There’s an old saying that more than anything the image of the author helps greatly to sell a book. And although I hate to admit it, I wholly believe that is true. For example, if you had two romance authors sitting side by side at a book signing; one is a beautiful woman with slender legs, an hourglass figure, and a face like Aphrodite, and the other looks like a frumpy housewife… which author’s book would you be more interested in reading? Let’s be honest. That’s why romance covers feature beautiful people.
Same goes for thrillers. When I see a crazy-looking, long hair, biker-type author compared to an author who looks like he just came out of a glee club, I’m going to be interested in what the freak author has to write about. Different genres have different images. If the same geek writer had a sci-fi book out, I’d be more inclined to read his than the freak author. The geek writer would seem know more sci-fi facts and data.
How do you create the image to sell the book? Well, first of all, the image cannot be fake (Justin Bieber). You have to be true to yourself and what you feel inside and how you want to present yourself to the world. Don’t try and be a tough guy if you’re not. And don’t try and be all cuddly and sweet if you’re not. My advice is to be yourself intensified, don’t fake trying to emulate someone else.
I believe my image is that of a solitary writer creating art while letting his physical appearance get a little ragged. I wear old clothes because they’re comfortable and I let my hair and beard grow long because I’m writing all the time and mostly alone and don’t get too many visitors. When people see me they know I’m not a normal 9-5 businessman. That uniqueness stirs curiosity and that curiosity is what helps sell a book.