Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Author photos

Let’s be honest: People isn’t the only magazine more likely to review someone’s book if they think the author is attractive.

Do you have to be “attractive” for someone to buy your book? No. Will you get more media attention for your book if you’re traditionally good looking? Possible.

My take is this: if you’re attractive, it can help your chances. If you’re unattractive, it can’t hurt. I’ve never picked up a book and thought, “Yikes! Not gonna read a book by that!” I honestly don’t think author photos make anyone buy or not buy a book in the bookstore. At most, it’s the very last thing that tips a buyer into the “yes” or “no” column.

So for all you gorgeous souls out there, there’s one more reason to thank genetics. The rest of us will carry on depending on our supreme intellect and prodigious talent.



  1. If we have kind hearts, does that help our chances?

    Somehow, I'm guessing the answer is no.

  2. I've never cared about an author photo. I do like seeing what the author looks like, but not judging how they look.

  3. Maybe that also explains why authors don't update their photo but once every twenty years.

  4. What's your take on whether or not people buy books based on an author's avatar?

  5. It (sadly) makes sense to me. It probably won't have any effect on whether you sell your book to a publisher, but I do think it would probably get you more media attention if you're good-looking. The media knows what sells. This could get an attractive author more attention from the public and lead to bigger book sales, although like you, I don't think it's the deciding factor for anyone...more like casual readers might remember a book and be interested enough to pick it up if the author has been promoted everywhere. (Good news, though! Physical attractiveness isn't the *only* reason the media might report a lot on an author. It all comes down to writing a great book.)

  6. Being an author is an occupation held in such high esteem that people generally look beyond physical appearance, I think. (It's about the mind.) So I agree that it doesn't affect a buyer's decision, in most cases. In the public eye, authors are nearly on the same plane as university professors. And we all know that some of the most well-respected profs are quirky looking, to say the least (and I mean that in a good way)! Besides, what's most interesting to me about an author photo is the background, the angle, and the lighting.

    Refreshing post. Thanks!

  7. Wow. Thank God I'm knock-down drag out attractive. Though I do have this bump on my nose....hmmm...I've always thought I ought to have that deviated septum taken care of...and, you know, since they're working in that area anyway....

  8. A photo has never helped me decide if I'm going to read a book, but this topic is interesting....Never really thought of it.

    I heard an author say that they are glad they are a writer and stuck behind a computer most of the time. They only have to "get pretty" when making a public appearence for a book signing or something, whereas an actor...well they have to look good 24/7 or they'll be in the tabloids. LOL.

  9. It's called the Anna Kournikova effect.

  10. Can you be attractive, but old? (over 20)

  11. Typically I attend about six conventions a year, and I would say that the same is true for conventions and face-to-face meetings. Part of the challenge is the stereotype that writers are anti-social and neurotic. Seeing a friendly face -- even if the writer isn't drop dead gorgeous -- goes a long way for networking, talking to readers, et.

  12. Anon, heck yes. I'm 37 years old and I think Sean Connery is a babe! okay, his accent helps.

    Silver is in!


  13. Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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