Author Photo Anxiety

I should’ve titled this post, “Holy moly, my photo is going to be on the back cover of a book that people are going to SEE.”

To relieve my anxiety, I’m taking a poll.

Over the holiday weekend, my husband took some photographs of me at my family’s lake house in South Carolina, one of which I may use as my author photo on the back cover of my novel. The setting is perfect (even though you can’t see much of it), because behind me are the Blue Ridge Mountains, a landscape that’s an integral part of KEOWEE VALLEY.

All the literature says that the best book cover author photos are forward-facing head shots that are in color, and that reflect the spirit of the author.

But trying to decide which photo to send to my publisher is giving me a receding hairline. And (more) wrinkles. Will y’all please help?

In the spirit of forthrightness, I’ll let you know that I may not use any of your suggestions. But I probably will.

I beg you to be kind.

Please rank in order of importance (1 = like the best, 3 = like the least) the following photos. Or, heck, if you only like one, list one. Whatever works for you:

Photo 1






Photo 2





Photo 3





I realize they all look ridiculously alike, and could use more “touching up.” I swear this isn’t a vanity exercise: I’m honestly anxious about the decision. So any help will help.

Big, virtual hugs to all who respond.

P.S. We attempted some “serious author shots” (me not smiling), but I just looked ridiculous.

P.S.S. It wouldn’t be unethical, would it, if I used a photograph of Salma Hayek instead?

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