Last week I shared four mistakes to avoid when you write your author bio. But there is another important step in crafting your author bio which has nothing to do with writing, but everything to do with grabbing attention.
The author photo.
Don't cringe at this step. You don't have to be a GQ or Vogue model to make this feature work for you. It's about a great visual. You don't want to exclude this opportunity to connect with your readers. I've actually sold articles and features because of a well-placed photo or illustration. Trust me they make a difference.
Let's face it, some people are just more photogenic than others. But even if its been a challenge for you to capture a photo of yourself you like, here are some important tips to consider as you schedule your next photo shoot. (And please can I also add...get it done professionally! It does make a huge difference, but doesn't have to cost an arm and a leg.)
1. Show personality
- a sassy look
- a pondering profile
- an action shot
- make it interesting
2. Create Atmosphere - Create warmth
- Your favorite sitting spot. A warm, cozy chair and fireplace holding a book or cup of coffee. Create atmosphere with location
- An outdoor, rustic background with a great hat or muffler (author Denise Renner did a great job with this in her recent author photo here)
- A park bench or waterfront pier as you look out into the distance
3. Create intrigue
- Looking down
- Face partially covered (or all covered!) I prefer to see faces, actually, but if you are an avid beach buff and include this in your bio, something like the picture here can actually work, but note that it is also something done more for a fiction bio than non-fiction)
The point is to include a photo. Let the reader "see" you and get to know you. If they love your book, then they begin to love you. Facial recognition and revealing your personality are part of this process.
Get used to it. Get over it. Get on with it!