Is Attractiveness an Edge in Publishing?

We often think about singers and actors being measured by beauty but not authors. Ours is not an art where we MUST be incredibly visible or, it didn't used to be. But that has changed the past decade or two and, with it, our thoughts on author beauty.

Attractive authors get more media attention. They are often asked to do more interviews, more discussions, etc. They will sometimes even be booked over a more “noted” author because of sex appeal. Media outlets often love a pretty face.

Even readers fall prey to this biased thinking. It is hard not to if you’re surrounded by manufactured perceptions of beauty at all angles. I have yet, however, to see an author blame low book sales on being homely. And I don’t believe I have seen a book put back based on an author photograph.

A person who is pretty without substance is unlikely to find widespread success in the world of writing, though I wouldn’t doubt it could happen. But, at the end of the day, real writing rises to the top regardless of if they’re a ten or two.
At least, I believe in strong writing over any other factor.

What do you guys think? Is your sex appeal going to open a window? Should it?


  1. Well, I don't think mine will open a window...haha.

    But I agree. Its refreshing to know that this industry relies on more than just what the person looks like and I can't imagine that will change in the foreseeable future.

    Hmm...maybe I shouldn't go to the gym as much... :)

    1. I think you'd make a great "cover author". But, then again, you have the chops to back it up.

  2. Writers can get away with it more, but nowadays they are required to be more visible. However, most people do realize it takes brains more than beauty (and talent as well as skill) to produce great works.

    1. Thank goodness for people seeing skills!
      I wouldn't have a chance, otherwise. lol
      Though, sometimes my skill is in doubt and in short supply...

  3. I've wondered about this before. Authors used to be able to hide but now they are expected to interact a lot with the world. I think 'looks' could help an author sell a few books but I don't think they have a negative affect on sales.

  4. Open a window? People will seal theirs closed and paint the window black. If I were going through a publisher, my pic would be computer enhanced. lol