On Self-publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 4

The author headshot. It’s a curious thing, and another piece of the promotional puzzle an author must have.

In another time, the era of golden-light simplicity, a photo for the book jacket or back cover would be only place you would find a headshot. If you check out any old books, it seems like you could get away with something that is a touch better than the Post Office mugshot. Now, with a maddening array of logins, profiles, and pages — you need a snappy pic for every one of them. And it should be the same one for all, so that people recognize you instantly.

I did some research when I decided it was time to get serious. A headshot should clearly depict the face, eyes, and appropriate expression. It should provide anyone with an idea of who the hell you are and what you’re about. It’s all about branding — you know, the devil’s work.

I have been using my dashing, about-to-kill-you-with my-wit profile pic (scroll down to the bottom of the home page) for a while now. It does capture my personality quite well. However, it’s not truly the best pic I could put out there.

It won’t be too much longer before I will have my first novel, Leather to the Corinthians, out and about. In preparation for the release, I have sought out some professional help on the headshot front. My friend, fashion and editorial photographer Erika Barker, was kind enough to step up and help me out. In a few days, I should have a handful to share. It’s cool to know that this will soon be moving off the To-Do List.

I am not a natural self-promoter, so the experience it a bit strange and sometimes leaves me feeling awkward in my own skin. I know it’s something I have to do. I’m sharing this photo from the photo shoot today as a bit of a teaser. It’s easily the most dramatic photo I have ever taken. I won’t be using it as a headshot for the obvious reasons, but I can see using it for spoken-word performance flyer or advertisement.

A bit later this week: my initial cover art has been sketched out. It’s frakking amazing.

11 thoughts on “On Self-publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 4”

  1. Ooh, can’t wait to see the cover art! Ever since I found an artist to do character portraits for me, I’ve developed a terrible habit of commissioning her every time I get an idea (which isn’t GREAT for my pocket book…).

    Also, that’s awesome and all that you’re getting professional photos done for your author pic, but I’m pretty sure I’ve got you beat: http://onlyfragments.com/about/

    1. Yah, cover art incoming. It’s amazing, I can only hope the book holds up to it, LOL.

      Love your author pic :) Has that always been there? It’s been a while since I hit your About page.

  2. I like this alternative to the norm in author photos. Ive been told to put more photos of myself on my bio blog page. I think if you are photogenic (like urself) it helps. But I really hate taking pics of myself. It might be the art snob in me because I used to work for the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego and I am picky. Blah blah…otherwise I love looking at pics of other people esp. if they have artistic expression. CHeers on coming close to ur release date.

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