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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4 Responses to Author Photo Anxiety

  1. Jane Eubanks says:

    I love picture number three, but you look beautiful and happy in all of them and so much like your Aunt Gloria, with whom I spent a lot of childhood, and adult years. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

    Good luck. Can’t wait to read the book. You will put Brevard, our home too, on the map.

    • scout2011 says:

      Thank you so much, Jane! What a compliment to say I look like Aunt Gloria. I’m hoping I hold on to those good genes. And thank you so much for wanting to read the novel. I’m hoping I’ll get to do some fun things with it in Brevard.

  2. joan hall says:

    Definitely the third. You look like a writer. I love your way with words. The rhododendron I can nearly smell them.