This subtitle of the Chicago Tribune article Picture This Writer (requires cookies and registration — cough,cough…bugmenot…cough, cough) pretty much sums up the point of the article: “The right author photo helps readers judge a book by its cover”.

Do you find this to be true? Publishers seem to think a picture is a selling point as it lends insight into the mystery of a book’s creation. Some authors think the opposite. (The ugly ones, I suspect. ;-)) Seriously, though, has anyone made a purchase decision, one way or the other, based upon an author’s photo?

I haven’t. Which is not to say that I have been unaffected by an author photo. Shortly after my less-than-favorable review of Terraforming Earth, I saw a picture of the wheelchair-bound Jack Williamson in Locus Magazine and I felt kind of, well, bad. Here I was slamming the work of a well-respected, but, at the time, faceless author. Seeing what he looked like put a human face on the creator of the work, something that’s all too easy to forget when judging the work itself. I stand by my opinion of the book, but maybe I could have gone a bit easier.

Filed under: Books

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