Book signing is the affixing of a signature to the title page or flyleaf of a book by its author. A book signing is an event, usually at a bookstore or library where an author sits and signs books for a period.
Book signing is popular because an author's signature increases the value of books for collectors. The author may add a short message to the reader, called a dedication, to each book, which may be personalized with the recipient's name upon request. A simple author's signature without a dedication is typically more valuable to collectors (exceptions include inscriptions to persons of note, e.g. from Hemingway to Fitzgerald, or to persons of significance in the author's life). Many authors today spend a great deal of time signing their books, and sign many thousands of copies. James Ellroy is known for signing every copy of the 65,000 strong first run of My Dark Places.
Book signings provide more than a just a chance to obtain signatures. Authors and bookstores are benefited by the fact that many copies of the book being promoted are sold. Signings also increase public goodwill and allow authors to connect with their fans. For fans, signings give them a chance to see and meet a favorite author and ask them questions.
Sometimes the author will sign additional copies for future sale. An additional advantage for authors for doing this is that once a book has been signed, it cannot be returned to the publisher for a refund.
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