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Old 11-11-2012, 09:04 AM   #1
ThatLauren
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photo on website

Hello everyone!

So, I finally broke down and decided I should start letting people read my work.

I have my website, which I will use to post my short stories, and hopefully one day link to my works for sale.

As an erotica writer would it be beneficial for me to post a photo of myself on the website? Or is it better to leave something like that to the reader's imagination?
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:51 AM   #2
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Do your readers really need to know what you look like?

If there is any possibility that people in your family, workplace, and neighborhood/city are going to be freaked out by you writing erotica, don't post pictures of yourself. Don't post pictures taken from recognizable areas near your house or place of business. Try to make sure that your pictures do not have GPS location information buried inside their code.

If you become famous, you can cross that bridge later.

Here's a good place to start out with digital image and privacy security.

http://your-digital-life.com/sharing...photo-privacy/
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:09 AM   #3
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Filigree, thank you.

I work for myself so that area is safe as well.
My family and friends would never be a problem. I teach kink and BDSM, and everyone knows and accepts that. My photo is online in relation to that aspect of my life.

I don't know if people need to know what I look like. Do I become a person to them and does this make them more likely to read my work? Or do I let them have this image in their head of some beautiful, and sexy woman.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:50 AM   #4
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Hi there,
I'm a newbie to this myself, and we write in roughly the same genre, so for what it's worth - I did a 'half-commit' with the picture on website decision: There's a picture of me, but I'm facing away from the camera, on a beach that I went on vacation to (so it's personal, but with very little PII).
I've seen other authors in this genre have cartoon/avatar versions of themselves, which also checks the 'personal' box without getting too personal.
But hey, it's your website, so if you're comfortable with putting your picture on it, who's to say otherwise?
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:55 AM   #5
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I used to run amateur adult websites and people's idea of "beautiful sexy woman" is strongly driven by how they perceive her. Some of the most popular girls weren't really all that good looking, but because they were so approachable to their audience with their daily postings, they got huge followings. Provided you aren't a total goblin and if that avatar is you then what are you worried about doll? they will view you as a sexy beautiful woman because of your writings. If I were you, I'd do it.

Of course I got one post to my name so what do I know. I'm more the lurker/stalker than adviser.

Lucky you, to even have that option. I live in a very rural, bible thumping community. If they had ANY clue, wheee! Probably have a friggin cross burning in my yard by sundown.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:26 PM   #6
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If you have a normal life that involves sexuality, then I think IDing would probably help you. Most of the issues with identifying yourself, you've already crossed in far more ways than erotica. I personally think it helps to know what people really are like.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:30 PM   #7
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I'm working on plans for my own website at the moment and definitely plan to include a picture which I would also like to use on a novella I'm planning to self-publish around the same time the site goes live. I think knowing what an author looks like helps build a connection between them and the reader. I know what a fair number of my favourite authors look like, after all.

Of course, I don't have any published erotica right now and if I did, I probably wouldn't be connecting it with the rest of my work but since you don't seem to have that particular issue, I would say go for it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 07:27 PM   #8
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Thank you for all the great feedback.

I guess my next question is if should be a sexy picture, or not. The two pictures I am thinking about don't contain any nudity, but they are clearly sexual. Or I always have a headshot I could use.

Thoughts?
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:10 PM   #9
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I personall wouldn't do anything too sexy. It gives the message that you're desperate.
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:31 PM   #10
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Each to their own, I guess.

I'm old fashioned enough that I don't need to know what an author looks like. I don't need details of their lives to enhance my enjoyment of their books. If the writing captures my attention, that's enough for me. But then, there are writers whose works I adore, but in person they can be rather banal or even awful people. Or I really don't like their books, but they're wonderful in real life.

Follow your comfort level, but remember that information uploaded is permanent information.
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Old 11-12-2012, 12:13 AM   #11
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I would recommend any author pursuing publication have professional headshots done--many publishers ask for them. Whether or not you use it on your own website is up to you, but it is nice to have a pro shot to use where necessary.

I have to admit i cringe a bit when i visit an author's website or amazon page and they have a snapshot for their author photo. Really, a nicely lit headshot is worth the investment.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:23 AM   #12
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I feel that a photo, especially for erotica, isn't that important. Most folks who read erotica do so regardless of how you look, so long as the writing is good.

However, if you must use a photo, don't make it sexy. You'll make yourself look desperate for a sale, and not only that, but you could get victimized.

Don't trust the internet to keep you and your family safe.
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Old 11-12-2012, 02:26 AM   #13
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In general people relate more to a person if they know what they look like. But I would suggest a picture that says "trustworthy" and "professional" not "sexy".
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:22 AM   #14
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I didn't put my picture on my website, but it's on my FB page, my GR page, my Twitter, etc etc. I don't hide what I do and I won't lie about who I am. Then again if anyone tried to publically shame me by throwing tomatoes I'm more apt to throw rocks back at them than run away crying.

Also, just remember sexy does not always equal you dressed like a mermaid with a giant tentacle butt plug bending over for the camera. Ya know what I mean. Keep it classy!
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:39 AM   #15
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This is wonderful advice from everyone. Thank you.

I think I may wait on the use of a photo on my website and do as Ann Mayburn suggested and justuupload one (classy- I'll leave the tentacle pics to my lovers) on facebook.

Again, many thanks for the input.
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Old 11-12-2012, 07:53 AM   #16
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Quote:
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As an erotica writer would it be beneficial for me to post a photo of myself on the website? Or is it better to leave something like that to the reader's imagination?
Beware the law of unintended consequences. Someone could pick up your photo and use it for whatever purpose. For example, they might make it go viral in some out-of-context form. Or your fundamentalist employer or your elderly grandmother could be made aware of it.

Or a stalker.

Moreover, it will definitely show up in Google searches of your name, by your employer, friends, enemies, etc.

Why not use a purchased photograph of a model? I'd certainly use that, along with a pseudonym. (In my case, a photo of an aging, obese man isn't going to help sell much erotica.)
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:19 AM   #17
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Using a model is actual misrepresentation, I would not suggest that at all.

Plenty of erotic authors use author pics just like other authors do for just the same reasons.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:33 AM   #18
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Using a model is actual misrepresentation, I would not suggest that at all.
If it's not illegal (and I think it's not, unless it violates the TOS of the photo owner or seller), then it's either bad ethics or good marketing. Or both.

I don't know what the consensus would be to that.
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Old 11-12-2012, 11:44 AM   #19
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If it's not illegal (and I think it's not, unless it violates the TOS of the photo owner or seller), then it's either bad ethics or good marketing. Or both.

I don't know what the consensus would be to that.
If using a stock photo, you'd be on very shaky legal ground. If the image is associated with erotica either the model or the photographer could sue for defamation. Most stock sites have license restrictions, like the ones here:

http://www.istockphoto.com/help/licenses

The only way to do it without that risk would be to commission a photographer specifically to take images for this purpose and make sure he explains the situation to the model and has her sign a model release agreeing to that use.

I'm a model IRL and I wouldn't be very happy to find someone using a picture of me and claiming it was them.
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Old 11-12-2012, 05:18 PM   #20
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Yeah, I definitely agree that nothing good can come from posting a picture of someone else and claiming it as you. Better not to post any picture at all.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #21
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You can also do a shot that is you, but with your face obscured. I know authors who use masks and hats to great effect.

Personally, at my level of publishing, I'd look skeptically at any publisher who 'demanded' a headshot of me.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:45 PM   #22
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If it's not illegal (and I think it's not, unless it violates the TOS of the photo owner or seller), then it's either bad ethics or good marketing. Or both.

I don't know what the consensus would be to that.
It is dishonest. And in any market with consumers, dishonesty eventually bites one on the ass. Not to mention most people disapprove of it in principle.
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:47 PM   #23
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You can also do a shot that is you, but with your face obscured. I know authors who use masks and hats to great effect.

Personally, at my level of publishing, I'd look skeptically at any publisher who 'demanded' a headshot of me.
Personally I think these shots look a bit silly. I too would simply not go with a publisher who required a photo.

IMHO, you use a photo of yourself, or you use no photo at all. Anything else is playing games.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:07 PM   #24
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Do not use someone elses image. Eventually someone will find out and there will be a righteous troll explosion across the internet about your deception. I've seen it happen a couple times, mostly with women 'pretending' to be men while writing M/M romance.

http://www.ajllewellyn.com/site/2011/11/06/1360/

This is the author's post that it happened to. What I'm not going to link is all the people flipping the fuck out about it.
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Old 11-12-2012, 09:47 PM   #25
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Add me in to the "DON'T USE ANYONE ELSE'S PHOTO" group. That is horrible advice. If you're unsure if you want to use a photo of yourself, I've seen, and follow of FB, an author who created of Sim of herself. It's comparable to how she really looks, but without the "Here I am!"
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