How important is an on-line photo? That is the question. See, I’ve been thinking about the Before and After weight loss pictures that Robin Helm posted the other day. The number alone–36 pounds–is impressive. But those images, they tell a powerful story. Photos make Robin’s journey personal.
Social media being personal–who knew? In my professional life, I avoid photos. Can you blame me? As a teacher, I never escape the Dreaded School Picture. Every year, the most attractive and energetic faculty members–even those who are young–turn out looking tired, bless them. Of course we’re tired! Who wants to immortalize that in the yearbook?
“Would you like an author photo on the back of the book?” my publisher once asked. My answer was an immediate No. Who cares what the writer looks like? Readers are interested in story. They can get to know me in the pages of my books.
But social media is a different breed of animal, and the experts say that the photo matters. You won’t find one on my book covers, ever (most sales are e-books anyway), but I have reluctantly put my picture on my About page here. For my Laura Hile blog, it’s in the top right corner. Because social media is personal. It’s about making connections.
Which brings me to another reason for this post, the Firewood Guy. Yesterday I went shopping for wood on Craigslist. I wanted free delivery, a middle-of-the-road price, and an outfit that was a genuine business. Photos helped me out! Some of the sellers were obviously offering wood that had been sitting in the backyard for years. Spiders and mice? No thanks.
It wasn’t until after we ordered the wood that I realized I’d chosen a business with a person in the photo. Weird, huh? The social media thing again. We do business with humans, not just product. The mounds of wood promoted the each business, but seeing a friendly Firewood Guy influenced me to buy from him.
I still don’t like to share photos on-line, though I enjoy seeing other people’s. Hey, no fair, you say. And you’re right. So here’s a photo of me. It was taken at Crater Lake when the lighting was j-u-s-t right.
Almost forgot! The Calico Critic’s e-book giveaway is still going on. Stop by before October 8, 2016, and enter to win a Kindle copy of Darcy By Any Other Name. Here’s the link. And, ha, a photo of the book cover too.