Why Authors Need a Headshot for Book Marketing

It’s common for authors to ask their book marketing agencies why they need headshots. At Smith Publicity, we hear the question often and have asked professional photographer Dave Pidgeon to help explain the value of having one. Like us, he has learned an author’s photograph is an essential communication tool for book promotion and an author brand. We remind our clients often that marketing is a people business. By extension, it means knowing more about who wrote a book is of interest to media, reviewers, and, ultimately, readers. 

Given the ever-increasing need to promote books on author websites and social media, there is a long list of places where a photo is virtually required. Well taken author headshots also help readers understand more about who wrote a book and why it may be of interest to them. Because they are so necessary and prevalent, going without a headshot brings questions from many sectors about why one doesn’t exist. Therefore, it’s wise to have one if you’re an author — even if having your picture taken isn’t your favorite thing.

A Photographer Discusses Author Headshots

If you need more convincing and want to learn more, it’s helpful to head it from Dave on video. Click below to watch our video interview. It features thoughts and perspectives about how an author photo can significantly benefit your book marketing campaign.


Today, we can’t just be writers. We also have to be brand managers and marketers. And part of that brand management strategy and that marketing strategy should include a professional profile photo. Something that you could use on your About Me page or as an avatar on your social media platforms. It has to say something. It has to be inviting. When you think about your readers, editors, publishers, and literary agents when they find you online, what does your profile photo say? Those are the kinds of things you want to think about and why a professional headshot is so important.

When you’re looking for a portrait photographer, you’re going to want to find somebody who understands who you are as a writer and what’s your brand is. That way, they’re going to draw out your personality, and they’re going to create a portrait that speaks to your brand and your marketing strategy.