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098 – 7 Tips for Best Selling Author Portraits

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Why your Author Portrait is important.

  • Americans put a lot of importance on how someone looks.
  • A bad portrait can ruin a good book cover.
  • It is not about being objectively pretty. It is about having a good photo.
  • We are relational. We want to buy from someone we know.

Tip #1 Hire an Actual Professional (you get what you pay for)

  • How to tell a good photo from a bad photo: look at the eyes. If you can’t easily see the eye color, it is not a good photo.

Tip #2 Shoot for your audience (not the author).

  • Tell your photographer who the audience is for your book.
  • Tell your photographer what feeling you are wanting the portrait to convey.

Tip #3 Bring Lots of Outfits for the Photographer to pick from.

  • Go with solid colors and simple/minimal jewelry.
  • Consider bringing a prop to use as an option.

Tip #4 Insist the photographer shoot in landscape mode.

  • You can always crop a portrait shape photo from a landscape image. This give you more options with the design of your website and more options when speaking at event.

Tip #5 Use caution with Photoshop techniques.

  • You don’t want someone’s first thought when they see you is “wow you look old.”
  • The idea with touching up a photo is to make you look like your best self. Not like someone else or a younger version of yourself.

Tip #6 Buy the full copyright to the photo.

  • Negotiate this ahead of time.
  • Pay for the time not the image.

Tip #7 Update your photos frequently.

  • At least once per book or once per year or two if you are prolific.

Announcement #1

  • 100 Episode Live Event July 11th 7pm Central Time. Register here.
  • We will post the recording afterwards but we will have giveaways and bonus content for the folks who come live.
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