Authors and their Appearance

Being an author, you have the luxury of sitting down in your pajamas all day and working. You can have superstar status like James Patterson, Stephen King, and Nora Roberts but revel in the fact that the paparazzi aren’t swarming around your home, blogging and tweeting about the fashion don’t you’re wearing or detailing to the public every embarrassing thing you’ve ever done. We’re in the public eye, but we can be as private as we want to be.

Despite how eccentric you might dress does one’s age play any factor? Most authors are usually settled down with a family before they’ve been given a contract. They’ve had plenty of time to percolate and work on their craft. But most of all older authors have experience.

The young author doesn’t have much experience, nor have they had as much time to work on their craft. But should publishers, agents, and readers dismiss the young author because of that? Unless you write like S.E. Hinton, it seems that young authors don’t stand a chance even if they write on the same level as some poorer written books of their seniors.

In the age of social media, appearance has become everything. Though one might see pictures of quirky authors, they’ll still gravitate and read that author’s work. But what if you look young? I myself have been told that I look anywhere between the ages of 12-16, depending on what I’m wearing and the lighting of the picture. Have people automatically dismissed my writing because I look so young? Because they assume I know nothing about the publishing industry? I can’t say for sure. But I do know that despite how young I am, I’ve been studying the publishing industry and working on my craft for a few years and I plan on continuing to do so for many years to come. You always learn something new.

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  1. Andi-Roo

    Gosh, I never even thought of an author’s appearance as a deterring factor in whether or not I’ll read a book. Actually, I might go so far as to say that youth in a writer tends to draw me in — look at the success of the Eragon series, or Amelia Atwater-Rhodes. I think I revel in a younger author’s success, because don’t we all want to believe that could be us? They are “proof” that if we just write well enough, age isn’t a factor.

    The magical pull of writing: We can all succeed in our pursuit of the craft. Right?
    (say yes! lol)

    Andi-Roo /// @theworld4realz
    http://www.theworld4realz.com/
    theworldforrealz@gmail.com

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      Sheenah

      Of course there are those amazing success stories. And I think everyone is wowed when someone young turns out to be such a huge success. I mean, we’re amazed at children with big voices and child prodigies. But I think if you’re young, you have to work harder to prove you can do it, you know?

      Of course we can succeed in the pursuit of writing. I think everyone succeeds if they set out to write a novel and accomplish to do so whether the novel ever gets published or not.

  2. Becky

    It’s always a challenge trying to choose which “platform” to work on, isn’t it? Do we focus on our blogs? Or presence in the social media world of twitter, linkdin, FB, etc? What about conferences, phone calls, book signings, interviews? And now every book has to have a video teaser. So…my age? That’s one thing I’ve finally accepted that I can’t do anything about so it’s moved to the bottom of my list of worries. I’m lucky if I have TIME to shower and change out of my pajamas for any of it.

    Hang in there, Sheenah. We’re all rooting for each other. Those on the outside have no clue the weight that we carry on our fragile author shoulders. If you’re a believer, you’ll understand this reference – we just need to come alongside and hold each others’ arms up until the victory is won!

    Becky

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      Sheenah

      Ugh… Social media! It sucks all the time away from actual writing! Lol. I don’t think you’re the only person whose lucky enough to even have time to shower and change out of their pajamas. Some days, I feel lucky that I even found the time to EAT.

      Yes, we do!

  3. Jocelyn Rish

    Ha, and here I’ve been thinking that I’m getting too old to be a serious contender in the YA market. Lucky for me, people usually think I look younger than I am. The oily skin that led to tons of zits when I was a teen is paying off in less wrinkles now. πŸ™‚

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