Yes, I am in L.A., the land of the rich and beautiful. Well, I have heard rumor they are around here somewhere. Didn’t see them last night when I snuck off to Broadway for dinner at El Pollo Loco. I found myself wolfing down my food prison style (arm curled in front of the plate, plastic knife at the ready). Why? Um…the five homeless people banging on the glass next to my head might have been a tad nerve wracking. I was tired, been flying all day, and I was not sharing my chicken with anyone, even if they were willing to trade me a bag of aluminum cans.
Yes, I have one. So here I am in L.A. and I walk into the hotel and see a gaggle of romance writers in the lobby. It was so refreshing to see FACES I knew from Facebook and Twitter; peeps I have seen float by my screen for-like-ever.
Channeling my inner Valley Girl. Oh muh Gawd!
Oh, yeah. Back to my point. Here in L.A. everyone has a headshot. Probably even the housekeeper who bought me extra towels. They have this headshot…just in case. They want to be movie stars and movie stars have pictures of themselves…which got me to thinking.
Yes, I made sure not to stand next to anything flammable.
Best-selling authors all have pictures of themselves on their Twitter (normally it is the picture on the back of their books). Experts and authorities all have a picture of their face. And suddenly it struck me how pleasant it is to see a human face. Not a cover of a book, or a cat or a landscape or even a hunka hunka’s six-pack abs. A face. A smiling, friendly, happy, inviting face.
I enjoy seeing faces. I connect differently with tweeps and FB peeps who use a picture of themselves. The people who hide behind book covers, to me, are always at a distance.
Thus, my position as social media expert is that we always use a picture of our face. It connects with people. It makes us more approachable. We don’t have to be model-beautiful. Some of my favorite faces on Twitter are real people…with a smile and twinkle in their eye that says, “Let’s be peeps.”
Oh, I know some people with wail and gnash teeth over this. But, I have to be blunt. The first people I approach at conferences are those I recognize. I also am far more likely to repost their stuff and promote them. Must be a subconscious thing because I just noted that behavior. If NY Times best-selling authors all use a picture of their face, and we want to eventually be like them, stands to reason we would watch what they do and emulate it.
I know that my avatar for the longest was a picture I had taken of myself. You know….where you set the camera on the counter and press the button and jump back and hope it is just blurry enough that none of your wrinkles show. Finally, as a gift to myself, I let the professionals take over and invested in a headshot.
What do you guys think? Author’s smiling face? Or book covers? If you don’t use your own picture, why? I’m curious. What’s your opinion?
I love hearing from you! And to prove it and show my love, for the month of April, everyone who leaves a comment I will put your name in a hat. If you comment and link back to my blog on your blog, you get your name in the hat twice. If you leave a comment, and link back to my blog, and mention my book We Are Not Alone in your blog…you get your name in the hat THREE times. What do you win? The unvarnished truth from yours truly.
I will pick a winner every week for a critique of your first five pages. At the end of April I will pick a winner for the grand prize. A free critique from me on the first 15 pages of your novel. Good luck!
Note: I am keeping all the names for a final GRAND, GRAND PRIZE of 30 Pages (To be announced) OR a blog diagnostic. I look at your blog and give feedback to improve it. For now, I will draw weekly for 5 page edit, monthly for 15 page edit.
Stay tuned for March’s winners. Will post soon. No Mash-Up of Awesomeness today. The hotel Internet connection makes glaciers look fast. I nearly tore out all my own hair just trying to get the blog posted. Okay, done whining. The MUA will resume next week. Promise.
Until next time….
In the meantime, if you don’t already own a copy, my best-selling book We Are Not Alone–The Writers Guide to Social Media is recommended by literary agents and endorsed by NY Times best-selling authors. My method is free, fast, simple and leaves time to write more books.