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Thread: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?


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Patrick A. Smith

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Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 12, 2015 10:19 PM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
 
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It would be illegal to use someone else's picture claiming it was you.
Rose King

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Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 12, 2015 10:34 PM   in response to: Patrick A. Smith in response to: Patrick A. Smith
 
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Patrick A. Smith wrote:
It would be illegal to use someone else's picture claiming it was you.
I don't think so, as long as you have the permission of the person in the picture. If I wanted to write under a male pseudonym and use my husband's photograph, I don't think that would be illegal.
Notjohn

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Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 2:35 AM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
 
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Anyone who claims not to be influenced by the author's appearance is being a bit, er, um, disingenuous.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Formatting Your E-book for Sale on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide
Mukesh Parthasa...

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Registered: 03/14/13
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 3:28 AM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
 
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DK's reply copy pasted here without the dreaded word he wrote partially. Hope this comes through!

Mukesh Parthasarathy,

The thread "Are you affected by a writer's appearance?", which you have flagged for email notification, was updated on Mar 12, 2015 2:42:57 PM by David Kersten.

David Kersten posted the following message:

Rose King wrote:
This thread was started nearly two years ago.
Yeah but I think it is a relevant question and there is some good discussion here. A lot of new authors since this was first started, so no harm in reviving it.

Personally I think a lot of readers want to connect to the author in some way. Think of it this way: How many of your family, friends, acquaintances enjoy your book more because they know the author? I have had people buy my book just because they think it is cool to meet someone who is an author. These are people I don't know but ran into in some capacity.. a barber, a fellow bowler, some guy at a bar... Anything you can do to help someone relate to you as just another normal human being is good for sales. I have had a ton of comments on my bio, and all it really says is where I was born, where I am now, and a few things I enjoy doing. Heck, it isn't much different from my old dating profile, lol! Matter of fact I use a picture I took two years ago with a camera phone in my back yard just so I could have a decent picture for a dating website.. Am I particularly good looking? No, I don't think so. I'm just a normal guy, and people relate to that. When you sell books you aren't selling just a book you are selling a brand, and that brand is YOU, so why wouldn't you want that brand to reflect who you really are?

I totally get the idea of a pen name, and especially with romance and erotica, people don't necessarily want their friends and family to know they write that stuff let alone sell it, so I can see not using your picture if you are trying to cover your identity. That still shouldn't stop you from making up a relatable bio. Hell, if I ever decided to write erotica or "romantica", I would use a pen name and even use a female pen name. I figured I would even put a generic picture of a woman for the author pic, with a face obscured of course.. Why? Because the audience there is women, and even if you can write women <dreaded word> really well, women relate to women.

As for how they look, well, I am sure some people will relate a particularly unattractive person to poor quality work, just because that is human nature. On the other hand, if you write horror, having a uniquely unattractive face probably plays well into selling your work, just like nobody wants to see a 400 lb greasy dude on the back cover of an erotic book. They want to think the person writing belongs in the story.. Gotta be younger too, because if they see an old person's pic, they will think you will kick the bucket long before you finish the series and they will be left hanging.


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Mukesh Parthasa...

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Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 3:32 AM   in response to: Mukesh Parthasa... in response to: Mukesh Parthasa...
 
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DK used first five letters of the dreaded word!😁
Rose King

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Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 4:18 AM   in response to: Notjohn in response to: Notjohn
 
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Notjohn wrote:
Anyone who claims not to be influenced by the author's appearance is being a bit, er, um, disingenuous.

Good luck! -- NJ

The book: Notjohn's Guide to Kindle Publishing: Ten Steps to Formatting Your E-book for Sale on Amazon (Or Anywhere Else)

The blog: Notjohn's KDP Guide

Rubbish. I read many, many authors and the only one I would even recognise is Stephen King and that is because he always shows up in the tv adaptations. I never bother to look at photos or about the author pages of any book I read.
Patrick A. Smith

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Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 6:34 AM   in response to: Rose King in response to: Rose King
 
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I admire you for not paying attention to the author's image. However, I must say that I would. Also, I don't show faces in stock photos on book covers. That way the reader can use his or her imagination as to what the author and/or the people in the story look like.
Etienne

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Registered: 08/20/14
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 6:35 AM   in response to: Patrick A. Smith in response to: Patrick A. Smith
 
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Patrick A. Smith wrote:
I don't show faces in stock photos on book covers. That way the reader can use his or her imagination as to what the author and/or the people in the story look like.

Roger that.
46_dollars_per_...

Posts: 107
Registered: 01/31/15
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 9:32 AM   in response to: Marcy Henshaw in response to: Marcy Henshaw
 
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Marcy Henshaw - "Honestly, my pic was self-taken in my front yard, no makeup whatsoever. I brushed my hair, though. I think one of my mastiffs had just drooled all over my shirt, too. Hopefully my pic is not a turn off to readers. :-/ I'm certainly not considered attractive, and I can't imagine wearing makeup (which I seldom do) and I certainly cannot imagine holding a pipe..."

I've seen your author pic. First thing I thought was, "Wow, she's hot!" The second thing I thought was that you seemed like a very down-to-earth person I could relate to. I'm sure other readers think the same.

My opinion on the topic in general?

If I like an author I want to read about him/her and see what they look like. I will admit to judging some people on how they look. Hey, I'm human. Anyone who doesn't do that has passed further up the evolutionary ladder than I have.
vince0

Posts: 43
Registered: 03/01/11
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:17 AM   in response to: 46_dollars_per_... in response to: 46_dollars_per_...
 
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One thing this thread has demonstrated is that we are all different. Some here say they couldn't care less about an author's appearance, while others believe the ones that say that are liars or are in denial. For the record, I fall into the couldn't care less group. I love words. I believe in words. It matters not to me what the writer of those words looks like. I am not one of those people who are interested in knowing everything there is to know about an author. I don't care how they look, where they were raised, where they went to school, etc. I like a book for its merits, not because of who wrote it or how they look. I guess that's why I hate reality TV. I'm just not that interested in the minutiae of anyone else's life.
46_dollars_per_...

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Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:23 AM   in response to: vince0 in response to: vince0
 
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I didn't mean to imply that an author's appearance influences whether I like to read them. Stephen King and Roger Zelazny are two of my all-time favorites and they both look like uber-nerds, coke-bottle glasses and all.

After reading a good book, I like to see what the author looks like to see if it meets my preconceived notions. Sometimes they don't.
uncle1282

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Registered: 12/20/10
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:45 AM   in response to: Mukesh Parthasa... in response to: Mukesh Parthasa...
 
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You wrote: "When you sell books you aren't selling just a book you are selling a brand, and that brand is YOU, so why wouldn't you want that brand to reflect who you really are?"

My books' brand isn't ME, it's my protagonist; also the 3 main characters and the times of the 1960s. I will allow that my brand is my imagination. Selling ME would put too much old sexual exploits into this! :)
David Kersten

Posts: 1,153
Registered: 01/03/15
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:59 AM   in response to: uncle1282 in response to: uncle1282
 
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uncle1282 wrote:
You wrote: "When you sell books you aren't selling just a book you are selling a brand, and that brand is YOU, so why wouldn't you want that brand to reflect who you really are?"

My books' brand isn't ME, it's my protagonist; also the 3 main characters and the times of the 1960s. I will allow that my brand is my imagination. Selling ME would put too much old sexual exploits into this! :)

Lol, selling ME would also not be conducive to selling my books, but selling the IMAGE of me (as an author) certainly is. Unless you only have one book or one series with the same MC, most of your followers will be looking for more books by YOU, not just books including your MC.
David Kersten

Posts: 1,153
Registered: 01/03/15
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 10:59 AM   in response to: David Kersten in response to: David Kersten
 
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wait, how did that post with the word characters in it?
Patrick A. Smith

Posts: 1,870
Registered: 04/27/13
Re: Are you affected by a writer's appearance?
Posted: Mar 13, 2015 7:16 PM   in response to: 46_dollars_per_... in response to: 46_dollars_per_...
 
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Someone mentioned that an author should "look the part" for a certain genre. Okay. Let's just say that an author's picture in some reader's mind "Looks right" for the genre of horror or erotica. Then if they decide to write "Contemporary or Historical Romance" then in the same reader's mind they won't "look right" for the part! Where this is going is to say that one author can only write in one genre to please certain people. I admit that i love to see Clint Eastwood in westerns. To me that is his genre! Therefore i won't watch his detective movies because they aren't western so to me he doesn't "look the part" for a detective. I want him in a cowboy role! Isn't that silly? Sure it is, but it's the way I am! By the same token, it is silly to think that one author could "look the part" for more than one type of literature! Better to not see the author, and even then, reader's don't buy many of their stories unless they belong to the same genre that he or she is popular in. Believe me, I know. I have written under 4 pen names and am about to launch a 5th one just so I can write in a different genre! When I try to write another type of story for my most popular pen name, they do not sell well because it isn't the type of story that "looks and sounds right" for that author!
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