Does An Author’s Looks Matter For Book Sales?

As a writer with three novels published by New York houses, I knew that each new book got harder to place. I was aware of the publishers’ lust for ‘new blood,’ for authors with no track record, but who were therefore full of potential, vs. those who were mid-list. That’s the category for authors whose average sales are in the 5,000- to 7,000-copy range, the book industry equivalent of a woman who is dismissed as ‘plain.’ The thinking, of course, was that vivacious and photogenic authors were more attractive to the media and more effective on book tours. For a while this worked, until every bookstore in the country had a bestselling author every other night of the week and readers looked upon the opportunity to greet their favorite author with about the same enthusiasm as for their favorite pizza topping.”