In Physics Today's 'We love you, you're perfect, now edit', three editors give advice to potential science writers.  Their advice includes the 3 holy rules:

  1) know who you are writing for
  2) meet your deadlines
  3) be polite

... and expands on it a bit.  Am I to steal another's writing instead?  No, so go read the piece.  That's what links are for.

Meanwhile, NPR argues that the photo of an author on the book jacket is essential in marketing the book.  Attractive authors get more book reviews.  So we'll add a fourth rule:

  4) look good

Flavorwire breaks out the author photo poses to 5: sophisticated weighty head, in the office, Proustian comfort, bad-ass smoker, and hand flourish.  Okay, so we'll add a 5th rule:

  5) choose the right pose for your photo

finally, in Haul out the Old Cliches, the NY Times notes some surprising standard elements.  A good author's photo needs a bookshelf, a tree, or a dog-- but no cats.  Apparently the props matter.  Again, read the article, that's why I linked to it.  If you've gotten this far in my piece, you will probably like that piece.

So we add rule 6:

  6) choose appropriate props

You now have all the pieces you need to succeed as a science writer.  Except, of course, for the actual writing.  For that, you're on your own.

attractive picture of the author?Until next week,

Tuesdays at The Satellite Diaries and Friday at The Daytime Astronomer (twitter @skyday)