If you're like me, you've struggled over the right headshot for your blog or your novel. You may have excluded a picture altogether or chosen instead a symbol that best illustrates who you are as an author.
We all struggle with this issue, an issue seldom spoken of.
For a long time, although my hair is white, I opted for a younger face staring back at me on my profiles.
You're probably thinking: Easy for you, Joylene, but I'm not photogenic.
Trust me, I’m not either.
The publisher chose not to have my headshot on the back of my second novel, Broken But Not Dead in 2011. I never asked why.
Before Dead Witness was published in 2008, I almost had them use my initials instead of my name for the same reason I used Photoshop on my photo. My books have dark themes about war, child abuse, and the complexities of the parent/child relationship. I wanted the face on the back cover to reflect the seriousness of my subject matter.
One day I asked myself: When was the last time you judged a book by the author’s photo?
By all means, clean up. Put on your best duds. Use PhotoShop if you must. Your novel will be around for a very long time. Look your best. But know that readers, the intelligent beings that they are, could care less if your hair’s grey or you’ve got red botches around your nose or chin; or whether there’s a huge ZIT on your forehead. Okay, depends on how large the zit is. But honestly, in the end it’s about the story.
To have a headshot or not to have a headshot?
Doesn’t matter. I promise if you want to write and publish good fiction, you start by loving yourself. Start with that, and everything else will work out just fine. Maybe even outstanding.