Rants, Raves, & Random Thoughts

Shameless self-promotion of my writing skills or lack there of.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

She's Got the Look

About once a week or so, I try to pick someone from my blogroll and click through theirs. I think it is interesting to see what other people have thought were enjoyable enough to link to. Sometimes I find the occasional surprise (isn’t that right, David? :D ), but mostly I find new blogs that I wouldn’t mind visiting again. The other day I was scrolling through Robin’s links and I clicked on a blog by Agent 007. Yes, you may have noticed that I added her to my blogroll as well.

She brings up the (apparently quite controversial) topic of the author photo. She is of an opinion that a smoking hot writer will do better than an ugly one. I can see where someone who is easy on the eyes might be a bonus for publicity, but I find it hard to believe that a writer’s looks determines how much promotion their book gets from the publisher.

If you stop by, make sure to read the comments. They are almost as controversial as the original post. Someone actually had the audacity to say that if someone is attractive they won’t have the depth necessary to be a good writer. This has to be the dumbest comment I have ever read. It sounds more than a little like it might be just sour grapes. I don’t think a person’s looks have anything to do with the quality of their writing. That definitely wasn’t what 007 was saying. If you read the post, you will see that she doesn’t say that being hot makes you a better writer; she just says that it gives you more opportunities to promote your book.

I guess if the claims are true, I am doomed to be a mid-lister (at best) for at least the early years of my publishing career. I say this because I don’t think of myself as hot or ugly. I just…am. Oh, I suppose I could be wrong and I actually fall closer to the ugly side than I realize, but I think I am just ordinary looking, middle of the road if you will. I guess the true test will come when I am published by one of the big boys. If they take one look at me and go, “Oh, how would you feel about promoting your book with a nice radio spot” I’ll know for sure. Great, as if I didn’t have enough things to worry about. Now, I have to wonder if I am “pretty” enough to get a nationwide book tour.

What’s your take on all this?

17 Comments:

At 8:49 AM, Blogger lime said...

that's really a good question, goody. i think there may be some merit to it. after all, advertisers don't use ugly people to sell their products in commercials. I don't think there is any actuall correlation between writing skill and physical appearance but there is a perception. Ages ago I read some research about it. There seems to be an optimal range of 'attractiveness' and it varies between genders and depending on the field if i recall correctly. Too pretty/handsome seemed just as lethal as too homely. I don't think you need to worry about this aspect too much. You fall on the above average side from what I can see of your profile pic.

 
At 9:20 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Lol! Thanks, Lime.

 
At 10:39 AM, Blogger Breazy said...

Goody.. don't worry about your looks . You are a very good looking man and from reading your blog , it sounds as though you carry yourself well . I can understand looks as far as the publicity part goes but other than that I don't think people really care about the looks of the author so long as they produce a great read . :)

 
At 11:25 AM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, Breazy.

I definately think that's the way it should be. It's not like we follow the reader home and tell them the story. Looks should not be a factor.

 
At 12:44 PM, Blogger lime said...

looks should definitely not be a factor. if an author did follow me home though i dunno...should i be flattered or frightened?

sorry if my first post seemed too clinical...i'm doing all sorts of evaluations of stuff right now and i get into a mode and do everything according to that for a while. hehehehe

 
At 1:27 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

should i be flattered or frightened?

I guess that would depend on what kind of books you like to read. :)

 
At 2:02 PM, Blogger Lorna said...

perception is someone's reality---not words to live by, but definitely to keep in the cupboard. Think of all the women authors who used male names or just initials; sci-fi writers who used a nom de plume so they could still sell their "serious" work. Just because a thing is wrong, doesn't mean it won't happen. Having said all that, I'd buy a book with your picture on the cover...

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Lol! Thanks, Lorna. I actually know a couple of women writers that use initials so that their readers will mistake them for being male.

 
At 3:52 PM, Blogger Robin said...

Games, games, games. Silly human games. I should write a book about games. Oh yeah . . .

LOL. I've been over here three times trying to write a simple comment.

In truth I worry a lot more about the male/female issue. I tried to get the hubby to front for me, but he wimped out. "What if they ask me what inspired me? Or what my writing habits are? And what about the gooshy love stuff? Do I look like I could write a love scene?"

Needless to say, he wouldn't do it.

James, I would buy a book with you on the cover. Stop your worrying.

 
At 4:08 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Thanks, Robin. I agree it is just a silly human game. I have a dream...one day a writer will be judged soley on the quality of their work. Gender and looks will have nothing to do with how well the book sells and there will be more readers than writers. Ah, what a nice dream. :)

 
At 5:18 PM, Blogger snavy said...

I too have found a lot of cool sites from friend's links. It's how I found you!!

I cannot talk about the looks being related to book sales without sounding horrible. Two words - Anne Rice.

Besides Goody, you are very cute!!! :)

 
At 5:30 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Ah, Thanks Snavy. I actually met Anne Rice awhile back. That meeting was pretty much what inspired me to start writing novels. I had dabbled with poetry and short stories before, but that was about it and I would have never thought of trying to get anything published.

I have since exchange a few e-mails with her and have even received...(gasp) a phone call from her staff regarding a couple of things.

When my vampire stories are published, she will be one of the first people I go to in an attmpt to get some cool blurbs for the book.

I don't know whether she will or not, but it is definately worth a try.

 
At 5:49 PM, Blogger Masha said...

I love scrolling through blogroll...unless i get a whole bunch of advertisements, that is SO annoying!

 
At 5:54 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

Uh, oh...you didn't get any pop ups from coming here did you? I know I used to get them, but I thought I took out all of the code that caused it to happen.

 
At 7:20 PM, Blogger lime said...

ok, i willbe flattered if it is someone wanting to do my memoirs, frightened if it is a true crime writer, hehehe

 
At 2:24 PM, Blogger snavy said...

That's what I meant - now I feel like a jerk.

 
At 3:09 PM, Blogger James Goodman said...

No need to feel like a jerk. I knew what you meant. :)

 

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