Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Putting on the Blog

Some writers got their undersilkies all awry over author's blackflap pictures recently - either on their own behalf or on sheer principle.
Some find it offensive that the sale of 100,000 words might be trumped by a single snapshot on the back cover. A certain context is lacking in this debate.
Does it make more of a difference for a first-time author? Does it matter only if a Grand Tour is contemplated?
Considering (1) that a publisher is unlikely to turn down a great book, deterred by mug ugly...Do they even know what a writer looks like before the contract? Order of operations is a factor here. If a writer is a dog, does marketing wag acceptance?
And considering (2) there is no one on this sweet earth who doesn't have something attractive/interesting about them, in style or personality at least, to be emphasized....
I wonder if someone out there somewhere in marketing might weigh in and specify how a publisher's publicity department handles instances where the target writer's looks are less than optimal. Do they delicately suggest a voice coach? A personal trainer? Xtreme makeover?
What marketing "hook" have they tried to overcome the beauty myth or exploit a co-ordinated image? Or do they leave this photosynthesis entirely in the author's sweaty little paws?
If all else fails they might be forced to concentrate on the book.
Imagine that.


Ric said...

Or we could simply THINK we're attractive or that it doesn't matter if the words SPEAK.

I think 007 opened up a really stupid arguement with this post. I still think the blurbs (by big shots, by little shots, or none) was the big item. Does anyone read those? Do we care if Kurt Vonnegut found it 'lovely'? Will that influence a buy?

Bonnie Calhoun said...

I figure they could always airbrush the picture if its too bad. Look at Steven King. Some of the pictures I've seen of him are scarier than his books!

I think the whole debate was a moot point, because it's up to the individual publisher. Maybe she just wanted to know if Miss Snark's readers were out there. You have to admit, we're quite a confrontational bunch. :-)

Bernita said...

A couple of reviews by qualified reviewers, fine; a brief plot summary, the rest I ignore - because the other blurbs reek of phoney.
Air brushed pictures are one thing, but what if the writer is on talk shows? Reality might bite at the discrepancy.
With her addendum,this is the 3rd time 007's dropped the facial tissue.