Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Judging a book by its author's photo

Koren Zailckas chronicled her experiences with alcohol abuse as a teenager and college student in Smashed: Story of a Drunken Girlhood, which made the New York Times bestseller list.

Guest-blogging at JANE, Zailckas wrote:

Here's one thing the publishing industry has taught me: books that feature author photos sell better than books that don't. And yet, taking the perfect A.P. is a fine art (and obviously one I haven't mastered).
Click here to see which author photos she liked, helpfully sorted "into categories because I know you don't mind my reducing our literary greats to something out of your high school yearbook's superlatives page."

Ken Kesey, Joan Didion, Julio Cortazar, Joyce Carol Oates, et al make the list.

Click here to read a Zailckas interview with Newsweek in which interviewer Brian Braiker seems to encourage the now-sober author to start drinking again, if only moderately. And, yes, there's a photo there of the author toasting the camera with a long-neck.

--Marshal Zeringue