Be Ready for that Media Opportunity

One thing I’ve learned about this industry is that opportunities come up in a flash, and usually the first people to respond get them. The difference between being prepared and NOT being prepared can cost you. And it’s literally as simple as being organized.

KS Brooks Book Cover Folder
Go ahead, mouse over, see what happens.
Click once to enlarge.

I have a folder in Dropbox with all my book cover jpgs, my two author photos and a couple of other folders with high resolution versions and thumbnail size versions. (I keep it on Dropbox so I can access it from virtually anywhere. You never know when you will be asked for something!) I’ve made sure they’re all named clearly, so it’s easy for the recipient to identify. It also helps, if they don’t rename the file, with search engine optimization. It never hurts to take advantage of every opportunity to get your title in front of someone. Plus, it looks far more professional to have the book cover for Night Undone labeled as “NightUndone.jpg” instead of “niteundonecoverartsmall.jpg”. My author photo is labeled as “AuthorKSBrooks.jpg” instead of  “DSC00013”. Now, you might be thinking, I’ll just put “Author Photo” as the file name. Well, you and about a billion other authors thought that. It’s not going to make your photo easy to find. Continue reading “Be Ready for that Media Opportunity”

Author Portraits: A “How to”

KSBrooksand TRex
Fun photo – but just not right for professional use!
Photo courtesy DPR & Rich Meyer

Here at Indies Unlimited, our submissions are just like what you’d experience at a newspaper, magazine, publisher, agent, or advertiser. So when we ask for an author photo, we expect authors to provide a photograph that represents them as professionals. After all, writing is your job, right? So wouldn’t you want to put your best foot forward and impress us with your best writerly image?

That doesn’t always happen.

We do get some very professional head shots, but sometimes we get photographs with the following issues: blurry, eyes closed, holding alcoholic beverages, mirror shot in a bathroom, distorted selfie, and my personal pet peeve: the 8 megabyte humungous file. I’m sure you’re gorgeous and all that, but Indies Unlimited is run by volunteers – and while our hearts are big, our free email boxes are small. If you send me an 8 megabyte attachment, I’m going to delete it and perhaps your submission as well. We send along a link to a tutorial for resizing photographs with every guideline that goes out. Please please please learn it.

Look, we understand that most authors are not photographers. But I am. Don’t believe me? Check out my portfolio sampler here if you want. So, now that you’re convinced, how about I give you some tips to help you get the great looking shot that will end up plastered all over? Continue reading “Author Portraits: A “How to””

Tutorial: Resizing Pictures

Why in the world could I possibly need to know how to resize a picture? you ask. Well, Skippy, it goes like this. A reporter or blogger or some other nice person who wants to feature your book asks you for a jpg image of your book cover – or a head shot – no larger than 500kb. But the only image you have of yourself looking all sexy and authory is 4 megabytes. So you send it anyway. BAD AUTHOR!!!! That’s a really good way to annoy someone who’s trying to help you. But…how do I make the image smaller? you say. Well, I’ll show you.  Aren’t you glad you asked?

See the cover above? The size of the original file is 606 kb. That’s over half a megabyte and still doesn’t meet the criteria of the 500kb requested by whomever. Making it smaller is very fast and easy. Go to the folder where your picture is stored. If you mouse over it, that should tell you how large the file is. (I knew you were going to ask that next. Ha!) See the photo below. Continue reading “Tutorial: Resizing Pictures”

You Look Marvelous: Do-It-Yourself Portraits

In the immortal words of the philosopher William Crystal “It’s not how you feel, it’s how you look…and you looooooook mahvelous!”

Author K. S. Brooks Photo Credit Olivia Zambom
Author K. S. Brooks Official Press Photo Credit Olivia Zambom

It’s true when it comes to presenting yourself to the masses. Your picture represents you. It’s how people will know you. You want to look good, right? And your book is your business, so you want to look professional, right? I understand that most authors are not also photographers. But I am. I’ve worked in conjunction with modeling agencies to develop portfolios for their models. I’ve done photo shoots for aspiring actors who’ve gone on to Hollywood and scored roles on 90210. Sure, I never got paid for that last gig, but what else is new? With that non-profit spirit in mind, I will now provide you with some “do-it-yourself” tips so you can end up with a nice looking press shot to help you develop your “brand.”

#1 – Do not show off the tattoo you got in prison, or anywhere else as that matter goes. Don’t wear flashy jewelry, no matter how proud you are of that new nose ring. These things distract from the subject – you. Continue reading “You Look Marvelous: Do-It-Yourself Portraits”