Jeust the other day somebody asked me about using an photo of yourself on the back of a paperback.
“It feels a bit weird, putting my own photo on the back of a paperback, even one of my own paperbacks,” was what she told me. “Do you think that you should do it?”
Well, let me put it this way.
I like having my picture taken – just in case you haven’t figured that out yet. But aside from overly-needy egomania – I have a very real reason for making certain that there is an author’s photo on each of my books.
Let me explain it to you.
Part of the reason I don’t mind is because I started out as a traditional author, and my publishers ALWAYS insisted upon an author’s photo.
However, I agree with them totally.
All kidding aside, an author’s photo helps to establish a connection between the reader and the author. Think of how much you enjoyed your grandmother/mother/dad telling you a bedtime story. Just try and picture yourself listening to that same story told from a tape recording. Besides that, I often take my book table around to different festivals and sell and sign my books and it is a great help when people ask me “Did you write this?” and I say, “Yup, that’s my picture on the back cover.”
People want to get to know you – even in a sort of psuedo-fashion. They want to feel like they actually know you. People WANT to hear stories from real people, so I am a FIRM believer in author’s photos and bio material of all sorts and styles. Think of all of those records you see with the pictures of the performers. (I know – records and tape recordings – I am dating myself).
So my advise to any author – traditional or indie – is to make certain that you attach a photo of yourself to that back cover. I know you’re shy and I realize your acne might embarrass you – but heck, look at this way. These are your words that you have written and you REALLY ought to show that you are proud of your own words.
Incidentally, one of those photos is NOT me.
But, on the other hand – I actually have an author’s photo prepared for the possibility that I might someday release a book under a pseudonym and want to keep my identity secret.
If that doesn’t work I could always go with this one!
Yours in storytelling,