Warning: Hacks for Hacks tips may have harmful side effects on your writing career, and should not be used by minors, adults, writers, poets, scribes, scriveners, journalists, or anybody.
Here’s the good news. You’ve sold your book! The bad news: Your publisher needs a photo of you for the jacket. Now before you get mad that I’m calling you ugly, rest assured I’m not. All I’m saying is that you’re an incompetent photographer who doesn’t know the difference between focus and an F-stop (or whether that analogy I just made even uses real photo terminology).
I talked briefly about author photos before, but now I’m sharing the primo tips that’ll mean the difference between looking like a successful famous author, or some poseur who ironed some elbow patches onto a thrift-store suit jacket.
[pullquote]Any reputable photographer should be able to guarantee you’ll get some action as a result of this photo.[/pullquote]
What is an Author Photo?
Let’s start with why we’re going through this rigmarole. An author photo is a selling tool designed to let your fans know what you look like so they can properly throw themselves at you when they see you. To do that, you’ll need to…
Hire a Photographer
No, that blurry selfie you use for your Twitter avatar isn’t going to cut it. It’s time to go to a professional. That means someone with AT MINIMUM 500 followers on Instagram. This will not come cheap, but it’ll be the best twenty-bucks-plus-a-case-of-Pabst you’ll ever spend.
[pullquote]It’s time to go to a professional. Look for someone who has AT MINIMUM 1,000 followers on Instagram.[/pullquote]
Any reputable photographer should be able to guarantee you’ll get some action as a result of this photo. Ask them about this specifically.
Set the Mood
The best time to take a photo is during the “magic hour”–the time just before sunset, when the light is redder, softer, and more flattering. Basically, around happy hour. Knock back a couple brewskis in during the shoot to turn yourself from a dour, desperate, struggling writer into a delightfully eccentric raconteur. [Read more…]