Monthly Archives: March 2011

Author Photos are Important

Put Your Best Face Forward With an Attractive Author Photo

When it comes to author photos, “attractive” can come in all kinds of forms. Writers can even dress things up to depict a character or scene inside their books.

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Author photos make as powerful a statement about a writer as a book cover makes about the story inside. As such, an author photo should always be given as much care and consideration as the rest of the book.

Where the writer’s picture once appeared on only the back cover of a book and a publisher’s press release; nowadays, Internet-savvy authors can take full advantage of social networking sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to promote themselves and their books. They may also choose to write a personal blog or create a video of themselves for YouTube.

There are many ways for people to promote themselves these days. And there are just as many types of professional photographers and videographers to help them put their best faces forward.

Author Photos on Book Covers

The back cover of a book is a great place to put an author photo. It can be a simple headshot or full-length portrait, depending on the writer’s preference; and this is a great place to get creative. A professional photographer knows how to use either colour or black and white to depict the mood of the story within the author photo. To make the picture even more attractive to readers, writers can dress themselves up as a character from inside their books or create the setting of the book within the background of the picture.

Author Photos on Social Networking Sites

Facebook is a social networking site that helps people keep in touch with personal friends and family members, but it can also be used as a business networking tool much like LinkedIn. (Think of LinkedIn as “Facebook for professionals.”) Both are great places to post an author photo as one’s profile picture. This can help to promote one as a published writer to the public.

That said, everyone should be careful about the type of photographs they are posting on these public sites. If the author photo on the back of one’s book is provocative or risqué in any way, it is wise to keep that one to the back of the book or one’s personal blog and have a second, more conservative photo done specifically for the social networking sites. Many authors only write part-time and have other full-time careers, and some may be looking for work in a professional office setting. It is important to remember that today’s employers often “Google” prospective employees before deciding whether or not to hire them. This makes it all the more important to ensure that employer will find an appropriate photo online.

Author Photos on Personal Blogs

Blogging is all the rage these days. What is blogging? The word “blog” is an abbreviated term for “web log,” and a web log can be thought of as an online diary of sorts. The public has taken the noun “blog” and turned it into the verb “blogging” when referring to writing entries within these online diaries.

Writers can use blogs to promote themselves, their work, and their books. One example is the PPG Publisher’s Blog. This is where the author of this article does her blogging and answers industry FAQs (frequently asked questions) for writers about the Canadian book publishing industry. (You’re reading that blog right now.)

Author Video Readings on YouTube

YouTube is a website where people can watch and/or upload videos completely free of charge. It is a great place to post a modern video reading as this video will be available to a worldwide audience within a matter of minutes. It is also possible to share a link to this video with one’s personal and professional networks via email, social networking sites, or a personal blog.

The possibilities are endless for modern authors with the introduction of all these Internet tools. Never before has it been easier to reach such a broad audience so quickly—and at such an affordable cost! This makes it all the more important for authors to put their best faces forward with professional-quality author photos.

This article was originally published at Suite101 in March 2010.

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