Thursday, October 1, 2015

The author photo

I can't help but wonder, does an actual author photo make you more credible as a writer? I'm wondering this because every where I look writers are using professional authors photos on their blogs and social media and not just their books anymore.

I know one of my blogging/ writing hero's Alex. J. Cavanaugh doesn't use an actual author photo, but he's super awesome and I think the exception to the rule. I can't help but wonder whether the fact that potential readers don't know what I look like makes them feel like they are taking a risk on an author that won't even show their face.

I use a pseudonym and have never showed my face because of my family asking me to consider their privacy. Because me and my siblings always hang out a lot, they don't want people associating my writing with them, which I understand. We're very private people. Did I mention they've told all their friends and co-workers that I've published a book?  But I don't think the general public will come up to me and ask about my book. Mostly people don't pay much attention I think. Besides, I'm a nobody in the writing community. I'm the furthest thing from famous.

On the other hand, the idea of showing the world what I look like scares me. What if people use my photo for porn adds, or something crazy like that. Even worse, what if my my looks scare off potential readers:)

I have done research online and I can't come to an accurate consensus. One group says an author photo is essential for the modern day, as it gives readers the ease of mind to know that they are connecting with an actual person. Another group says you don't have to. It shouldn't make a difference, or that author photos are an 80's thing (what? I don't believe that).

Personally, I like interacting with people on social media who have an actual face. It's nice to know who you are communicating with, (of course I realize they could have bough a stock image and be using that). Okay, yes, I'm very paranoid. I was thinking of using an author photo for my Amazon page, and for blogging and social media, not on the inside of my book covers. Those shall remain plain.

What is your opinion on using an author photo? What do you think I should do? Any advice?