Well, it’s author photo time again. The one here on the left is the one that my publisher likes best. Truth be told, I’m not entirely sure that I agree. I don’t like the sloppiness of the shirt in the front. I wish the photographer had told me that the shirt was all bunched up.
The exciting part of the author photo this time around is that for Damage Control (July, 2012), my ugly mug will dominate the back cover of the book. I wish I were modest enough to say I didn’t care about that, but we all know each other too well for me to pull that off. I think it’s very cool.
Now, if I had my ‘druthers, the chosen pic would be the one in the sports coat.
I just think it’s a sleeker look. It also shows me in the first Armani jacket I have ever owned. Trust me, it was bought at a steep discount, but still. Armani! Note to the uninitiated: I learned a long time ago that while expensive clothes are, well, expensive, they also fit better and last longer.
For me, though, this particular author shoot is a milestone event for me. As you read this post, I will have officially crossed the one-year mark for having kept off the fifty pounds that I lost. Not to get all sappy, but in May of 2010, I had emergency gallbladder surgery that didn’t go entirely well, but left me alive. I didn’t enjoy looking mortality in the eye. On the day I left the hospital, I vowed to my wife, Joy, that I would take life’s warning shot for what it was, and change my gluttonous ways.
I understand that no one is more annoying than the recent convert who presumes to preach to others. I, too, remember that moment when Oprah celebrated her weight loss by rolling a wagon full of animal fat onto the stage to show what a wonderful thing she’d done, only to apply all of that fat back to her waistline within a year or so. Having been prone to weight issues my entire life (I’ve been way more self conscious of my profile than I ever was of my hair line), I know better than to boast, because I know that I could backslide anytime. Still, it’s a good sign that I like vegetables now, and that they don’t have to be fried for me to get them down.
Does it help a weight loss regimen to spend a few months barfing up food that annoyed your gallbaldder? You betcha. It’s God’s ultimate diet plan, and I credit Him with half of the fifty pounds. The rest of it, though, is on me, and I’m proud of it.
My pride and narcissism aside, let’s turn this into a discussion about books. Do author photos matter to you when it comes time to buy a book?
Does the fact that Bob Crais looks like a friggin’ movie star make you more likely to buy his books than if he were, you know, more Gilstrapian? Does putting an author’s mug on the outside of the cover where it can be seen by the casual observer make any difference at all? Or is book buying really about the quality of the writing?