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Thursday, December 10, 2015

How To Choose An Amazon Author Central Profile Picture (Maybe)

I usually don't write these types of blog posts since I'm not the most experienced in the field, but I figured it would be good for both my readers and my fellow writers. I think discussion is great for growth and perception. So, my fellow authors, how do you choose a great Author Central profile picture? Where's the checklist? Where are the guidelines?

Well, in most cases, I'd say it's best to play it safe. After all, safe works, right? So, you take a glance at what the established authors are doing. With a simple glimpse at the Amazon Author Rank (Beta), you'll see a large set of examples ranging from simple to professional, and even professionally simple. You can take a photo of yourself with an insouciant glance at the camera while you sit in a elegant environment; take a nonchalant photo with a library background, a backdrop brimming with hundreds of books; or, stick to the classics with the black-and-white filter.

Now, I don't mean to sound smug or pretentious. I'm not trying to mock those using black-and-white photos or anything like that. To be frank, I'm rather jealous. You see, I'm a hideous person and I've come to terms with that. At the same time, I fear my atrocious (I might be exaggerating) mug might scare away potential readers in its raw form. In turn, showing my face is out of the question. So, what does an ugly fella like myself do to add some pizzazz to his profile? Well, I've opted for a highly-modified image of myself. Take a gander below:
Hey! That's me!
That's my profile picture. A good example of an effective image? Probably not. It's far from a traditional profile picture. Some would argue it's better to have a simple image of one of my books or nothing at all. However, since many authors opt for the more traditional routes, I think this gives me an opportunity to experiment, which is extremely important for independent authors. We need to constantly test our methods, including our writing, our marketing, and, yes, even our selfies.

I'm not saying I'm the first to break ground, but this is my first time trying something more unconventional. For so long, I've felt like I've been following a set of rules. I felt like I was forced to stick to the guidelines and stay away from the taboo. It's even restricted some of my writing, making me change certain scenes so I don't 'offend' people. I don't want to do that anymore. With this image, I feel liberated.

Besides, I honestly don't think it's that bad. I am a horror writer, I've dabbled in surreal themes, and I'm delving into some very dark thrillers during 2016 — I think this image accurately portrays that madness. It also represents the frustration of failure — I've experienced plenty of that over the past few years. I think it represents me. Isn't that what's most important? I suppose that's what I'm trying to say: choose a profile picture that represents you. If it's a traditional portrait, then so be it. If it's something more unconventional, go for it! Forget about the guidelines and trust your heart.

Anyway, thank you for reading! I hope I didn't ramble too much. I don't write these types of blog posts often... Wait, I already wrote that. Oh, and once again, I just want to make it clear: I love your profile pictures! If I were more handsome, I'd probably have a picture of myself in front of my collection of movies.

Until next time,
Jon Athan

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