Choosing the Official Author Photo

I’ve turned my book in to the publisher, so now it’s all done but the copy-editing and the author questionnaire (information they need for marketing, etc). That one is hard! I’d like to be able to say “Oh, yes, everyone involved in quality and process improvement reads the same magazine; it’s called Quality Today, and you can send them a copy to review.” Unfortunately that just isn’t true; discussions of this stuff happen all over the place and there aren’t a lot of good central media sites (some that do exist, like the American Society of Quality, seem most interested in pushing their own publications; others, like the relevant groups on Linked In, are open discussions that aren’t run by a central organization).


But the most difficult thing for that questionnaire is choosing a photo for them to use.

That’s hard! It’s made a bit easier because Ted has all our photos organized in iPhoto so that I can just sort for the ones with my face, but still it’s a tough decision. First, of course, there’s ruling out all the photos of myself that I hate. (I’m not very photogenic; any photo of me that you’ve seen is one I can tolerate, selected from among many more that I hated.) Then there’s ruling out the ones I actually like, but that are just not right for this purpose for one reason or another. Here are the also-rans:

A very old photo, hiking in Big Bend, Texas. Braids are the best for keeping your hair controlled on a backpacking trip, but they just don’t say “professional”!

Paula as Godzilla, about to stomp the city. (It’s Madurodam, which contains all the significant buildings in the Netherlands, in miniature.)

Me at the Ice Hotel. That’s all vodka in the red sequined bottles!

Me having a rest on the Oregon beach. Again, probably not the alert and businesslike impression I want to portray.

Me crowned as Queen. (The crown is part of a planter in front of Copenhagen City Hall.)

Classic cheesecake pose.

OK until you look close – it’s a rowing t-shirt, and the caption says “Every stroke counts!” No double entendres allowed on my business book cover.

I was considering this one, taken at Taroko Gorge in Taiwan, until I looked closer; I’m wearing a Jewish star necklace (actually, a rowing necklace in which the star is made of tiny oars) and I think including a statement of my religion is more sharing than I want to do.

Me with my nephew, when he was two months old. I love the photo, but it’s also definitely *not* the image I’m going for here. (Sorry, Mom, but no. Not gonna use this one even if you do think he’s the Cutest Baby Ever.)

I’d actually planned to use this one, until I realized it’s too blurry – they asked for “high resolution”.

And here are the four I’m considering: respectively, at my brother’s wedding; on a tower in Lisbon, on the Oregon coast (same as the “cheesecake photo above, but zoomed in closer), and at a library in Helsinki. I put them up on FB and so far have at least one vote for each of the four.




One Response to “Choosing the Official Author Photo”

  1. Marsha Berman Says:

    Although I love the one with Hunter, I totally understand it’s not professional. It’s a shame that the one in the lightning-struck redwood trunk isn’t more clear. Of your final four, I like the first and fourth. You look very good in the wedding one, but you really look great in the fourth.

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