Jan 6, 2012

I Need A New Look

I've had this blog layout for a while now. I like it and it's served me well, but it's not really "me" enough. Also, I've got a different haircut and a full beard instead of the goatee now so my profile pic is well out of date.

I'm thinking about my options for a new look for 2012, specifically to help spruce things up around here for my launch. For the blog itself I still like the current text format and the semi-transparent background field, but that might have to change. Once I have a book cover settled, I'd like to try and use that as the background image for the blog, but in the meantime I have a few choices. I have a friend who has been doing some artwork for me based on my book. It's fantastic work I hope to share closer to the launch date. He's always been an incredible artist and this is some of his best work yet. I may be able to find one of those that would be suitable. Afternatively I could just look for some royalty-free photos of New York, to reflect my book's setting.

Regarding my profile picture, I think it's really time I got my author photo sorted out. I've been thinking a lot about this. Thankfully another friend of mine is a photographer and has agreed to do the shots for me. I have to admit to having no idea what would best suit me as an author photo so I may have to post several online and get some opinions.

Does anyone have any advice for how to decide on author photos or appropriate blog artwork?


  1. Sounds like a brilliant excuse for a fiedtrip to NY to get your own shots, Paul! ;)

    In terms of an author shot, I'd suggest 45-60degree bodytwist to camera, head turned looking down the lens, Rembrandt lit, dark clothes against a lighter background (depending on what style you want to portray this could go from casual tshirt to jacket & tie), and - of course - smiling!

  2. Having had to do the author photo thing myself (ugh), I recommend having your friend take lots and lots and lots of pictures. I guarantee you'll hate most of them (or have your eyes closed or face weirdly twisted up ), but in the midst of the chaos you'll find two or three that stand out as potentials. Post those and we'll be happy to give our opinions! :)

    For your blog artwork, choose something that reflects the theme of your writing and that will serve as a backdrop for your book cover. Remember that there's going to be more than one book, so you may not want to use the actual cover as your artwork. That way you won't have to change the blog again unless you particularly want to do so. ;)

    Can't wait to see the new look(s)!

    Oh, and Happy New Year, my friend!

  3. Eoin: That's part of the plan! I'm not sure any of the shots I currently have will do the job...

    Linda: That's good advice. And Happy New Year to you, too!

  4. I keep hearing that people are more likely to come back if you have dark text on a light background, so I kept that in mind when I made my switch.

  5. Yes, I agree with A. Lockwood. The white writing on a darker background is harder to read. You've gotten great advice from your first two commenters about photos.

  6. That's interesting, and good to know! I often find lighter text on a dark background easier on my eyes, but I've suffered from eyestrain due to monitor glare in the past. I think that'll have to be a pretty definite change, then.

  7. My only advice is do away with the white text on black background. It's really hard to read!

  8. I think that'll be the first step in the redesign.

  9. Okay, for the time being, this is my temporary blog layout, to at least resolve the issue of light text on a dark background.

  10. With the picture - just make sure it's one that YOU feel reflects YOU. I picked the one I used on my book because I felt like I looked relaxed, happy, nice and approachable. It's actually not the most professional picture in the world, but it feels like me and I'd choose it again. Plus my picture on the back of my book is really tiny...

    I think black on white is much easier to read - yes.

    Wishing you a wonderful year - I'll be in line to buy your book when you launch.