hungrily, more like – as it performed this unnatural act.

(more…)

“Blood Summit” now available! Read Chapter 3

Wonderful news and äußerst schön.  My Berlin thriller Blood Summit is now up on Amazon, both as an e-book and as a paperback – I’ve seen, and signed, a copy.  Both look terrific, thanks to Ken and Kate over at Creative Covers.

If you enjoy Blood Summit, feel free to leave a review an Amazon, repost my facebook posts, retweet my tweets, or do anything else to spread the word.  The greatest challenge faced by any author is bringing her or his book – however brilliant – to the attention of people who might enjoy it.

I’ll be doing my bit on this blog and elsewhere, but all help gratefully received.

I will also be happy to sign paperback copies – these first editions will obviously be priceless collector’s items in years to come.

Potsdamer Platz – Helen Gale lives in a flat here (photo RP)

Meanwhile I shall continue to publish excerpts from the novel.

Chapter 3 develops the conflict between Helen Gale and her boss, Jason Short, and introduces several new characters including:

Ram Kuresh: the only avowedly gay member of the Secret Intelligence Service Office in Berlin. (more…)

My thriller “Blood Summit”: Chapter 2

In the last couple of weeks  I have posted the prologue and first chapter of my new thriller, Blood Summit.

This week comes Chapter 2.  Get to know Uli Wenger, the mastermind behind the plot to seize the Reichstag.  What drives him?  Why does he detonate a bomb outside the British Embassy in Berlin?  You decide.

The full text of Chapter 2 is below.  Or you can read all the excerpts published on this blog together at my new Blood Summit page.

One other big piece of news.

The complete thriller Blood Summit is now available on Amazon.  On Friday 1 December I uploaded both the e-book version (suitable for Kindle) and, for the first time in my experience, a paperback version.  The e-book is already available at the link above.  The paperback seems to take longer to appear; I will let you know when it does.

I have worked long and hard on Blood Summit, both to write the novel (a big job) and to prepare it for publication.  It is a wonderful moment to be able to make it available to readers.  I hope you enjoy it.  Anything you can do to draw the book to the attention of potential readers will of course be welcome.

Blood Summit: the cover

Here is the text of Chapter 2.  Thoughts, comments and re-posts welcome!

CHAPTER 2

It was not accident but design which made Uli Wenger so hard to see. His disguise was brilliant. Only one person in the crowd could recognise him. She would never tell a soul.

More marchers were appearing. The merciless punctuality made planning easy. Uli was in control. In thirty-six hours, he would hold a knife to the throat of the world. A few hours after that, the world would embrace him as its saviour.  (more…)

My novel “Blood Summit”: Chapter 1

Last week I posted the prologue of my new novel, Blood Summit.

This week, you can read the first chapter.  It introduces protagonist Helen Gale, a brilliant, tough counter-terrorism expert responsible for protecting G8 Presidents and Prime Ministers at the Children’s Summit in Berlin.  The blurb:

Counter-terrorism expert Helen Gale has one job: to protect world leaders at a summit in the Berlin Reichstag.

But terrorists take hostage presidents, prime ministers, one hundred innocent children – and Helen’s journalist husband.

Then the executions start.

Helen’s life implodes. Yet she alone can see the truth. As special forces plan a deadly assault, she must enter the shattered hulk of the Reichstag to stop a bloodbath.

Blood Summit: the cover

Here is the text of the first chapter.  You can read the prologue and first chapter together at my new Blood Summit page.

CHAPTER 1

Helen Gale was briefing the ambassador on the Children’s Summit when the first rock hit the window.

‘The Prime Minister flies in at 1500 tomorrow,’ she said. ‘The trouble is, Air Force One is due at 1450. Obviously, the German Federal Chancellor won’t have time to greet the President of the United States at the airport.’

‘Who wants to meet a child in a sandpit?’ the ambassador said.

‘The President’s been called worse things.’

‘Not by the Chancellor. After a speech on US foreign policy. When someone’s left the microphone on.’

(more…)

My novel Blood Summit: prologue

What is in my new thriller Blood Summit?

Here is the prologue.

The complete novel, as both paperback and e-book, should be available soon on Amazon.

Watch this space.

Early draft of “Blood Summit” cover

Prologue

Two years earlier

There were children playing in the street outside her door.  Turkish, Uli Wenger guessed from their dark skin and bright clothes.  He walked around them.  The first insect Uli ever killed had been a child.  Today, he had more important business.

The surface of the door was rough with dirt and spray paint.  Sixteen buzzers studded the wall.  The target lived on the third floor.  Uli pressed the button by her name. (more…)

Blood Summit: the cover. Views sought

I am working with the outstanding designers at Creative Covers on images for my new novel Blood Summit.

They have sent across a few mock-ups.  I’d be interested in feedback.

Contenders are:

Option 1:  (more…)

Body Politic? Blood Summit? Or Show Me the Head of the President?

You’re shopping for a fast-paced, intelligent action thriller.

You spot three books, set in Berlin, which you think might meet the bill.

The Reichstag in Berlin: setting for my new novel

One of them is called Blood Summit.

One of them is called Body Politic.

The third is called Show me the head of the President.

On which do you click?

Please let me know in the “comments” section below.

P.S. If you enjoy fresh, original writing, please friend me on Facebook or sign up for e-mail updates (top right – see the “click here” blue button).  Check out the range of writing on this site via the sitemap and guide.

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