Thursday, September 04, 2008
The author photo, hmmm. Do you have one? Because I have been thinking of using one but the more I look at other author's photos the more I think it might be a mistake. Most of them are, in my opinion, terrible. They fall into a number of major categories.
A lot of romance authors seem to go for the "Mummified by Avon" look. That is hair that is three or four shades, all of them unknown to nature. Add to this matt apricot skin, lips and blush like a drag act, teeth too perfect to believe and an outfit last used as a costume for the climatic who shot J.R. scene. In the background is what we are meant to assume is one's stately home.
Men seem to go for the "I Take Myself Too Seriously" photo. That is the one with the dramatic lighting, serious expression and stare into the middle distance. Oh and always in grey scale, because in grey scale nobody can tell that you are bald.
Some authors seem to cut costs and go with the "Who, Me?" picture. This comes in two main forms, either them holding a camera up to the bathroom mirror, or them turned towards some other person whose shoulder can still be seen in the cropped version. The overall impression is that the author not only doesn't have a stately home, they don't have a friend who would take their picture or enough of an ego to have a picture be all about lil' ol' them.
Perhaps one of the least offensive versions is the "Shiny, Happy Author" picture in which a young, over-saturated author grins maniacally in front of a white background. If the author is attractive this can work fine, but still looks more like an advertisement for minty gum than an author photo.
There are a few other versions along the lines of "I'm Kooky!!1!", "I Live in a Fantasy World", "Me So Sexy", "If I Can See a Single Wrinkle in this Picture I Will KeeeeLL You (a.k.a. The Soft Focus Mystery Author)" and "Portrait of an Artiste (beret optional)."
But frankly, I have yet to see an author photo I liked, so maybe it is just me.... Do authors really need a photo? If so, what should a good one look like?
Can you believe this picture