Author Photos: Project the Right Image

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September 2011
by Dana Lynn Smith

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Author Photos: Project the Right Image

September 2011
Dana Lynn Smith

The author photo is not only part of the author’s image and brand; it’s part of the publisher’s image and brand. So a fuzzy shot cropped out of a group photo, with someone’s arm draped over the author’s shoulder, just isn’t right.

But the photo doesn’t have to be shot by a professional photographer in a studio. In fact, some studio portraits tend to look overly formal. Whether you’re arranging for the picture or advising an author about doing that, think about the setting, pose, and clothing in terms of the author’s personality, the type of book the photo will appear on and in connection with, and the brand or image that it would be best to project.

For instance, an outdoor shot with plants in the background is appropriate for the author of gardening books. A studio portrait in business attire might be best for an author of business books. Sometimes it works to take a photo in front of a bookshelf or with the author holding a mockup of the book the photo is for; sometimes a shot against a plain white background is effective. You can get ideas by looking at photos on authors’ Web sites and on book covers in physical and online bookstore. It’s always useful to see what others who write similar sorts of books are doing….IBPA Members – Click here to view the full article (login required).

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