Worst Author Photos

I saw this book in a bookstore today and idly flipped through it to see what it was about (I had no idea that such a work could be useful).

What really caught my eye, though, was the picture of the author on the back cover.

Yikes. I guess he must have decided to skip hiring a photographer and just used a photo machine at the train station…

Any other examples of books that have particularly bad photos of their authors on the back?

Jack Chalker’s anthology Dance Band on the Titanic. The cover shows a painting of a vaguely Kenny Rogers-esque author sitting at his word processor, bedeviled by miniature versions of his creations (Chalker is an sf/fantasy author, and his creations are pretty damned weird, even by sf standards).

You turn to the inside back cover, and you find this weird explanation (paraphrased from memory):

“The gent n the cover is Darrell K. Sweet, the artist who does the covers for my books. Here’s why. I look like this:”

and below that is one of the worst author photos I’ve ever seen.

I’ve seen Chalker in person. A Beautiful Person he ain’t, but he’s not the Elephant Man, either. I suspect he just didn’t like sitting for either photos or paintings.

Anne McCaffrey had a pretty gruesome photo in some of her later Dragonrider books. Cackling old senile lady wearing some sort of low cut cocktail number. wince

My favorite is the Chuck Palahniuk progression from hell -

From affable geek, to frightening steriod-fueled monster, before finally deciding on Orko from Masters of The Universe. :slight_smile:

Arrgh, I just realized none of those links take you to the correct picture. Kindly kick the “>” or “<” buttons to flip to the right one.

I can’t figure out how that last one is bad. Looks fairly normal to me…and nothing like Orko.

My copy’s at home, but I think it has a different photo. In any case, on of his books has a photo of him standing with his arms folded, and he looks rather pumped & pissed. Not all that bad, though.

That’s the “Frightening steroid-fueled monster” pic.

It’s the ears, baby, the ears!

Several Garrison Keillor book photos aren’t particularly complimentary.

And I thought that little sketch of Ayn Rand on the back of the old edition PBs was much better that showing an actual photo

Just pick up any Stephen King book. The dude is FUGLY.

Andrew Vachss’s first book “Flood” had a right profile shot with his hair blowing in the wind. He looks like Columbo. Obviously, they wanted a shot without his eyepatch.

His later shots show a tall, skinny, strange looking guy wearing an eyepatch

Yup. I figure Tabitha has always put a bag over his head before sex.

She’s no prize either.

Sex in the King household: You don’t want to look, but you’re scared of turning off all the lights…

Let’s see–Stephen and Tabitha are both published authors, have tons of money, and a real love match that has survived some tragedies…I wouldn’t mind looking like either of them to get what they got.

The pic of Kilgore Trout on the back of Venus on the Half-Shell.

This pic of Shel Silverstein, the author of the sappy children’s book “The Giving Tree.”

The picture itself is bad - grainy, not well lit. And he just looks really angry in the picture.

Yes, but I find he’s pretty good about finding pictures for the author pictures that minimise that. He’ll never win any beauty contests based on them, but he looks a lot less…froggish.