We've been talking about this on the WNP blog...an agent posted on her blog that in order for authors to get picked up these days, they really need to be attractive so they can be promoted via television and print media. She said that if you don't see the author's pic in the back of the book, it probably means she's a dog (okay, I'm paraphrasing here). This post really bothered me on several levels. One, I started reading some of my favorite authors long before their pics ever appeared on their dust jackets. Would seeing their picture have made any difference in my choice? Not at all. I loved the books, couldn't have cared less what they looked like. But in this looks-conscious society, I can see the agent's point--even if it pisses me off.
This is where I think the e-book revolution can make a huge impact. Most people don't know
what their online friends look like, unless maybe they visit their blogs to look, and most of us don't care. I've learned that sometimes beautiful people have ugly insides, and ugly people often have beautiful insides. And it's what's inside that counts. What's inside is what will show on the page: the morals, the beliefs, the way of looking at life that translates itself onto the page.
But if publishing is only chasing after the all-mighty dollar rather than seeking to find works with heart, soul, and engaging characters, we will probably watch print books fade slowly into the past, and e-books will soar to the forefront.