So it’s author photo week here at The Debutante Ball. Yikes. I’m going to put this out there right now: like a lot of folks, I don’t love having my picture taken. I am very rarely pleased with the results and thus try to either duck out of the lens crosshairs or be the one behind the camera. But something funny happens when you sell a book; you are suddenly required to have pictures, because, for some reason, people want to know who you are and what you look like. Weird, right? I know.
It shouldn’t matter, what I look like when you read my book. I mean, I could well look like this:
And it really shouldn’t matter, because I’m writing fiction and I’m not even the narrator for my books. But for some reason, people want to know what I, the person behind the words, look like, thus there is a need for author photos. But these take a great deal of thought. And in my case, at least, a lot more thought than is really required, which means this has been a very angsty process for me, thus good fodder for a blog post, so bear with me.
First, one has to think about who is going to do the pictures. Can I get away with doing my own author photo in my bathroom?
I guess. This photo really was taken in my bathroom-the dark background is a towel thrown over my shower rod. For the size of my bathroom and the fact that I took this myself, I guess it turned out okay. It was the only one I had to use when I found out I was going to be a Deb, so it’s the one you see every time to you come here, but it’s not really ideal-I don’t think I would want this on a book cover.
Okay, so then I need to find someone to take the pictures. I’ve got my cousin, Tania and my husband, who both own decent cameras and know how to use them. So-photographer? Check.
But then I need to think about how I want to come across as an author.
Do I write very serious tomes? Do I want to come across like a very literary and thoughtful person:
Nah, that’s not really me. Okay, so how about a glam shot? After all, I am a Debutante!
Uh, not exactly. So how do you find the balance? How do you look friendly and approachable, but not ridiculous? How do you show your tween audience that you’re fun to be around and capable of writing a book they would want to read?
Insert a dog!
Although it’s always a good idea to have a clean head shot.
So which one will you see on the flap of SMALL MEDIUM AT LARGE? Beats me. I haven’t seen the full cover art yet, so I’m not even sure there will be an author photo on there. But no matter what, as long as it’s not like this one of Shel Silverstein, I’m okay with it.
So I’d love to hear what you think of author photos? Do you love them? Hate them? Skip right by them? Have you ever not bought a book because of one (kind of like how I put down that copy of THE GIVING TREE and ran from the bookstore, fearing terrible nightmares?)?