On Self-Publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 6

On to the next part of the adventure…the author headshot.

As I continue to march closer and closer to getting my book out there, many exciting pieces continue to fall into place. However, as I am not an aggressive or natural marketer, I find myself flummoxed by many micro-decisions. I am hoping that you might be able to help.

An essential part of an “author’s platform” or online presence is a quality head shot. A professional photo that captures a bit of personality and gives folks an idea of who they are dealing with. Actors live and die by them. Models too.

For most of the year, I have relied on my spunky little avatar photo to do all the heavy lifting in this regard. Anytime I needed a profile pic, I chose “Great Blue” which you can find down there in the lefthand corner of my home page, my twitter page, my facebook, my Goodreads, blah blah blah. It’s served me well, but it’s just a dumb photo from some random night out on the town. It’s time to turn up the knobs on this image shit.

My good friend, killer editorial and fashion photographer Erika Barker, was kind enough to lend me her talents. Thanks to her and my inner Zoolander, I now have some photos to work with. They should last me until I get old and distinguished. By then I’ll need a hologram headshot so you can really see my cybernetic implants. (I’m trying to plan ahead).

Anyway, if you would be so kind to let me know what you think, that would rock. You can leave comments on the individual pics, or use the handy poll tool thingy below that. You can pick as many as you like. Thanks in advance for your input.

Read: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,


30 thoughts on “On Self-Publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 6”

    1. 6 does seem to be a clear winner. Nice thing about these shots is that I have a lot of flexibility depending on where I stick it.

  1. My eye is drawn to #1 because of the bright background light, which is a good look and is similar to the traditional author head shot.

    My second choice would be #6 since it’s a good representation of your personality and love of art. Plus — Not everyone can pull off that style of hat (read: me). Be proud of who you are!


  2. hmm, but they all look angry, 4 is best, not as angry. do you have any facing away from the camera, sort of contemplative? lol.. kidding, but not with the first part, maybe 2, 2 looks concerned. 5 is about to tell a secret,

    not 6. six looks very angry. or perhaps miffed, when you zoom it it looks better though.

    I know, no help at all. groans.

      1. Woot!!!!

        Thanks Debb! I have a super busy weekend, but I will be posting this up next week. You’re awesome!

  3. I originally voted for #1 on your FB page, but in retrospect I’m feeling #6 and #10. I just now voted for #6, but I’m starting to lean more towards #10. I’m thinking #10 emphasizes just you and your tats, while #6 maybe emphasizes the hat too much. I definitely think the shades photos emphasize the shades too much — cool pics, but not for the head shot in my opinion. Tough call!

  4. Interesting! Here I thought I knew you and you have all those badass tatts I knew nothing of! (which, on reflection, means I didn’t read your little bio at the bottom, or maybe I forgot.)

    Okay, down to business.

    I love 8 and 10, but I think you should save them for guest blog posts and the like, to mix it up a bit. Not for your main shot. Although, for an individual book, especially if it is gritty, you could use them.

    Along with others, I agree 6 is an excellent jacket shot (as in book, not what you’re wearing!). However I have found from experience that a close-up head shot is more useful in the thumbnail world of the interwebs. For those purposes I like 5 – or maybe 4. I vacillate every time I try to decide. Maybe you could use both. I have my fancy one for FB and Google and my casual one on WordPress and Twitter. They’re both obviously me, which is the main thing. For an alternative headshot without shades, I think 1 is best.

    Hope that helps!

    Also, I don’t think it would hurt to keep the original one somewhere, just to show you are not always that serious!

  5. I like 8 cuz i am always one to go with unconventional..plus u look more playful. But 4 is interesting too …keeps u a bit mysterious plus with all the fame that will be heading ur way, u will want to keep ur face anonymous with the help of those shades. Others might go with more conventional shots…but i think its kinda boring to stick with rules. Fun to do something a bit different esp. if it shows a bit of ur aesthetic.

  6. Hm, this is tough. I do like #1 because the white background does make you actually stand out more and has less of a “dark” look (unless that’s what you’re going for). But it’s missing the rest of you which I don’t like. I like #7 for the reason that it does show more of you — and also it’s like you have the somewhat conservative look with the sweater, but then you have some of the tattoos peaking out on your forearms. It’s like a mix of two personalities that you may have. Whereas, I do like #10 as well but it leaves less to the imagination. Definitely don’t go for the pics with the shades. Don’t know if that was helpful at all or more confusing!

  7. I really, really, like the photo from On Self-publishing: Getting my Novel to the Masses, Part 4. Intensity, Contemplative, Tattoos Blazing… that photo has it all. If that one is not an option, then #7.

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