I am way overdo for new author photos with my short hair. But before I embark on that soul-crushing endeavor, let’s talk about author photos in general.
Personally, I like it when the author photo somehow reflects what I like about the book I just read. If it was an adventure, I like to see that spark of adventure in the author’s eyes. If it’s a humorous book, I love seeing a goofy author picture. For a serious work, I expect a more serious photo in line with the book’s tone.
A few author photos stick out in my mind. I love this picture of Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. — he’s looking over his shoulder with this incredibly warm but slightly sad smile on his face. It reminds me of his books. And pretty much every picture of Karen Joy Fowler (but especially the one where she’s sitting in a tree) makes me think of the words “authentic” and “honest,” which also makes me think of her prose.
So I guess the best author photos, to me, capture the same Voice as the authors’ writing.
What makes you like or dislike an author photo? Why do you look at them in the first place?
Feel free to share examples of photos you like. And if you have any advice for me, I’d love to hear it!