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Whether allowed or not (and I suspect the answer to that is no, by the way), I wouldn't.

If you want to use a pseudonym, use a pseudonym, but don't pass yourself off as someone else. You can google these images (and it's surprising how many people do this) and it will bring up the stock image.

There are way too many bad scams tangled up with people who have used stock images to misrepresent their false personalities.
 

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Photography models generally sign a release form that specifies how their image can be used for various commercial purposes.  I don't know of a single release form that allows--or a model that would agree to--identity theft.  Seriously, if you use someone else's image, they may get ticked off and sue you.
 

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It isn't allowed under any terms of any stock site I've seen. So no, don't do it.

People do it, but it's not allowed and I imagine someday someone will get sued that we hear about and people will stop being stupid. :)
 

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One of my stock photos of myself has been used dozens of times online (102 according to TinEye), but I give you permission to use it. I've even provided a caption suggestion:


Why is Kindle Unlimited doing this to me?

;D
 

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No stock photos. Just snap a picture of yourself with your face obscured, assuming you don't want to be seen. You can hold an open book in front of it, pull down the brim of your hat, etc.
 

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Crenel said:
One of my stock photos of myself has been used dozens of times online (102 according to TinEye), but I give you permission to use it. I've even provided a caption suggestion:


Why is Kindle Unlimited doing this to me?

LOVE it!

;D
 

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Even if it were permitted, why would you want to do so, given the non-exclusive nature of stock photography?

Imagine, for example, that you build a name for yourself as a successful romance novelist, using your pen name and stock photo.

People love your stuff.

Now, someone else comes along, with a different pen name but the same stock photo. This author starts publishing books and categorizing them under romance.

And people see the same author photo and think, Oh, this author has a new pen name. Cool! I'mma gonna buy all these new romance books! Woohoo! I just love this author's romance novels!

And so they do.

Except this new romance author has a tendency to kill off one of the lovers at the very end of every book.

Were that to happen, I sure wouldn't want to be you!
 

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Flay Otters said:
Sure, why not?
If Lana Wachowsky can become a woman, you can become a stock photo.
Um. Wow. I'm not awake enough to go into why this is problematic, but could you at least spell her name right? It's Wachowski.
 

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Well...I suppose nobody would know if it was you or not...if you don't tell them.

Look at authors with ghost writers...they never put pen to paper and still own yachts. Who are they, really? ;)
 

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I've read a few of Kim Harrison's books, typical image linked here

The author details showed some notes that she writes in Michigan, which I thought was cool since that's where I write from. So I remembered her.
Later I learned KH is the pseudonym for Dawn Cooke, I think this is "Dawn's" image. KH is much easier to find. No idea if Dawn writes in Michigan.

The point is that we can all look a lot different on any given day with different photography skills.

I'm a little more stuck as a guy but you don't need to resort to wigs and blurry images.
Formal coat and a top hat for one name; farmer overalls and and a machete for another name. Easy. No stock required.
Or there is the less popular trend for a single author brand that writes all the genres they love since readers are smart - they pick and choose the series they want to read anyway.

Think costumes and settings and have fun!
 

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OR just don't use an author image. Create a banner for your site that sets the tone of your writing (a woman in sunglasses lounging at the pool for a summer chick lit read, for instance). Use it across your Facebook and Twitter. It's not a logo and it's not "you." Safe and safe. ;o)
 
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So all these user ID thumbnail photos on this board correctly portray us
 

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Rin said:
Um. Wow. I'm not awake enough to go into why this is problematic, but could you at least spell her name right? It's Wachowski.
+1

I was really trying hard to figure out how exactly the comment about her had anything at all to do with this thread. Some people... hmmm. Thanks for pointing out that I'm not the only one here who was shaking my head at that post.

Anyway, yes, staying on topic, I've used stock photos in the past for the erotica stuff I fiddled around with. I just Photoshopped them to look different from the original so it wasn't totally stock. No big deal. Just make sure you get rights to use it and away you go.
 

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Barbara Mertz, aka Barbara Michaels and Elizabeth Peters, used photos of herself wearing romantic hats for some of her Michaels romantic suspense novels and pith helmets in Egypt for her Peters Egyptology mystery series.

Guys and women who aren't into hats or makeup can create different looks with hairstyle or glasses and photo manipulation. You can change hair color and other appearance details with photo manipulation.

I'd steer clear of blurry pics or having books and other objects in front of the face,  and only use sunglasses if the setting calls for it. To me, those kinds of images look funky and are a bad choice for branding. Obscured pics can give the impression of being ashamed of yourself or your work, not a great first impression for readers.
 

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cupcake_bullet said:
Just make sure you get rights to use it and away you go.
But also understand that copyrights and privacy/publicity rights are fundamentally different. Copyrights do not grant you the right to use someone's image. A license that gives copyright-rights may not give any rights related to publicity or privacy.
 
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