Does it matter what an author looks like?

I do a lot of thinking about ebooks and digital media, but Readerville pointed the way to a post by author Jennifer Weiner about something I have never really thought about: does it matter what an author looks like? Their example given is a good one:

the idea that she would likely have reacted differently to the author’s tale of marital woe had she known she was a gorgeous blonde who’d have no trouble finding a new mate.

I have to admit to often deciphering an author’s name as I reach for a book in the bookstore. Especially in the Current Events topic areas. You really do get different points of view from people living in different places, but I never applied to the sympathy and believability side of things.

I’m going to have to go through LibraryThing’s author database and look up all of my authors to see who lives up the image in my mind and who surprises me.

One thought on “Does it matter what an author looks like?”

  1. Maybe you can help me with this… I remember back in the 90s there was a big to-do on how publishers suddenly cared how authors looked. Do you have any recollection of that? My memory is really vague, but I think Joan Didion said something about it back then.

    I can only imagine it has gotten worse over time.

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