Publishers usually ask for an author photo quite early on. And most of the time we are very happy with what we receive. Author photos are very important no matter which way you’re publishing. That being said, we do get a handful of photos we are unable to use, this may be due to a low pixelation, a bad angle, low lighting or just a generally small, blurry photo.
If you are self-published an author photo could be printed for the inside of your book, or sleeve. It can be used on your author website and it’s also great for social media profile pictures.
If you’re published with a publisher they will almost always ask for an author photo, this is for any reasons, but just some include:
- For social media posts
- Your author page on the publisher’s website
- Banner and posters can be improved with an author photo
- The news and media may ask for an author photo to use in conjunction with an article they are writing.
- Some book awards ask for a photo of the author to use.
So, you get the idea! It’s important to have an author photo. But, we still see so many that just don’t catch our attention. There are some very important steps to the perfect author photo.
The first, and possibly the most important step, is quality. There’s nothing more off-putting than a low-resolution author photo. You can take a reasonably high-resolution photo on my iPhones, so it is very easy to get the quality now. If you’re willing to go one step further, perhaps ask a photographer friend or hire one to take a few headshots, they are wonderful and look so professional.
The angle is also important. Try and aim to have your head and shoulders only in the photo. Full body shots are not what we’re after. Landscape photos are also preferable!
Do not over-edit your author photos. Everyone is after a natural shot. A little colour correcting is fine! But no dramatic effects.
Smile! Try and look inviting. It’s amazing what a smile can do. It’s infectious. People will instantly feel a connection with you if you look happy. You haven’t got to give a huge smile! Just make sure you don’t look unhappy!
And that’s it! It’s not too difficult, and it really is amazing what a difference it can make to your career as an author.
Here are some examples of some great author photos!