Saturday, July 3, 2010

Author's photos

Okay, I'll admit it.  I look at the photos of authors on their book jackets.  I'm not certain why, except I feel it personalizes the book for me. Coming from a family of storytellers, it gives me an idea of who is telling me the story.  

Just minutes ago, I received "The Search" by Nora Roberts.  I've no idea how the book will be --she does write reliably good romantic/ suspense--but I do love her photo on the back.  It does remind me of some of the later photos of Robert B. Parker, which is not a bad thing.  Looking at the photo, my impressions are (1) I wish I were that thin, (2) I love the woods in autumn, and (3) very nice dogs--a bit of something for most everyone.

Have you ever been put off a book by the photo of the author? For me, a photo won't put me off from reading an author but I must admit I do like a current photo. I know we all get older, grayer, balder (mostly men), often heavier, and have more wrinkles, but such is life. Seeing the same photo ten, or more, years later, bothers me.

So what about you?  Do you look at author photos? 

12 comments:

  1. Yes, I always look on the photos of the authors and also read the little biography which is written to it (at least it is the way like it is on German edition, is it the same for you?). No, the photos have not made me to put off a book. But sometimes when there is a newer photo of the author on the book than on the one before I sometimes think: Oh, the old was nicer or hey, this photo is nicer. LOL

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  3. One promise I made to myself after attending a conference and being confronted with the reality of what authors look like, is to always have a current photo on my books. It can be too much of a shock otherwise.

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  4. Exactly! Good for you, Peg. You know, what is, is.

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  5. I do like to see how any given author looks as they go through the years that I know have passed because well hello I've been going through those years too and I certainly don't look the same as I did when I was younger.

    There are a few authors that really do look like their photos when you meet them face to face or see them on TV but rarely do any of them not show some kind of aging.

    I like your example of Nora Roberts, she does look great in her photos but I can't say how accurate that is because I've never met her.

    The reason I look is the same as yours LJ, I like to know who this is telling me the stories. I always take into consideration the passage of time but would like it better if authors would change their photos to reflect the years of their lives by that relentless changer, Father Time.

    Some examples of authors who do look like their dust jacket photos are Lee Childs, Laurie R. King, Louise Penny to name just a few that I am aware of.

    Some authors are still using the same photo they started out their writing life using and that is just so not real. Just my opinion. :-) Sylvia in Anchorage

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  6. I do like this photo of Nora Roberts and she is one to change her photos over the years. Yes, I notice. And there are some -- Robert Crais, Lee Child -- I do gaze at for a longer time LOL. I like the photos & bios, usually read them before & sometimes again, after I am done reading their story. I've been surprised both ways when meeting an author after viewing a photo. Most of the time they look better in person because I get the "come-to-life" version that is real.

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  7. If you're having a photo taken, you want to look your best as opposed to what you look like on the average day. I just renewed my passport and let me tell you, ten year later I'm no longer 120 lbs with blond hair. Lee Child and Robert Crais are nice to look at, aren't they. But I notice even they are getting older.

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  8. LJ, you asked for comments and so I will, though I'm finding this a hard one. See the thing is, I too like to see a photo of the author and it always bothers me when someone is using a pseudonym (sometimes without admitting to it) and there's no author photo on the dust jacket or anywhere else; nor can you look up their website for any personal information. But after the shocker that was my own last author photo, which I had to use in CUT TO THE HEART because I'd paid a bunch of money for a picture I turned out to hate, I just wanted to hide.

    And have pretty much wanted to hide ever since....
    -- Dianne Day

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  9. I so agree with you on the no photo thing. Take heart, though, I'm one who hates having my photo taken as I'm just not naturally photogenic and find it hard to relax in front of a camera. The picture I use--everywhere--is one I actually took myself on my friend's MAC with a photo application. Because I was all by myself, I could relax enough that after MANY tries, I ended up with a photo I liked.

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  10. I read the Kellermans-Faye and Jonathan- in order. Their photos aged nicely through the years.

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  12. It's odd, but rarely. If the photos are there I will look of course when I finish the book.

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