Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mug Shot

I have mentioned more than once here that I’ve fought off posting a picture on my LinkedIn profile for a long time. For a while I tried to post a message in the little box explaining that I Didn’t Think My Mug Shot Was Going To Win Me Any Business -- sort of the equivalent of “Camera Shy” in your school yearbook.

However, when a second venue asks to show your likeness, you begin to wonder if there may not be some pent-up demand after all and you’d be churlish not to satisfy it. This is the case where my novel is recently (self) published, a site called Smashwords; they like to put a picture up with the author bio. Absent something even less prepossessing than my own, I can’t see where a picture is going to hurt the success of a novel. The story has to stand on its own, and visitors to the site will buy or not on that basis after sampling the opening pages.

That’s less true of LinkedIn. You can sample someone’s work there, too, but some people think if you don’t post a picture of yourself there’s something wrong. So while I’m about it, the picture is going up there as well.   
There have not been many pictures of me over the years in which I look like someone you’d want to talk to, and this one is no exception. It shows me wearing the fatigue hat mentioned in some previous posts, and a kind of Mona Lisa smirk that should put off all but the incurably inquisitive.

I call it a portrait in grander moments, but  the friend who took it for me is quick to correct me: it’s only a snapshot, and taken with a smartphone, at that. She usually works with a professional camera and worries the details, but I reassured her that nothing she could do was going to make me look any better. Or any worse, for that matter. So for better or worse, you can now find me looking back at you, trying to appear friendly, on LinkedIn and Smashwords.