9.04 a.m. My draft novel only needs another 45,786 words. So, with not much more writing to do, I have decided to overhaul my author photos – squeal!
Image is everything in the literary business.
I have been worried about my Amazon Author page as I have a sneaking suspicion that it is behind my poor book sales.
My fears were confirmed to me the other night when I asked Keith, my boyfriend, to be honest and sum up how I looked in my author photo in three words.
I was not expecting him to glance at my photo and say:
“Unforgettable, wacky and crazed!”
The author of a serious political thriller does not look like…some sort of loon. It is no wonder my sales are non-existent!
Sensing he was on shaky ground Keith, quickly, came up with an amazing idea of calling in a professional makeup lady to help give me a cool new author look. All my love and affection for him returned.
“YES!” I squealed at his suggestion, imagining some trendy makeup woman, from the beauty counter at our local department store, coming to transform me.
Keith and I are sadly not telepathic.
The next day he informed me that he had organised for a young woman from the pub to come and give me a sophisticated look for my new author photo.
“Does she know about makeup?” I asked Keith, as he wolfed down his Sugar Puffs breakfast cereal.
“She told me she’s in the beauty trade” said Keith.
“Oh…what does she want in terms of payment?” I asked.
“Sharon wants you to tweet her local mobile nail business advert to all of your Twitter followers. She thinks she might get some extra business from your followers” said Keith.
I nodded and turned away quickly.
My 124 Twitter followers are international and would need to pay the cost of a long haul flight and a taxi to get within Sharon’s five-mile mobile business radius to get their nails done.
If I am honest I don’t think I can stop a young entrepreneur from finding new ways of promoting her local business in the U.K abroad.
The more I think about it, being tweeted by the soon to be the bestselling author of ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’, will be enough for any entrepreneur.
9.12 a.m. I am excited and breathless. Today is the day of my new makeover.
10.12 a.m. Keith’s mother, Pamela, has a bad habit of turning up at our house unannounced and at the most inconvenient moments.
She has just rushed in carrying a plastic tub of her (unwanted) homemade dish ‘curried mince’.
10.45 a.m. Keith is explaining to Pamela about how a woman is going to be turning up soon to give me a makeover.
“I think I will have that pot of tea Keith” says Pamela, settling herself down on my sofa. I let out a heavy groan.
Pamela struggles to keep her unhelpful comments to herself and is not the best person to have on hand during a makeover.
11.15 a.m. I open the door to a young woman with long black hair, a sour expression and carrying a supermarket plastic bag. This cannot be the makeup professional.
“Are you Keith’s girlfriend, the author?” she mumbles. “I’m Sharon from the pub!”
11.16 a.m. Making small talk with Sharon in the living room. I am itching to get my transformation started.
“So what look do you want?” asks Sharon, scanning my face.
I take a breath. “I want to look like a glamorous author!” I say handing her a copy of a magazine article featuring J.K. Rowling.
“She’s a makeup artist not a miracle worker Tina love” says Pamela, before taking a sip of tea.
After giving Pamela a cold stare I open up my laptop and show Sharon my current photo.
“Good grief!” exclaims Pamela, from the sofa. “What was going through your mind when you put that author look together?”
“I had just finished writing “Intrigue at No 10 Downing Street!” I announce cheerfully.
Sharon casts me a puzzled look. “What was it about…your book?”
Both Pamela and I stare at Sharon for a few seconds.
Before I can open my mouth and explain to Sharon that it was a complex political thriller Pamela butts in with “it was about the private life of a secret agent called Richard who went to the gym a lot in a tight vest!”
11.20 a.m. “What’s your latest book about?” asks Sharon opening up her supermarket plastic bag, full of makeup and catching Pamela’s attention.
“Do you not have a fancy makeup case?” asks Pamela, her eyes fixed on the carrier bag.
“I like to chuck stuff in a bag and go!” says Sharon.
“I am writing a thriller titled ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’ and it’s amazing!” I say proudly, prompting Pamela to roll her eyes.
“Oh what is about then?” asks Sharon fiddling with one of her brushes.
11.34 a.m. “There you go, have a look in my mirror” says Sharon. “What do you think?”
I stare at my new look. “It is very….”
Pamela interrupts me. “Orange!”
12.00 p.m. “Ok see what you think of this look?” says Sharon.
“I look like I am going out for the night ” I say, trying to be diplomatic.
“You look sleazy!” pipes up Pamela.
1.45 p.m. “How about this look?” asks Sharon, her voice tinged with exasperation.
“Oh no!” I say as I stare myself in the mirror and think ‘circus act!’
Pamela leaps up out of the sofa and snatches the makeup skin wipes from a horrified Sharon.
“Let me at her!” she snaps. I haven’t got all day though!” she hisses, wiping my face.
2.10 p.m. We all sat having a cup of tea. There is an awkward silence in the room.
Pamela’s makeup skills were hundred times better than Sharon’s.
My author photo has been changed.
Keith has just offered Sharon and Pamela a plate of expensive ginger snap biscuits.
I feel bad about Sharon. If Pamela had not showed up I probably would have found a look from Sharon that I liked…..might have taken a day or two.
Keith nudges me and whispers “make it up to Shaz!”
“Sharon – how about I tweet and post something on my Author Facebook page about your nail business!” I gush.
“Very clever!” whispers Keith, as Sharon’s face lights up.
It is not every day your local mobile nail business is promoted to 124 international Twitter followers and 8 international Facebook followers by the author of ‘Beautiful & Kidnapped’