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Marketing Tactics > Author Photo

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message 1: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Hi there. A little question about the author photo... do you think it makes some kind of difference to post one or not?
Maybe it's good to post one if you're young and good looking... But what if you're not very happy with the way you look?


message 2: by Martin (new)

Martin Wilsey | 447 comments Post one. If people are interested in you, are a fan, they like them. You become your own brand. That said, get them done professionally.


message 3: by Zana (new)

Zana Hart (zanahart) | 13 comments When an author doesn't have a photo, the page where there is a spot for it looks incomplete to me. As for professional, I'm lucky to be married to a man who used to be professional so it's easy for me. think any very good photo is fine. I use the same one here, on my website, on the Amazon author page, on Kboards, on Facebook, etc., for consistency and maybe recognition.


message 4: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Personally, from reader's perspective, I'd say it's about the completeness of the profile. I'd not mind if it's not a professional photo, as long as it stays "on topic" = shows the author, not something totally random.


message 5: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Haru wrote: "Hi there. A little question about the author photo... do you think it makes some kind of difference to post one or not?
Maybe it's good to post one if you're young and good looking... But what if you're not very happy with the way you look? "


I suppose there's a lot of variables here. Where are you posting it? Why? But, it boils down to using a photo that you feel fully represents who you are and gives the impression you want to give.

I've never really been happy with how I look. Still, I use a photo here and on my author facebook page as I know some readers like to connect with a face. I'm thinking I need to change the photo here. It's too blah. My writing is quirky and often humorous. I'm not a tie guy. I think I'll go back to one of my other photos... tomorrow. I'm too tired right now.

I don't believe it's necessary to have them done professionally, but there's nothing wrong with it, either.


message 6: by Leah (new)

Leah Reise | 356 comments I love your face Dwayne!


message 7: by Leah (new)

Leah Reise | 356 comments Haru, I’m not sure how important seeing an author’s face is, but what’s on the inside is truly what shines through someone’s eyes, even in a photo. Besides, people are rarely as bad as they think.


message 8: by Tori (new)

Tori Turnbull (toriturnbull) | 2 comments I think you look great, but I understand that not everyone wants to use a photo, for a variety of reasons. I didn't use one as I wanted to keep my writing and my mortgage paying lives separate! But, I agree with Zana, that sites look unfinished /unprofessional without a profile picture.

So when it came to my author picture, I knew I had to put something up so that people could recognise 'me' when they found my different sites (e.g. website, fb, twitter). I chose to go with a cartoon image I had had drawn of me, - this fits with the contemporary humorous style of my writing, but still maintains my privacy. You could ask the artist to bring out the features you want to and to tailor your image to your style of writing.


message 9: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Well, I am hiking a lot in my spare time. In fact, probably 90%+ photos of me are done when hiking, so it'd be hard to find something else. On the other hand, it's what I love to do so in a way it would fit who and what I am. Especially when I often recharge my inspiration when walking the hills.
I might as well keep my current profile picture when I upgrade from reader to writer if I was too lazy to look for something newer. It's not like my average look would change apart from my monthly shaving cycles.


message 10: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments I find it more interesting if I don't know what the author looks like.


message 11: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Thank you, Martin, Zana, Tomas, Dwayne, Leah, Tori and M.L. for all the great answers! You guys brought back my inspiration!

Reading what you guys wrote, we come back to the ubiquitous topic of branding. I was thinking that maybe you can do it Kiss-style, LOL.
I was thinking of showing my face but like a geisha and Photoshopping eye color and stuff. My personality is very creative, artistic and weird so a "normal" photo would not represent me anyway.

P.S.: Dwayne, if you write humor I don't think you should wear black. Find a flattering but lively color!


message 12: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Glad I could help


message 13: by Lori-Ann (new)

Lori-Ann Claude | 76 comments We are probably our worst critics for how we look. Whatever picture you use, it should match your brand. Someone writing horror, probably not a smiling face.

Keep in mind that you often pay a copyright fee when you get a professional picture taken. They will ask how you intend to use the picture (back of book, social media, etc.). I was lucky, my photographer didn't charge very much. She pointed me to my province's suggested price and it was eye opening. If you have a friend who can take a nice picture (research on what makes a good one), try that route. I think it shows being serious.


message 14: by Dwayne, Head of Lettuce (last edited Jun 10, 2018 08:45PM) (new)

Dwayne Fry | 4356 comments Mod
Leah wrote: "I love your face Dwayne!"

Daaww.... Thanks. Yours is lovely as well.

Haru wrote: "P.S.: Dwayne, if you write humor I don't think you should wear black. Find a flattering but lively color! "

Not even if it's dark humor? What if it's gallows humor? (See... 'cause the tie is like a noose and...)

I went back to my picture from a couple of years ago, me lounging in a creepy motel room, clutching my Kurt Vonnegut doll.


message 15: by Leah (new)

Leah Reise | 356 comments Lol! Love it.


message 16: by Felix (new)

Felix Schrodinger | 138 comments What's wrong with an avatar - especially if it's relevant?

PS - just ordered a 'selfie stick' but am having trouble using it as it doesn't work with paws.


message 17: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Felix wrote: "What's wrong with an avatar - especially if it's relevant?"
In my personal opinion: nothing, IF it's relevant. Irrelevant avatar might be worse than no picture at all.


message 18: by M.L. (new)

M.L. | 1126 comments A geisha is good. If it was manga that could be fun, a katana instead of a fan tucked in the obi.


message 19: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Tomas: *hugs*

Lori-Ann: Thank you. That's great to know. I can draw, so I could do what Tori said too, but I like a photo better.

Dwayne: Oh... that's mighty ingenious. I have good pictures from years ago too, but I've changed so much, especially inside, that I don't feel they represent me anymore. I might use them as a last resort.

Felix: Just do something funny, and you bet some human is gonna photograph you and post you in Instagram or something.

M.L.: Thank you! I'm a bit of an otaku so it could be good.


message 20: by Tomas, Wandering dreamer (last edited Jun 11, 2018 10:45AM) (new)

Tomas Grizzly | 731 comments Mod
Another possible idea when it comes to avatars: heraldry. If you plan to only write books from a single fictional world (or write other works under a different pen name) then maybe some kind of coat of arms typical for that world could be a decent avatar. Imagine JK Rowling having the Hogwarts banner as a profile picture, it could be fitting and just below photo on how I see the relevancy scale (sorry for lack of better example).

Edit: also, thanks for the virtual hug :)


message 21: by B.A. (new)

B.A. A. Mealer | 915 comments I am like Tomas. My picture is from Alaska. The one I use for my books was taken in New Hampshire. I love to travel, so you will see pictures of while I was traveling. I like the avatar which is a cartoon of the author which works. Me being me, I use the ones I like (ie the one from base camp on Denali with the plane or the one with my bike) I do like seeing what the author looks like and check out the photos of them on the books.


message 22: by Felix (new)

Felix Schrodinger | 138 comments Felix: Just do something funny, and you bet some human is gonna photograph you and post you in Instagram or something.

Thomas - Don't you watch 'Cats do the funniest things'. I'm on it regularly!


message 23: by Haru (new)

Haru Ichiban | 255 comments Tomas: That's a great idea! And I used to hug people much more, but most people here are not the huggy type :(

B.A:: Your photo is so cool!

Felix: Don't you mean Haru, not Tomas? And I don't, but I'm sure you have millions of people watching you.


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