One way to let agents and publishers know you’re savvy to self-help book publishing is to include a high-quality 8 X 10 glossy photograph of yourself with your proposal. You may feel a bit self-conscious about including your picture, but your goal is to convince a publisher that you are bestselling author material. It’s standard to include a photo that makes you look credible, smart, competent and successful.
Get a professional portrait photographer
No, you can’t use the picture of you at your daughter’s wedding, even though you think you looked fabulous. You’re not trying to get a contract as a wedding planner. And no, you can’t have your picture taken by one of your friends who has a good digital camera and fancies himself as quite the photographer. A professional, such as yourself, deserves to have a professional, such as your photographer who will provide the proper lighting, professional equipment and the ability to touch up your photo (not that I’m saying you need touching up…).
It’s best to interview several photographers and ask to see their portfolios. Bring with you a book or two that have pictures similar to the one you’d like to have. Let the photographer know that the picture may be the one that will be on the cover of your book. That means, no soft and fuzzy photos or glamour shots. Assure them that you’ll give them credit for the picture on the book cover, and they might negotiate a lower price.
Wear clothes that say, “Hey! I am an expert and you’ll be lucky to publish me!”
It’s a good idea to bring three changes of clothing to your sitting. You can’t tell which outfit will give you the best look until you see the photos. Your choice of attire depends on what your book is about-don’t wear a business suit if your book is teaching preschoolers how to ski or a parka if your book is about developing leadership skills in the workplace. Dress as you would while demonstrating what your self-help or how-to book is about. Look crisp, competent and credible.
Have your photographer print a great photo
After you’ve chosen the one you like best, ask your photographer to print the picture out on an 8 ½ – by 11-inch piece of photo paper with your name underneath the picture. Use the simplest of fonts-nothing fancy. It will look less professional. If you have your picture printed off-center to the right, you will have space needed to punch holes and include it in your Press Kit. If you use a folder that has a clear plastic font cover, your picture can show through.
To learn how to get your book published download my free article, “The 3 Most Important Questions You Must Answer to Land a Book Contract” at http://www.carmenreneeberry.com/untitled16.html
Carmen Berry, MSW is a New York Times bestselling author who has taught aspiring authors how to get published for 10 years. Her clients include anyone who loves helping people such as mental health professionals, educators, medical professionals, pastors, fitness experts and craft enthusiasts. Great advice.
Miss McCulla is a retired English teacher of 32 years. She has Mastery of the grammar and mechanics of English, and has taught expository, fiction writing, and rhetorical skills to hundreds of students and aspiring writers throughout her career. She has written/edited/self-published five books, and currently manages and edits a writing blog called The Underground Tutor where she gathers essays, articles, entries, papers, manuals, profiles, criticisms, analyses of literature, just like those asked of students and writers in the university and publisher houses
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