Saturday, July 17, 2010


I bought a book this week by an author I have seen several times at conferences. As is my custom, I flipped open the cover and read the plot summary inside the jacket, inhaling deeply at the fine smell of a fresh, new book. Then, I turned to the back to read the author bio and was really surprised by the author's headshot. Their look was very different from how I have seen them. In fact, I thought it was a bit of a sell-out.

Granted, everyone is going to look more polished in a posed headshot than real life, but this was a shocker. It was as if I'd bought a book Inker Kirk had written and his headshot featured him wearing a top hat and monocle.

It got me thinking about, if I am ever fortunate enough to have a book published, how I would want to present myself, to really reflect who I am in a headshot. Overall, when I think of some of the best I've seen, I think it's important to keep it simple. Hats, props, animals, etc. usually come across as you are trying too hard.

The photo I use for all my social media needs, of me posed in front of the bookcases in our living room is actually a poke at all the authors who try to make themselves look too studious in their headshots.

Just for fun, here are a couple links I found related to this subject. Warning: there is some language in the first one that may be offensive.

Here are a few more classics. Can you guess what genre they write?


  1. I've thought about that too. Some of them are just cheesey. Really cheesey.

    I laugh when I "know" the author and they look nothing like their headshot.

    But what would I do? I really don't know on that one.

  2. Oh to be at the stage in my writing where people can mock my headshot. Now there is a goal to work on. I haven't gotten that far. I have a headshot for my work that I am not in love with, especially since the jacket I'm wearing in the shot is my favorite and I had it forever and lost it in January. It's painful to look at the picture for so many reasons.

    Maybe I won't do one in my books just a spot that says..."It doesn't matter what I look like. What did you think of the book?"

  3. Mercy! Some of those are terrible!

    I'm pretty sure, since I'm a non-makeup-wearing sort of girl, that I'll be looking like myself in one of those head shot thingies.....