Author Photos: Putting Your Best Face Forward (Part 4)

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“10 Simple Steps to becoming a successful published author” continues with the importance of the author’s photograph, by Maureen Shelley.
The author photo is the most important piece of your marketing material. We recommend that you use a professional photographer. A professional portrait will range from $150 to $400, depending on the photographer.

What you’ll need:

  • You should ask your photographer to take portrait and landscape photos with a headshot, mid shot and full length.
  • You need to have these with a formal and informal look.  In one, wear a suit jacket and, if appropriate, a tie. The other can be more informal but should still be professional.
  • If you are writing a specialty book such as a cookbook, family memoir, children’s book then you may need different photo choices. You should discuss this with your editor, graphic designer or writing mentor or group.

Can’t afford a professional?

If you haven’t budgeted for a photographer, you can use a digital camera or phone camera to take the shot. Ask someone to take the photo for you or use a tripod. You can improvise a tripod using a flat surface.

Don’t take a selfie but you can use the controls on your headphones to give you a ‘remote’. Remember, to leave about 1.5m to 2m between you and the wall behind you, so that you control the shadows.

Also, if you can use multiple lights (standard lamp, desk lamp on the floor behind you – but out of shot), then do so. The more professional you can make the photo look the better.

Planning is essential

Multiple photo choices gives you more options for your book cover, marketing materials and digital assets such as website and social media pages.

Planning your shoot and thinking about your photograph options can ensure that your book looks like a professional production.

If you’re looking for professional help. In Sydney, we use Toby Zerna Photography, Asterisk Photography or UberPhotography. Any of these studios will produce a great shot at a reasonable price. Mention Red Raven Books and they will look after you.

June is Author’s Month to celebrate the launch of Red Raven Books. Red Raven Books is the publishing and imprint arm of The Copy Collective. Find out how we can help you today.

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About

Maureen Shelley is CEO and owner of TCC. She is an experienced digital and content strategist and was a nationally-syndicated journalist. Our all-round guru. Maureen manages corporate, digital and government projects for TCC. She loves helping clients and, with three masters degrees, knows lots.

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