In last week’s post I said that for the overwhelming majority of authors, it’s important to make an effort to connect with your fans. The same goes for having a good headshot. If you’re selling millions of copies of your books each year, no need to read further.
Almost daily I receive an email from an author asking me a variation of the same question: “How do I market my book?” For those who have websites or author pages on Amazon (two things I’ve recommended in previous posts), I almost always look them up to see if I might want to interview them for a blog post, to check out their books, etc. And you know what? Nine out of ten times I cringe at the headshot because it looks so unprofessional. If your headshot looks like it was taken at Sears in the 1970s or cropped out of a group photo at a barbeque, it’s time to get a new one.
If you’re going to present yourself to the world as a professional writer, you need to look professional. Speaking engagements are a perfect example–put yourself in the shoes of a person deciding between two author candidates with roughly the same qualifications. Would you choose the guy in the flower shirt holding a spatula, or the woman in the tasteful suit sitting next to an elegant vase filled with flowers? They say you can’t judge a book by its cover, but we all know everyone does.
Contrary to popular belief, a headshot doesn’t have to cost a lot of money–or any money. I bartered for a recent one with a woman I met at a business networking group who needed some help editing her website. I got what I needed, and she got what she needed, a win-win!
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2016 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.