Publishers are keen on author branding, because it helps readers identify the person with the prose. A certain look, font, layout, logo–all can associate the writer with feel-good fiction, spooky stuff, drama, darkness.
So I’m told one element of good branding is to have a professional, clear author photo like the ones on my Facebook, Goodreads, and Twitter feeds. Alas, I didn’t do so well branding my Pinterest and Instagram feeds, so I’m updating those pictures. Now you’ll know who you’re looking at all across the Internet. Lucky you!
There’s a story behind the Instagram photo (below). Back when I was single (newly and blissfully divorced), my well-intentioned but meddlesome daughter put my info on a dating site. I was a bit freaked out so I didn’t let her put up any closeups of my face. We used this one instead.
Good for getting attention, not so good for branding. In time, Prince Charming came along, and the rest is history.
[Side note: When in doubt, buy the shoes.]
I’ve been known to say that my author photo is my greatest work of fiction. Writers by nature (well, this writer, anyway), tend to be ridiculously uncomfortable about getting their picture taken. All the fuss and attention. The holding-still while wondering if your smile really IS that dorky. The worry about extra poundage and crows’ feet and oh-my-god that outfit.
But ultimately, you’re persuaded that the artifice has a point. It tells the reader what to expect when they open a book by Stephen King. Nora Roberts. Debbie Macomber. Sandra Brown. Danielle Steel. I bet when you see those names, you can picture the writer in your mind.
What I tell the stylist and photographer at a photo shoot is that I want to look like someone with an interesting story to tell.
So there you have it. The person attached to the legs.
PS: Let’s meet in person to read, eat, drink, knit, and sightsee! This July. Info here.