Author Interviews, Twitter/Social Media, Writing, Writing Dreams

Self-Publishing 411: Chat with Vania and KT- Author Photos

Hey guys and gals, Vania and I want to thank those of you who have interacted with us and read our chat posts. From here on out, until my publishing date, we will be posting these once a week. I hope you’ve been able to use something from each of them and if you’re just coming in, I encourage you to check back to the other Self-Publishing 411 chats on my blog. Today, we’re talking about Author Photos!

Let’s get started!

V: Wanna talk Author Photos?

K: Yes!

V: sweet! My brother in law did mine about a year and a half ago. I guess I need an update.

K: Awesome! I have a friend who agreed to take mine. It’s a matter of matching schedules around appointments and kids. I may have to take my own. What should a new writer consider when getting an author photo taken?

V: well, I guess for me, it’s a question of the kind of presence you want to convey online. Some people go totally professional, some people use a selfie, that looks pretty good, some use a selfie that definitely looks like a selfie, and some don’t us a real photo at all, only an avatar or their logo.

K: What do you advise against? You mentioned that obvious selfies are a no-go.

V: I suppose if you want to maintain a level of professionalism, you should find someone to do it for you. If you’re going to query, what kind of picture do you want a potential agent to find? S/He has to work with you. First impressions are important.

K: As with everything one does in life is.

V: It’s like people saying they don’t judge books by their cover–yeah they do.

K: If I take it myself, I planned to use a tripod and a remote. Ha! So there are ways to not have to pay out or have a friend do it, correct?

V: sure. I asked my brother in law to do it, he has a decent camera.

K: What should the photographer (no matter who it is) think about when taking the photo? Full body? Headshot? Etc?

Vania’s author photo….VERY Professional!

V: Well, that’s up to you, but a headshot seems to be the best. You have to think of Twitter, or Facebook, your Amazon Author page and your Goodreads page, they all will have a photo, and sometimes space isn’t that big. Also, you may want your photo on the back of your book, or in the back matter with the about the author section. Those photos aren’t big either, so you want something that looks good, in a small size.

K: Plus, most people don’t want full body photos of themselves. LOL.

K: Do you recommend getting a number of poses to have on hand?

V: Yeah, no thanks on the full body photos. I have a few poses, but I use the same one almost everywhere. It’s important to stay consistent so people online recognize you. You want your readers to be able to find you. I have a few different poses in my media tab on my website though, in case I get famous and a reporter wants to use a different picture. 😛

K: Ha! Love it! What about IN the photo? Backgrounds? What should the picture NOT have in the background, etc? I’m not wording this right so hopefully, you know what I’m asking.

V: Well, I’ve read to not have a brick wall behind you. And I actually see that a lot. I had my best ones taken in a breezeway at my local library. Natural light is the best! Joanna Penn goes into this a little bit in her How to Market a Book. She advises you to do your hair, put on some makeup, don’t wear a busy print. Outside looks good, if you’re near a tree or something. Or go to a cafe, so you can pose with a coffee mug and maybe a book. But turn the book so you can’t see a title.

K: Oooooh, good tips! I would have never thought a brick background would be bad!

V: yeah or a chain link fence as it can make you look like you’re in prison!

K: I’ll have to check out that book, sounds like it could have excellent tips in it. BTW- you should write your own “How to Publish” book…*wink* just saying. <3

V: Thanks. Not sure I want to go into non-fiction right now. Maybe when I have the sales to back up my knowledge. 🙂 I was thinking of doing some kind of planner or journal with my trilogy theme. All the couples had a ton of photos and I could pull quotes from the book.

K: that would be awesome! What a great idea!

V: So do you have any ideas for the author who doesn’t want to put their picture out there? That has always kind of mystified me.

K: Well, I believe each their own, but it baffles me why an author wouldn’t share with their readers what they look like. This could be a whole other blog post topic but, I think it’s important for a reader to know about the book and the author. Why do you think authors hide behind their words? What are your thoughts on those that do?

V: I actually am not sure. I guess they are concerned about privacy. But what happens if their book takes off? Will they not do signings? Or do interviews? Will they not do face to face meetings with anyone who wants to sell their books? I guess they don’t think that far ahead.

K: Maybe it’s self-doubt? Like, they don’t think they’ll ever make it that big? Could be a great guest post idea for a future blog?

K: I know for myself, I think big with low expectations.

V: That’s true. I kind of feel like, if they act like no one is going to read their work, then no one is going to read their work.

K: I agree. If they think it’s bad, everyone else will too. That’s why I think it’s important that through the doubt, anxiety, and stress; you stand behind your work and have faith in it.

V: That would be an interesting blog post–find someone who is not willing to put their photo out there. But I only know a handful of people who do that, and they probably wouldn’t talk about it.

K: I’m tempting to do it myself lol.

V: Sounds good! Anything else for our author photo chat? I can’t wait to see yours! Here’s a list of the places it can go– Amazon Author Page, Goodreads, your FB author page, if you have one, your Google + page if you have one, LinkedIn, Twitter, of course. Your website. Even a business card at some point.

K: I think that’s it for Author Photo, but thank you for telling me where all it can go. Many of those places you wouldn’t normally think of, especially as the anxiety rises with the publication date nearing.


What do you think? Would anyone be interested in sharing with me why they chose to not do author photos? I’m genuinely curious to understand and gain a new perspective. Share your thoughts on the chat in general, we would love to hear feedback! See ya next week when I learn what goes “inside the book.”

Articles about Author Photos:

Book Baby Blog- How to Take a Good Author Photo

Stand Out Books- Fantastic Author Photos

Show Some Love <3