Book signing

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Frans de Waal signing one of his books at the University of Auckland's Owen G. Glenn Building before delivering the third and final lecture in his "Our Inner Ape" series, for the Douglas Robb Memorial Lectures. The book cover visible is Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved.
Josh Gross at Rediscovered Bookshop in Boise, Idaho, at the booksigning of his memoir The Funeral Papers in August 2016

Book signing is the affixing of a signature to the title page or flyleaf of a book by its author. Book signings are events, usually at a bookstore or library, where an author sits and signs books for a period.

Book signing[edit]

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).[citation needed]

Sometimes an author will sign additional copies for future sale. An additional advantage to authors for doing this is that once a book has been signed, it cannot be returned to the publisher for a refund.[citation needed]

Many authors today spend a great deal of time signing their books, and sign many thousands of copies.[citation needed] For example, John Green signed all 150,000 copies of the first printing of his 2012 novel The Fault in Our Stars.[1]

The growing popularity of ebooks and ereading devices has inspired the development of software — such as Authorgraph (formerly known as Kindlegraph and renamed to reflect its expansion to include all ereading platforms),[2] and Autography (for iOS devices) - that allows authors to digitally personalize ebooks, by including autographs, dedications, and photographs, and to provide such personalization remotely as well as at in-person book signings. Such software benefits authors, "who are not obliged to go on long distance promotional tours in order to autograph e-books for their fans",[3] as well as those readers who are unwilling or unable to brave crowds and longs lines at onsite book signings.[4] Before such applications were introduced, efforts to bridge the digital divide for those who read ebooks included having authors sign the backs of their fan's ereading devices[5] or sign ebooks via direct stylus input (e.g., on a Sony Reader Touch or Palm eReader).[6]

Book signings[edit]

Book signings provide more than just a chance to obtain signatures. Authors and bookstores are benefited by the fact that many copies of the book being promoted are sold at these events. Signings also increase public goodwill and allow authors to connect with their fans. For fans, signings provide a chance to see and meet a favorite author and ask them questions.[7]

The development of social media platforms allows modern day authors to conduct virtual book signings. For example, The GoodReader and Autography jointly hosted an ebook signing with author HP Mallory, during which Mallory greeted fans via Spreecast, a social connectivity platform that allows users to have up to four guests on video chat at one time, to conduct Q&A sessions with even more participants, and to maintain a channel on the site, thereby recording and storing the Spreecast and assigning the recordings a URL for sharing at other outlets.[8]

Many authors use the book signing platform LiveSigning to host large-scale, streaming video book signings with their fans. Donald Trump hosted a book signing on this platform during his presidential campaign in December 2015. Book signings on LiveSigning typically consist of the author signing books, answering questions from fans, and making phone calls to some fans. After the event, the signed books are mailed to everyone who purchased a signed copy.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Kirch, Claire (June 29, 2011). "YA Author John Green to Sign All First Editions of Next Novel". Publishers Weekly. Retrieved June 27, 2017.
  2. ^ Kozlowski, Michael. "Feature: Authorgraph Allows Authors to Digitally Sign eBooks". Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  3. ^ Moon, Brad. "Autography Lets Authors Sign Your E-Book Without Vandalizing Your E-Reader". Portable Electronics. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  4. ^ Pilkington, Mercy. "Live Online Ebook Signing via Spreecast Tonight".
  5. ^ Rosenbloom, Stephanie (April 13, 2011). "Would You Sign My Kindle?". The New York Times.
  6. ^ Moon, Brad. "Autography Lets Authors Sign Your E-Book Without Vandalizing Your E-Reader". Portable Electronics. Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  7. ^ Palmer, Alex (March 25, 2016). "The Indie Authors Guide to Organizing Author Events". Publishers Weekly.
  8. ^ Pilkington, Mercy. "Online Ebook Signing via Spreecast Tonight". Retrieved May 12, 2014.
  9. ^ Frizell, Sam. "Donald Trump Sells Out of His Own Signature at $13 a Copy". Retrieved August 19, 2016.

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