Thursday, February 7, 2013

Author Photos ... Art or artifice

All I need is 70,000 words and a great head shot

Supposedly, a good author photo can help you connect with the reader. I’m not sure what difference it makes what you look like … or looked like, since many authors don’t change their photo for decades. Typically authors try to look intellectual, serious, hip, casual, friendly, dangerous, happy, or just pretty/handsome. It all depends on what image they want to tie to their books. If an author can’t convey enough personality in a studied pose, many just add a pet to the picture. Everybody likes a man with a dog.

Here is something to remember; the product is the book, not the individual who wrote it. Most writers are introverted and make lousy dinner guests. At least this is true for this author. My characters banter with ease, not me.

I once mentioned to Clive Cussler that the best kind of celebrity was being an author. Most famous authors can enjoy privacy in public, but only need to drop their name whenever they want to trade on their fame. He smiled and told me that was why his author shots were from a distance standing next to an antique car.

Don’t overly worry your author photo. My suggestion is to try for something natural. Write a great book and few will care what you look like. Just ask Jane Austen.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the great advice! My photos are always terrible, but who cares, it's the story that counts.