A selection of novels by Robert Pimm

How to choose a title: Body Politic, Blood Summit, or the President’s head?

Robert Pimm
Robert Pimm

How the choose a title for your self-published novel is a tough decision for any author.  I tried crowd-sourcing advice.  The results are here.

If you would like to read more writing tips, click on the link.

How to choose a title?

A couple of years ago I self-published my first novel.  “Blood Summit” is a tense, intelligent thriller set around a summit in Berlin.  Terrorists seize the leaders of eight of the world’s largest nations, including the President of the United States.

A British diplomat, Helen Gale, must solve the riddle of the hostage-taking, with the help of a female special forces officer; a German intelligence cop; and an American spook.

I was confident that the novel was, to quote reviews on Amazon, “unputdownable”.

The challenge

But what should I call it?  My first thought was “Show me the Head of the President”.  During the siege, the terrorists say they have killed and decapitated the leader of the Free World.  Helen doesn’t believe them.  ‘Show me the head of the President,’ she says.

Subsequent events lead to her being fired.

So that was one option.

A second option, based on the fact that the thriller contains some political analysis and quite a few victims of violence, was Body Politic.  My agent favoured this.  A third option was “Blood Summit”, which seemed to me to suit the content of the book well.

But I couldn’t decide between them.

The solution

So I wrote a blog to ask my readers, as follows:

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

You spot three books, set in Berlin, which you think might meet the bill.Blood Summit takes place in the Berlin Reichstag

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.

The result: Blood Summit

The result of the survey was a strong vote for “Blood Summit”.  So that’s what I went with.  The result is here:

Blood Summit cover

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5 Responses

  1. I definitely prefer “Show me the head of the president”. This title evokes pictures like the one of Saint John the Baptist’s head on a plate and it simulates one’s imagination. What do you think ablout shortening the title? “The president’s head”.

  2. Presumably the last one is a nod towards ISIHAC and, as such, will go over the head of most of your younger readers. Sorry but I don’t think either of the others does you justice. Body Politic must surely already be a political memoire while Blood Summit is perhaps a little too Andy McNab? Is there a German phrase for ‘back to the drawing board’?

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