Thursday, 19 June 2014

To smile or not to smile, that is the question...

A recent article by Jill Dawson in The Author, raised the subject of the author photograph. Should an author take on a serious expression in order to present a "professional" image?

But it seems readers prefer their authors to appear "friendly" and therefore a smiling photograph is more fitting.

Being a writer of mystery/crime fiction, as opposed to romance or even light-hearted 'cozies', my inclination was towards a neutral expression, not one of me grinning from ear to ear. But when I went to have my author photo taken my husband and the photographer colluded in flattering me into agreeing to smile.

Now while engaged on social media sites, I cringe at seeing my smiling self looking back at me whenever I post a comment on Facebook or Twitter. And there are times when the Cheshire cat look is embarrassingly out of place, such as when posting a downbeat message or responding to sad or distressing news that a friend has posted on Facebook.

Perhaps, just as when Facebook gives a choice of thumbnail (or none) when sharing a link, they could devise a system where we could opt for our happy, sad or neutral selves to accompany our comments, as and when appropriate. Molly Mouse demonstrates below...

Standard pose
Serious pose
Sad pose