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Susan Breen
09-06-2008, 11:14 PM
Of the author photo? I just picked up a book and the cover looked interesting and the first page was interesting and then I looked at the photo and he looked so damn supercilious that I thought, Forget it. And I put the book back. I've never done that before.

Williebee
09-06-2008, 11:24 PM
Well crap. I don't think so. But, now that you've brought it up, I don't know. Man, I hope not.

Cranky
09-06-2008, 11:29 PM
No, I don't think I've ever done that.

And now I'm scared. I always look grumpy (Cranky, anyone? LOL) in photos. :eek:

Deccydiva
09-06-2008, 11:35 PM
Not to date, but if someone really looked supercilious I might think twice!

stormie
09-06-2008, 11:37 PM
I always look grumpy (Cranky, anyone? LOL) in photos. :eek:
And I can look stormy. (You should see the photos of me as a kid. Move away from me fast!)

You know, Susan, I did see an author's photo where his arms are crossed and he's leaning against something and he has a smirk on his face. I did read the book, but refused to even glance at the back photo.

If I had seen the photo first--nah, I'd probably still read it, but yes, it does color my feelings toward the writer.

Woodsie
09-06-2008, 11:42 PM
I haven't, but I probably would. I can't stand the way a certain popular, non-fiction author looks on his books. I've never read one and I never will. I also happen to know what his books are about so I know I'm not missing anything.

Susan Breen
09-06-2008, 11:43 PM
Now I feel sort of shallow. (And I do pick up books by authors who look shallow!). It was just a visceral response I had to this guy's photo, but I guess it bothered me, which I why I posted here. Now that I think about it, I've read plenty of books by supercilious authors.

stormie
09-06-2008, 11:46 PM
Oh, no, it's not shallow. You reacted to his mannerism, as if he's saying, "Here's my book. I'm so wonderful, I don't need you peons anyway." Maybe too, the book just didn't interest you as much, and the photo was the clincher.

Cranky
09-06-2008, 11:48 PM
Oh, no, it's not shallow. You reacted to his mannerism, as if he's saying, "Here's my book. I'm so wonderful, I don't need you peons anyway." Maybe too, the book just didn't interest you as much, and the photo was the clincher.

What stormie said. :) Besides, *and I should've added this above, sorry* I almost never look at the author photo until I've finished reading the book.

Weird quirk, I know.

It's not shallow, Susan. :)

Woodsie
09-06-2008, 11:51 PM
When you're giving up your time and thinking of the millions of reading materials to choose from, I think the little (shallow) things can be deciding factors. You have to sift some way. ;)

added: I'm referring to non-fiction, mostly.

Mr. Anonymous
09-06-2008, 11:52 PM
No offense guys... But I think that's kind of, well, superficial. You can't simply judge a person's character (and certainly not the quality of his work) based on a photo. And it's likely that the photo was professionally done, with the photographer telling the writer how to stand, whether or not to smile, what to wear, etc. The old adage, "Don't judge a book by its cover," applies here, I think...

Ken
09-06-2008, 11:52 PM
I only buy the oldies, from the 19th century. Rather than photos they have line drawings of the author inside the book. One that stands out most in my mind is George Eliot who had a rather unbecoming profile. Endeared her to me the more, though, as I'm no looker myself ;-)

Inky
09-07-2008, 12:06 AM
Karen Marie Moning had this pissed off look on her face for her first couple of books--but great hair!

Maybe her agent, or a fan said/wrote a comment about her expression because her newer books have a new photo, and she's smiling. Wow! Amazing how the smile transforms her face. She looks friendly now and as if she'd be easily amused by witty comments.

Oh, sure, it all sounds silly, but I do agree that their picture can have quite an impact. For instance, Mr. King & Koontz LOOK like the type authors they are: thrillers. James Patterson LOOKS like the author he is....funny how some really fit the type of stories they create.

But there's a male author, big name in fantasy, that looks so bloody arrogant...ugh. I purchase his books--I'm a major book collector--but haven't read them. I know, lame. Now, his picture doesn't stop me from buying & one day reading his work...but I have to not flip to the back of the book where I can see him. His folded arms and exrpession are so pompous....but perhaps he hated having to take a picture...that like my daughter, he's shy??

Just mi' own weirdness.

Birol
09-07-2008, 12:14 AM
There's photos of the authors on their books? Who knew?

Inky
09-07-2008, 12:44 AM
I'd like to dress up like a Victoria's Secret model for MY pic...

Then I thought it would be cool to dress up like the main character of my book...you know...sword & all...

Glamour Shots came to mind, but they're makeup happy...

So, at the end of the day...I simply took a pic of me at my desk--bummed I didn't wait until my office was redone--and called it a day. Hell, I even have one knee up, arm dangling over it...I figured: This is me, jeans & T-shirt, laid back, writing all day...no frills...*shrug*..you know, down-to-earth.




.....you can't see the bunny slippahs...hehehehehe

Red-Green
09-07-2008, 12:48 AM
Look, if his supercilious face was enough to put you off, apparently the opening pages of the book weren't good enough to keep you reading. I mean, I can't remember ever being put off by an author photo, but surely if the book itself had been more compelling, you would have been able to ignore the author photo.

MrWrite
09-07-2008, 12:51 AM
I'd like to dress up like a Victoria's Secret model for MY pic...

Then I thought it would be cool to dress up like the main character of my book...you know...sword & all...

Glamour Shots came to mind, but they're makeup happy...

So, at the end of the day...I simply took a pic of me at my desk--bummed I didn't wait until my office was redone--and called it a day. Hell, I even have one knee up, arm dangling over it...I figured: This is me, jeans & T-shirt, laid back, writing all day...no frills...*shrug*..you know, down-to-earth.




.....you can't see the bunny slippahs...hehehehehe

That's the best way to be. Just be yourself in your photo.

JoNightshade
09-07-2008, 12:55 AM
I was halfway through my second Nero Wolfe book when I happened to open up the back flap and saw a photo of Rex Stout. AGH! I seriously had to put the book down for a while, and I have intentionally not looked at it again. It wasn't that he was scary. He was... goofy, I guess. He looked like some crazy old coot from the hills with no teeth. What really freaked me out was the fact that the Nero Wolfe books contain some very old-style sexism, and while it is amusing and charming when the character Archie Goodwin evaluates the physical attributes of EVERY SINGLE FEMALE he meets - it was suddenly NOT amusing when I saw the actual real-life person behind the character. I felt like this guy was leering at me from the back of the book, rating my breasts and hair!

Beach Bunny
09-07-2008, 01:05 AM
No, I've never put a book back because of the way the author looked on the back cover. I HAVE put back a book with an author photo on the back cover, because I couldn't figure out what the book was about. Excuse me, Mr./Ms. Publisher I don't give a rat's patoot what the author looks like, where's the little blurb that is usually on the back cover? :( I want to know what the book is about before I fork over $8 US.

What's up with this trend, anyway? :(

Toothpaste
09-07-2008, 01:23 AM
After having taken many many headshots, and having them all turn out very different from each other, I just couldn't fault the author for the shot. Some authors can't afford a photographer so get a friend. Some can but the person they hire takes over the photo shoot. There are so many variables in getting your photo taken it can sometimes seem like getting a good one is pretty much close to a miracle.

Observe too how as authors grow more famous their pictures change. This has everything to do with the quality and cost of the photographer in my mind. Look at Stephenie Meyer's first headshot, then look at her current one:

http://www.yabookscentral.com/cfusion/_images/authors/meyer.jpg

http://img.timeinc.net/time/2008/time_100_walkup/stephanie_meyer.jpg

I think we can have a gut reaction yes to a photograph, that is part of the artistry behind photography, but to then judge the contents of a book based on something that has absolutely nothing to do with the writing of it . .. I dunno, I'd say just don't. And if you do, force yourself not to.

stormie
09-07-2008, 01:48 AM
Actually, I think Stephenie Meyer's first photo makes her look more approachable, like someone you'd want to get an autograph from.

I think what I hate are the books were the author's photo is on the back cover--filling the entire back cover. I go to sleep, accidently putting the book back side up on the nightstand, and on waking, practically fall out of bed when I see this huge photo staring back at me. I dunno. Author's photos belong on the inside back flap.

Oh well. Maybe I'm wrong. Someday when I'm famous, maybe I'll think differently. :ROFL:

Toothpaste
09-07-2008, 01:50 AM
I am sure people will like the first photo over the second, and others the second over the first. But the point was to demonstrate just how different the pictures look from each other, yet they are the same author who wrote the same books.

As to the location of the photograph, that isn't the author's fault. The location of the photo, heck even the photo chosen (as many authors provide more than one possibility) all of it is the responsibility of the publisher. Are we going to punish the author and the book by judging a photograph that the author in most cases had little to no control over?

It just seems weird to me.

stormie
09-07-2008, 01:54 AM
Yeah...I would never do it myself. I do, though, like when there is a photo. I like to 'see' who I'm reading.
One author (whom I like) looks garish in her photos. I can't look at her pic or I'd get nightmares.

Siddow
09-07-2008, 01:57 AM
I think that some of Nora R's author photos make her look like Pat Benatar, which is kinda fun.

And good old SK sometimes looks like a Who from Whoville. :)

stormie
09-07-2008, 01:59 AM
And good old SK sometimes looks like a Who from Whoville. :)
Yep, more and more as he ages.

Susan Breen
09-07-2008, 02:15 AM
I should make it clear that I have not gone and rearranged my book shelves into friendly versus unfriendly looking authors. It was just one book and I wound up reading something by Margaret Atwood, who does not look as though she hands out brownies. For all future author photos I will scowl. :)

Norton
09-07-2008, 02:17 AM
I don't care about author photo.
But sometimes I can decide not to buy (read) the book if the cover design is not interesting or primitive.

stormie
09-07-2008, 02:17 AM
Just have to say, Susan, this is a good discussion. :)

Matera the Mad
09-07-2008, 02:25 AM
Hmm... I don't care if the sumbidge is ten times uglier than me, but supercilious... come to think of it, that's why I seldom read self-help books.

RLB
09-07-2008, 02:30 AM
I don't usually notice it unless the author photo is actually the front cover, sometimes the case in nonfiction. As if they couldn't think of a better image for the title of the book than their own goofy mug. That annoying pastor/self help guy ("You Best Life Now") does this. I've never picked up the book, but the cover is frightening.

Edmontonian
09-07-2008, 02:33 AM
Hello,

Not, that has not happened to me, but I don't like when authors hide their faces, or crop them. I read once a fiction book, supposedly "best seller" and then I googled the name of the author and I found his picture. His hair is falling and he had cropped the picture at his website to look what... younger... more impressive...? I am not buying the book because the author is good looking.

Thanks,

ED

MrWrite
09-07-2008, 02:35 AM
Funniest author picture I ever saw was Barbara Cartland. My Mum was into all those books in her day. That is one scary looking woman...Barbara Cartland that is not my mother LOL

WendyNYC
09-07-2008, 02:39 AM
I'd never pick up this guy's book, even if I thought I'd need it:

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/WendyNYC/sunglass_flat.jpg

So to answer your question, yes.

ETA: He really does have a book! I'm not just posting beefcake.

illiterwrite
09-07-2008, 02:39 AM
I read a good article about author photos (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CEEDD1F38F931A25751C1A9659582 60).

Norton
09-07-2008, 02:43 AM
I'd never pick up this guy's book, even if I thought I'd need it:

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/WendyNYC/sunglass_flat.jpg


Why? Because he's wearing jeans?:D

Ken
09-07-2008, 02:50 AM
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/WendyNYC/sunglass_flat.jpg



"Okay, now smile for the photo, and shoot up some more steroids. There, that's perfect...."

Tachyon
09-07-2008, 03:04 AM
This summer I read The Art Thief, by Noah Charney. I didn't actually look at the back cover when I borrowed it from the library; I saw the author photo (http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/12/12/magazine/17art.450.jpg) when I went to read it. I couldn't help but mock the guy. Still, I don't judge by appearance, so I read the book.

It turned out to be one of the worst novels I have ever read.

stormie
09-07-2008, 03:37 AM
http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/WendyNYC/sunglass_flat.jpg
ETA: He really does have a book! I'm not just posting beefcake.
Now isn't that special. (Shades of Church Lady.)
You didn't tell us what book, Wendy. Keeping it to yourself?! Come on, share!

WendyNYC
09-07-2008, 03:45 AM
Now isn't that special. (Shades of Church Lady.)
You didn't tell us what book, Wendy. Keeping it to yourself?! Come on, share!

Fitness Made Simple by John Basedow. He also has a video they advertise on TV. Over and over and over...

stormie
09-07-2008, 03:49 AM
Okay, I've gotta watch more TV. Forget the book. :D

Ervin
09-07-2008, 06:59 AM
Of the author photo? I just picked up a book and the cover looked interesting and the first page was interesting and then I looked at the photo and he looked so damn supercilious that I thought, Forget it. And I put the book back. I've never done that before.
That reminds me of a self help book I keep seeing every time I go to a bookstore, where this very supercilious asshole is smiling at me from the front cover. If I ever actually need self help, I'm staying away from that one. But otherwise, the way the author looks doesn't matter to me much.

jannawrites
09-07-2008, 07:02 AM
Glamour Shots came to mind, but they're makeup happy...

So funny! My best friend and I had a conversation just a few days ago about how I could do Glamour Shots, circa 1992, should the day ever come I need author's pics. Can you imagine? :D

Susan, as for your OP, I wouldn't be surprised if I've done that. But just like the "funny" way an author may be represented in their picture, cover artwork or the way something's quoted on the front can be just as unappealing. It's all about personal perception.

Grrarrgh
09-07-2008, 07:10 AM
I did once. It wasn't that long ago, but I can't remember what the book was. The author was a woman; it was a full body shot and she was leaning back in her chair wearing a white dress covered in ladybugs. Ladybugs! I have nothing against ladybugs in general, but it was just the most ridiculous author picture I'd ever seen. I couldn't read the book.
Is dismissing the book based on the fashion choice of the author worse than doing it because he or she looked supercilious?

Shadow_Ferret
09-07-2008, 07:28 AM
... he looked so damn supercilious ....
I can honestly say I've never not bought a book because I thought the author looked supercilious. That's because I don't even know what it means.

Now pusillanimous. Yes, I've put them aside.

ishtar'sgate
09-07-2008, 08:48 AM
Funny you should mention a bad reaction to a photo. I had the same thing happen to me yesterday but it was an agent photo. I sold my first novel on my own but I'm always on the lookout for agents to approach when I'm finished my current wip. Yesterday I checked out the website of an agent who represents my genre and has done very well for her clients but her photo put me off. I had a negative gut reaction and didn't think I could work with her. Strange, but I know I won't contact her.
Linnea

Ugawa
09-07-2008, 06:18 PM
You could say i really do judge a book by its cover. If a book has a shinny cover then i wont read it because it looks tacky. (if you know what i mean by shinny cover)

XX

tehuti88
09-07-2008, 06:23 PM
I must admit I've never done that. And probably never would, though I think I can see why you did. If the writer looks too smug or some such it probably wouldn't put me off of reading a book I'm truly interested in, but it would definitely affect my opinion of the writer him/herself.

There are times when I'm shocked by the author photo because it doesn't fit my expectations (this happens more often when I've read material of theirs before without seeing a photo yet), and with authors whose work I particularly admire, I tend to get really shy and embarrassed of looking at their photos so I try to avoid doing so, and if I set the book down I do so so their photo doesn't show.

Yes I know that sounds nuts but I'm schizotypal and those photos stare at me!! :o

If I ever got published I doubt I would put in a photo of myself; that'd make me avoid picking up my own book! *also avoids mirrors in public*

Lyra Jean
09-07-2008, 06:40 PM
I like seeing photos of the authors I read. I kinda feel bad if I think it is a bad photo of them.

I had to look up supercilious in my dictionary because I didn't know what it meant and I found the words suicide and suicidal highlighted in pink in my dictionary. WTF! I don't highlight my dictionary and I definitely wouldn't highlight those words.

Phaeal
09-07-2008, 07:21 PM
I'm usually more interested in the setting or background of the author photo than in the author himself. The props can be quite interesting. The costuming, too.

I notice that photos of Dean Koontz often show him with a golden retriever, which reminds me (and probably many others) of his novel Watchers, which is my favorite of his. Another author photo memory: In one of her earlier novels, they had Olivia Goldsmith all tricked out with blond hair and a Vogue pose. In a later one, there she was, a brunette who looked like a writer not a model wannabe. I much preferred the later photo.

It seems a tradition to tart up romance writers or try to make them look like old money. Thriller writers are often equipped with dark glasses and tough-guy outfits. There's the famous pic of Tolkien, every bit the Oxford don out in the quad with his pipe. Susanna Clarke's pic in Jonathan Strange was so glammed-out, I didn't recognize her on the cover of Locus, looking so...ordinary! Someone once said that SF writers have the eyes of children, with Ray Bradbury the exemplar of the phenomenon.

Interesting topic. I'll have to go back and check out some photos on favorite books.

I've never considered the author photo in purchasing a book. I do have a preference for photos on the back flap rather than on the back cover, which is where there should be either a good summary, cool blurbs, or more art.

Toothpaste
09-07-2008, 08:06 PM
I guess I can understand the gut responses we can have to pictures. But having had some really bad headshots hold me back in my acting career, I know what it's like to be judged on pictures alone. Like I've already said, getting a good shot is very difficult, and it just makes me sad how judgmental people get about things like that.

It's the same thing I have with covers. My original UK cover really did not reflect the inside of the book, for that reason it has done extremely poorly in the UK. So now that I have a bit of a personal experience with judging things based on their appearance, I work very hard to go beyond it. It isn't easy, it goes beyond our natural instincts. But I guess I was kind of hoping in this thread that maybe people would learn from my experience and have the empathy before they find themselves with the personal experience of it. Trust me, you don't want to actually go through it in order to learn how superficial we can be.

I dunno. This thread just makes me really sad.

ishtar'sgate
09-07-2008, 08:41 PM
It's the same thing I have with covers. My original UK cover really did not reflect the inside of the book, for that reason it has done extremely poorly in the UK. So now that I have a bit of a personal experience with judging things based on their appearance, I work very hard to go beyond it.
I had this experience as well. I didn't like my book cover and wanted something less, well, gruesome. Publishers always win out though. When the novel was nominated for a young readers choice award they had a difficult time convincing kids to read it because of the cover. Most people DO judge according to appearance. I don't like to think I'm that shallow but I know I am. I expect shlocky soft porn in romance novels because that's what the covers portray. I will read the work of romance authors I know personally but otherwise not at all. Judgemental? Sure. But it's my money and I like to spend it on books I expect to enjoy. When I'm scanning bookshelves or online booksellers, if the cover turns me off, I keep going. If the cover intrigues me, I'll check it out. Okay, fifty lashes with a wet noodle!:D
Linnea

xiaotien
09-07-2008, 08:53 PM
susan, hahah!

i can't say i have.

but i was bummed to find out my
publisher usually does NOT include
author fotos? =(

PeekABooWriter
09-07-2008, 09:10 PM
The same thing happens with singers and radio talk show hosts. You hear the voice and form a total picture of what you thing the person looks like, then the image is totally shattered when you see the photo of the person. It can wreck it for the song or the show you are listening to. I have heard some absolutely seductive voices come out of people that....well let's not go there lol.

Woodsie
09-07-2008, 09:25 PM
It can wreck it for the song or the show you are listening to. I have heard some absolutely seductive voices come out of people that....well let's not go there lol.

~Video killed the radio star....~

Toothpaste
09-07-2008, 09:28 PM
I had this experience as well. I didn't like my book cover and wanted something less, well, gruesome. Publishers always win out though. When the novel was nominated for a young readers choice award they had a difficult time convincing kids to read it because of the cover. Most people DO judge according to appearance. I don't like to think I'm that shallow but I know I am. I expect shlocky soft porn in romance novels because that's what the covers portray. I will read the work of romance authors I know personally but otherwise not at all. Judgemental? Sure. But it's my money and I like to spend it on books I expect to enjoy. When I'm scanning bookshelves or online booksellers, if the cover turns me off, I keep going. If the cover intrigues me, I'll check it out. Okay, fifty lashes with a wet noodle!:D
Linnea

I'm not saying we don't make those judgments, but I wonder, if you know you like some romance books, and you know that the covers were not chosen by the author and may not reflect what is on the inside, why you don't fight that feeling? I guess that's what confuses me. I am the first to admit I judge a book on its cover, but because I know that, I try to force myself to look beyond it. Certainly it is your money and you are free to do with it as you wish, but all this talk about author photos and judging authors on their appearance . . . well it makes me sad, like I've already said.

Maybe I wouldn't feel this way if I hadn't had personal experiences with it, but I have. Anyway . . . I think this thread is all in good fun and people are just having a lark, so I'll probably just leave it. Sorry if I've brought the thread down or anything . . .

BenPanced
09-07-2008, 11:25 PM
The only reason why I've never read a book is because the cover doesn't have a synopsis. Anywhere. This happens a lot with paperbacks; the back cover and inside pages before the title are loaded with hyperbolic praise for the author and their work. If I can't tell what it's about, forget it; I won't even bother starting to read the first chapter while still in the store.

gypsyscarlett
09-07-2008, 11:37 PM
I'm not saying we don't make those judgments, but I wonder, if you know you like some romance books, and you know that the covers were not chosen by the author and may not reflect what is on the inside, why you don't fight that feeling? I guess that's what confuses me. I am the first to admit I judge a book on its cover, but because I know that, I try to force myself to look beyond it. Certainly it is your money and you are free to do with it as you wish, but all this talk about author photos and judging authors on their appearance . . . well it makes me sad, like I've already said.

Maybe I wouldn't feel this way if I hadn't had personal experiences with it, but I have. Anyway . . . I think this thread is all in good fun and people are just having a lark, so I'll probably just leave it. Sorry if I've brought the thread down or anything . . .

You're not alone. I'm reading this thread wondering what the heck someone's looks have to do with their writing. Entertain me with a well-written, good story. I don't care what the frell you look like.

As has already been mentioned- Video did kill the radio star. And look at the state of the music industry today. Do we want that to happen to the writing world? Do we want some overweight guy to pen some Nicholas Sparks-type novel to be told, "We love your work. But since it's geared towards women, we want a more attractive man for the author photo. So, if you'll agree to let us put in a fake photo- we'll publish your novel?"

Susan Breen
09-08-2008, 12:19 AM
No, no, no. I just want to be clear that I wasn't talking about the author's looks. I meant that he had an expression on his face that was very self-satisfied and that made me think I wouldn't connect with his writing. Looks and expression are two very different things, I think. And perhaps he's a lovely person and had a cranky day. And perhaps he's a genius and I missed out on something wonderful. Now I'll never know because on top of everything else, I can't remember the name of the book.

Judg
09-08-2008, 12:23 AM
No, I've never put aside a book because of the author photo. I have often refused to pick up a book because of the front cover, but that's another issue.

On the other hand, when reading the blogs of some unpublished authors, I can't help but think they had better get a makeover before they do the photo shoot. Their hasn't aged since the 80s, but the faces sure have. Yeesh.

On the other hand, I'm kind of hoping that my eventual publisher (thinking positive here) doesn't want an author photo on my books. It just couldn't possibly help sales...

Judg
09-08-2008, 12:45 AM
Just read this on the FinePrint blog (http://fineprintlit.blogspot.com/2008/09/pimpin-your-book-how-to-work.html):

Hire a professional to shoot your author photo:

As sad as this may be, author image sells a book every bit as much as the content of that book. Having a great head shot for your book jacket can only work in your favor. It may be tempting to have your wife or brother-in-law or that Pakistani guy who runs the bodega down the street take a photo of you to save money, but you get what you pay for, and a professional head shot is well worth the money you'll spend. Make sure that when you do this, however, that you own the negatives or digital files. Get this in writing. Otherwise, your publisher will need to keep purchasing the rights to use the photo from the photographer, and that leads to a very annoyed art department.

gypsyscarlett
09-08-2008, 12:51 AM
No, no, no. I just want to be clear that I wasn't talking about the author's looks. I meant that he had an expression on his face that was very self-satisfied and that made me think I wouldn't connect with his writing. Looks and expression are two very different things, I think. And perhaps he's a lovely person and had a cranky day. And perhaps he's a genius and I missed out on something wonderful. Now I'll never know because on top of everything else, I can't remember the name of the book.

Ah, okay. Yes- physical appearance is different than expression. And since someone's expression can easily be misread- I guess it's extremely important to use a photo taken when you are in the best of moods.

Note to self: When (not if) published, and publisher insists that extremely private me uses an author photo- have one taken in the midst of afterglow. :D

PeekABooWriter
09-08-2008, 01:06 AM
Hundreds of books have been written by, and about people who live around here in the woods. The messier and more controversial the writer looks, the more people buy the books. That stands in direct contrast to city authors I think. If you don't take a bath, shave, or change your clothes for years, people think you're worth something here. Or, if it's a blurry hard to recognize photo of the author walking off into the trees, it can be sold as a rare photo lol.
http://dingo.care2.com/c2c/emoticons/sardonic.gif

Phaeal
09-08-2008, 02:37 AM
Heh, if I WERE to yield to prejudice against a book based on the writer's looks, I'd be prejudiced against the good-looking, buff, fashionable authors. Hell, they must have been ghosted! Real writers don't have time for the high-maintenance route. ;)

Peachnuts
09-08-2008, 04:25 AM
I have done this. And I don't think I'm shallow.
I have seen the person's photo and thought, we would have nothing in common.

Oh sure, I have been proven wrong, but come on, who doesn't chose a book by its cover (or back cover photo) at least once in their life?

I DO think it's important that the photo you chose makes you look classy and approachable.
Just my 0.02$.

Elonna
09-08-2008, 06:12 AM
I can't remember not buying a book because of the author's pic, but I often will not buy a book if I don't like the cover art.

illiterwrite
09-08-2008, 03:23 PM
I can't remember not buying a book because of the author's pic, but I often will not buy a book if I don't like the cover art.


You know that writers have little to no influence on how a cover looks. So sure, the general public will avoid book covers that don't appeal -- but writers? Please don't.

Nakhlasmoke
09-08-2008, 03:48 PM
Hmm... I honestly don't think I'd be able to spot any author in a line-up, since I hardly ever look at the back photos of authors. i mean, I *glance* at them, but that's about it.

Oh wait, I lie. Sometimes I check mc descriptions against author photos, and there's generally a bit of covert mary-sue-ism going on there, but that by itself is not enough for me to stop reading a book.

Deccydiva
09-08-2008, 03:59 PM
You could say i really do judge a book by its cover. If a book has a shinny cover then i wont read it because it looks tacky. (if you know what i mean by shinny cover)

XX

Errr... no. never come across the word shinny, but there again I am an older person and language changes. Please enlighten me! :)

Deccydiva
09-08-2008, 04:01 PM
there's generally a bit of covert mary-sue-ism going on there, but that by itself is not enough for me to stop reading a book.
I keep seeing this reference but it's new to me. Can someone please explain? I'm feeling really un-educated today!

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2008, 04:12 PM
You could say i really do judge a book by its cover. If a book has a shinny cover then i wont read it because it looks tacky. (if you know what i mean by shinny cover)

XXToo many shins?
http://www.soulshine.com.au/images/article-image/shins.jpg

Nakhlasmoke
09-08-2008, 04:23 PM
uh a mary-sue is a super-speshul snowflake of a character. They can also be rather obvious author-inserts.

There are threads on aw that talk about them at length

here's a wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue

Judg
09-08-2008, 04:36 PM
You know that writers have little to no influence on how a cover looks. So sure, the general public will avoid book covers that don't appeal -- but writers? Please don't.
Sorry, if it's got a swooning heroine leaning into a naked six-pack, I know not to bother. Certain genres have an identifiable style. If I know I don't want to read those genres, the cover tells me.

Admittedly, sometimes the marketing departments do absurd things. If the author is a known quantity to me, or I have a reliable recommendation, I ignore the cover. For instance, I just picked up a used Pearl S. Buck with a cover that made it look like pulp fiction. If I hadn't known who she was, I would have kept on going.

You don't seriously expect us to stop and read pages of every single book we see, do you? The cover is an important filtering mechanism.

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2008, 05:13 PM
Errr... no. never come across the word shinny, but there again I am an older person and language changes. Please enlighten me! :)
Shinny. That's what you do when you climb a pole.

illiterwrite
09-08-2008, 05:35 PM
Sorry, if it's got a swooning heroine leaning into a naked six-pack, I know not to bother. Certain genres have an identifiable style. If I know I don't want to read those genres, the cover tells me.

Admittedly, sometimes the marketing departments do absurd things. If the author is a known quantity to me, or I have a reliable recommendation, I ignore the cover. For instance, I just picked up a used Pearl S. Buck with a cover that made it look like pulp fiction. If I hadn't known who she was, I would have kept on going.

You don't seriously expect us to stop and read pages of every single book we see, do you? The cover is an important filtering mechanism.

No, I don't "seriously" expect you to do anything. Obviously certain genres have distinctive covers.

I'm just frustrated by the idea that someone might think a book sounds good (from the blurb) but decide not to buy/borrow it based on cover alone.

As for author photo, I'd never not read something because the author looks like an ass. If I KNOW the author's an ass, I'll still read the book -- but I'll probably wait until it hits the library.

Lyra Jean
09-08-2008, 07:13 PM
Shinny. That's what you do when you climb a pole.

I thought that was shimmy, or am I wrong.

Lyra Jean
09-08-2008, 07:14 PM
I used to look at the author photo and if I thought he was cute then I would try and find out if he was single.

Of course, I can't do that anymore.

Deccydiva
09-08-2008, 07:21 PM
uh a mary-sue is a super-speshul snowflake of a character. They can also be rather obvious author-inserts.

There are threads on aw that talk about them at length

here's a wiki - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Sue

Thanks! I'll go and take a look. :Hug2:

Deccydiva
09-08-2008, 07:24 PM
I used to look at the author photo and if I thought he was cute then I would try and find out if he was single.

Of course, I can't do that anymore.

I can! :D I look at avatars too although they can be a little... misleading...

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2008, 07:44 PM
I used to look at the author photo and if I thought he was cute then I would try and find out if he was single.

Of course, I can't do that anymore.
Can't find out if he's single? Why not?

Lyra Jean
09-08-2008, 07:54 PM
Ah well I'm not single anymore. But I have friends who are...hmmm...

Of course this all in my little make believe world where anything is possible.

ishtar'sgate
09-08-2008, 07:55 PM
No, I don't "seriously" expect you to do anything. Obviously certain genres have distinctive covers.

I'm just frustrated by the idea that someone might think a book sounds good (from the blurb) but decide not to buy/borrow it based on cover alone.


I think that's the point though. If the cover doesn't attract, the blurb doesn't get read. Personally, from my own experience and obviously that of other writers, I think an author needs to use all their powers of persuasion to have the cover art represent what's inside the pages of their novel. I know I lost readers because of my cover. I don't blame those who had no interest in taking a look. I wouldn't pick it up either. It doesn't look like anything I'd want to read. Next time I'll be a lot more vocal about my cover art preferences. It makes a huge difference.
Linnea

illiterwrite
09-08-2008, 08:01 PM
well, I was pretty vocal about my last cover. Didn't make a difference. For my next book, I wasn't even asked -- I was simply sent the final cover. My point is that the author often doesn't have any say in the way the final book looks. I know someone with a literary novel. The publisher slapped on a thriller/mystery cover, despite his protestations. He still gets emails from readers about how awful the cover is.

And I KNOW the cover is the big draw, which makes it all the more frustrating.

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2008, 08:02 PM
I thought that was shimmy, or am I wrong.
I had to look it up. You're correct. Shimmy. I guess that's one of those words I've always heard incorrectly.

KTC's definition stands for shinny, it's some form of ice-hockey/field hocky.

Ah well I'm not single anymore. But I have friends who are...hmmm...

Of course this all in my little make believe world where anything is possible.

Wow. So getting married shut off all the fantasy synapses in your brain? I'm sorry. ;)

Heck, I look at the pictures and don't care if they're the ones married or not. :D

Lyra Jean
09-08-2008, 08:20 PM
No it doesn't shut off my synapses. Now I just daydream without caring if they are single or not.;)

Alpha Echo
09-08-2008, 08:26 PM
Of the author photo? I just picked up a book and the cover looked interesting and the first page was interesting and then I looked at the photo and he looked so damn supercilious that I thought, Forget it. And I put the book back. I've never done that before.

Haha! No, I haven't done that at all. Have I done the opposite...no, no I haven't. But it's okay that you did, I think. ;)

Judg
09-08-2008, 09:38 PM
I'm just frustrated by the idea that someone might think a book sounds good (from the blurb) but decide not to buy/borrow it based on cover alone.
If the cover turns me off, I'll never read the blurb. If I have any indication at all that it has potential, I ignore the cover. But I don't know the author, haven't heard of the book, have no recommendations, the cover pretty much tells me if I should look elsewhere.

Strangely enough, the cover rarely entices me to read. More often it just says, "Move along, nothing to see here." I realize that I could be judging unfairly, but there are just so many books out there...

It's sort of like being an agent reading queries. There are so many of them, you look for any excuse to say no, just to make the pile manageable.

Shadow_Ferret
09-08-2008, 09:45 PM
If the cover turns me off, I'll never read the blurb. If I have any indication at all that it has potential, I ignore the cover. But I don't know the author, haven't heard of the book, have no recommendations, the cover pretty much tells me if I should look elsewhere.

Strangely enough, the cover rarely entices me to read. More often it just says, "Move along, nothing to see here." I realize that I could be judging unfairly, but there are just so many books out there...

It's sort of like being an agent reading queries. There are so many of them, you look for any excuse to say no, just to make the pile manageable.I agree with this. I was at the bookstore the other day just scanning the bookshelves looking for, I don't know what, a book to leap off the shelves and into my hands. It didn't happen. They all just sat there mocking me with their silence. So I left empty handed.

Stlight
09-10-2008, 11:00 AM
I hate the author photos. I try not to look at them at all. Somehow they take all the magic, all the “this is a real place” out of a novel. And there is one mature, female mystery writer whose smirk is so much there that I have to paper clip the back of the book to the last page. If I see her, I can’t keep on reading the book, which is strange because otherwise I enjoy her stories.

I wish they wouldn’t put author photos on books.

I am shallow enough that if I discover something I personally dislike about an author’s actions or attitude I will not buy another of his/her books. I now it doesn't change the writing, but there you are. All the time I'm reading the book I keep thinking about whatever the thing was.

Stlight

KC Sunshine
09-10-2008, 11:07 AM
If I did that I would of never read a Stephen King novel. He's an awesome writer but the dude looks like a beaver. In a cute way.

stormie
09-10-2008, 05:30 PM
If I did that I would of never read a Stephen King novel. He's an awesome writer but the dude looks like a beaver. In a cute way.
I dunno, I think he looks scary. :eek:

Jimmyboy1
09-11-2008, 03:53 AM
Supercilious? A writer? No!

But seriously, we're all human and we make judgments, both conscious and sub. So we're naturally drawn to beauty over beastliness, with the exception of those seeking beasts.

Speaking for myself, a true hater of cameras, when I get myself published I will make sure to have a great photoshopper on hand.

And Ferret, you made me spew my non-alcoholic beer all over my keyboard with that shinny pic! ;-]

narnia
09-11-2008, 04:12 AM
Last year I attended my first writer's conference, chock full of folks whose books I loved and couldn't wait to meet.

About a week before I had a sudden panic attack - I had no clue what any of these people looked like because I, well, never gave the author photo more than a passing glance if at all. Heaven forbid I pass Doug Preston in the hallway and miss an opportunity to say hello!

So like the geek I am I looked up the websites of every author I absolutely had to meet and printed off the page of the website that had their photos. I then studied them so I would be able to recognize these folks when I met them.

No one scared me off, glad to say, and I was amazed and pleased that many of the folks I met last year remembered me! (Not sure if that is good or bad.... :rolleyes:)

Needless to say, I've never rejected a book because of the author's photo simply because I never really checked them out beforehand. I must say, however, that I do now because I have met so many awesome folks the past two years, with more opportunities to come, so I am making an effort to recognize people.

As for my author photo, if and when I need to use one, it will be me but at a very young age because I am the furthest thing from photogenic a person could be. I don't know why, but for some reason when I get my picture taken I look like a scary monster who hasn't washed her hair in months with no teeth and boils. The big one on my nose is especially repulsive.

Sigh.

JeanneTGC
09-12-2008, 09:54 AM
I'd never pick up this guy's book, even if I thought I'd need it:

http://i257.photobucket.com/albums/hh233/WendyNYC/sunglass_flat.jpg

So to answer your question, yes.

ETA: He really does have a book! I'm not just posting beefcake.
Some are turned off, and yet, I'm making plans to use my latest Borders coupon to go find this guy's book. I don't plan on reading it, but I sure do plan on drooling looking at the pictures.

One girl's ick is another girl's dreamboat...

(He has a VIDEO, you say? Wow...maybe I CAN get fit before next year...I have to have SOME excuse for the hubs as to why I must buy it and play it over and over and over again...)