Lights, Camera, Smile!
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2011
Written by
Maria Murnane
November 2011

With everything on your plate to get the word out about your book, getting a photo taken might be pretty far down on your list – if it’s even on your list at all. But to do a good job marketing, I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have a professional, high-resolution headshot.

If you want to promote your book, you’re going to have to reach out to people who have no idea who you are, such as the press or reviewers. Many of these people will ask you for a photo, or they’re going to look for one on your website or LinkedIn. And if there is nothing there, or if all you have posted is a grainy shot of you at a barbeque, it could create the impression that you’re not professional or that you’re not a serious writer.

Those impressions might not be true at all, but with a lot of the people you’ll be contacting, you only get one chance to impress and convince them you’re worth paying attention to. When you’re marketing your book, it’s almost like you’re running for office: You need to look your best and present an image that makes people want to learn more about you and what you have to offer.

Just like a great cover might get a reader to pick up your book, a great headshot might encourage a conference organizer to invite you as a speaker, or a local TV show to bring you on as a guest, or a popular blog to interview you, etc., etc., etc.

You get the picture. Now get the picture taken!



Maria Murnane writes romantic comedies and provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at


This blog post originally appeared on Reprinted with permission. © 2011 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.

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  • Catherine McNamara

    So true! I am marketing my upcoming debut novel and really need to take a serious shot with a photographer friend. I keep saying I will do it but have I?? Thanks for the reminder. Ciao cat

  • Amber Medina West

    So true!


    I actually do photography on the side (it is my other passion) and was just thinking about extending a special invite to SheWriters in my area in need of a headshot. :)

  • Cynthia Hartwig

    What Does Your Author Photo Say About You

    I agree Maria; here's a link to a post which shows photos of two She Writers who rock their photos. Angela Peart and Charlotte Sherman do a great job of showing themselves.