Tuesday, November 29, 2011

"How Do You Sign An E-Book?"

The question of whether e-books are here to stay seems to have been settled. Print books continue to sell, but e-book sales are on an upward trend, and I suspect that this Christmas they'll rise even more quickly. From an author's standpoint, I don't suppose it really matters, so long as books sell. (This doesn't take into account authors who have decided to bypass the traditional publishing process and self-publish their own e-books. That's a subject for another day--and maybe by another person).

I purchased my own e-reader (a Kindle) after long deliberation, mainly because it makes it very easy to receive and read galleys of books by other authors, in view of an endorsement. And I have to admit, I enjoy some aspects of the experience. Of course, there are still times I reach for a bookmark when I close my Kindle, but I'm learning.

I've sometimes joked, "Well, e-books are okay, but how do you autograph them?" Now that problem has been solved, at least for Kindle books. It's the Kindlegraph. Simple sign up for this free service, and when you download a book to your Kindle you can ask the author to personalize it for you. I'm not sure exactly how they make it work, but then again, I'm not sure why the light goes on when I flip the switch. So long as it works, I'm satisfied.

I'm unaware of similar services for the Nook or other e-readers. If they exist, the information hasn't reached me. But if you have one or more of my books on Kindle, I'd be pleased to sign them for you. Here's the link to my books at Kindlegraph.

If you've used Kindlegraph, what do you think of it? And if not, why not?


Timothy Fish said...

I haven't used it, but from what I can tell from watching the video, I don't think I want to. What I like about autographed books is that the reader and writer get an opportunity to meet, even if it is for the few seconds required to sign a book. With KindleGraph, I can see where it would be easy for the author to delegate the task of signing books to an assistant. For that matter, it wouldn't taken much to set it up so that the computer just automatically signed books when the requests come in. Besides, when I get an autograph, I want something physical that someone can look at an verify is the signature of the author. In this case, it isn't a signature at all, just some text that is reformated in a cursive font.

Richard Mabry said...

Timothy, I agree that this is nothing like signing a hard copy book. But for some people, having this extra page with a sentiment by the author and his pseudo-signature for their e-book is important. (And, yes, you can personalize every signature, and I do it all myself--don't have an assistant). It's just another tool, and a simple, free one at that, so I've decided to take advantage of it.
Thanks, as always, for commenting.

Cindy R. Wilson said...

This is interesting - I've never heard of it before. I suppose it was only a matter of time before they came up with this kind of option, and it's nice for those readers who want a personal touch. I wonder, though, do people hold onto this book forever in their e-reader, then? I don't know much about e-readers or Kindles, but I know there is some sort of capacity for downloaded books. I suppose if people choose to delete the book off their e-reader over time, they lose the autograph too, right?

Richard Mabry said...

Cindy, You bring up a good point. When I finish a book on my Kindle, I have to make the same decision I do with a hard-cover version--would I read this one again? Most of the time, the answer is "No," so I delete the book from the Kindle. Otherwise, the index would be unwieldy. And I guess the Kindlegraph signature would go as well.
Since I'm not a big fan of autographed copies, it doesn't matter much to me, but it might be important for some folks. One negative for e-books, I gues.

Carol J. Garvin said...

This reminds me a bit of Margaret Atwood's LongPen. (http://bit.ly/tbaWQN), although it lacks the opportunity for a personal connection with the author, as Timothy mentions. Still, it adds something to the eBook experience that previously has been lacking and that has to be a good thing. Oh, the wonders of technology! :)