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Collecting Bad Author Photos

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m collecting author photos. Specifically the ones where you open the book, take a glance, and then you either:

  • Roll your eyes
  • Say: “What in the world!”
  • Say: “Oh brother…”

Or you just laugh.

To prep you I’d suggest taking a look at the author photos from Hater by David Moody. (You’re looking for the one where he has one cyborg eye and half of his face is a metal skeleton)

Anything by Terry Goodkind where he’s crossing his arms and glaring as if he’s actually in one of his stories

I think Stephen King usually has great photos, but there are a couple that have made me laugh and/or scratch my head.

If you can think of any, please mention them here or send me an email.

And happy Thanksgiving!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Spencer November 23, 2011, 3:00 pm

    I have had this experience, but can’t think of anything specific off hand. I’ll get back to you.

  • Spencer November 23, 2011, 3:09 pm

    This isn’t specific to any particular photo, but I had a hard time assimilating the first picture I saw of J.D. Salinger with the creator of the Holden Caulfield character from Catcher in the Rye. I’m not sure that I could really parse out why specifically, but that was just not what I was expecting. It’s kind of like when you get to like a particular band based solely on hearing them on the radio and then you see them in a video or an interview and you are like “oh my gosh! Their music sounds so hardcore, but to look at, they are scrawny and scraggly-haired and they wear mascara.” And then you can never quite like them as much after that.

    The photo of Forrest Griffin on the cover of -Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down- could qualify for some of all of the above, but then, he is Forrest Griffin. What are you going to do?

  • Francisco Ramirez November 23, 2011, 4:46 pm

    How about Shel Silverstein’s books? I can’t remember which one it is I have but he is barefoot & his feet seem to draw ALL your attention…

    • Josh Hanagarne November 23, 2011, 5:12 pm

      I always think he looks like a serial killer. I love Shel!

  • cinderkeys November 23, 2011, 9:03 pm

    For years I worked at a self-publishing company, and I still do freelance work for them. When there are author photos to put on the back of the book, the authors pick them. Sometimes that works out. Sometimes it is hilarious.

    Tip for all you self-publishing authors: If you’re writing a book about how to be successful and/or happy, try not to glare at the person who’s taking your picture.

  • Jeanette November 24, 2011, 3:57 am

    This post made me think of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Books because Greg Hefley refers to a scary picture of Shel Silverstein, the one where he has sort of a grimace on his face and I laughed so hard because I knew exactly. which. picture.

  • Eric Hill December 5, 2011, 11:35 am

    The Omen Machine by Terry Goodkind has an awful author photo. It is full-sized and intense!

    • Josh Hanagarne December 5, 2011, 11:59 am

      Oh man, you’re right!

      • Eric Hill December 16, 2011, 11:04 am

        And you discussed Terry Goodkind in your original post. Duh. I need to read closer.

  • LeTran December 9, 2011, 10:42 am