Monday, November 10, 2008

Signed books and all that stuff

On one of my author forums the subject came up of politics.

Ha, ha, ha !

No, we're all sick of politics. Let's move past the whole Republican, Democrat, Green, Independent and Left-Handed vs. Right-Handed schisms and talk about something way more important.

Signed books.

Yeah, signed books.

What is more special for a reader than actually owning a book that has a personal transcription from his favorite author?

I've got a small collection of such treasured books ... signed books by Lee Childs, Barry Eisler, Dave Barry, Garrison Keiller, Christopher Moore and ... um more ...

Oh, and my buddy Robert Walker and my friends on Acme Authors ... sorry, can't forget you.

Anyway, the subject came up today because as authors, we want to do the same thing for our readers. Get them books ... actually, they buy the books (grin) ... and then we deface the books in a way that would have gotten us in big trouble in grade school.

Yep, we get to scrawl in the books. Even better, someone will treasure our scrawl.

I love to sign my books ... try to write something witty and pithy inside ... try to spell their names right (do you know how many ways there are to spell Cathy or Kathy ... Ally or Allie ... Loren or Lauren ... John or Jon ... or Erin or Heron ... Norm or Knorm ...

Besides that little stress, give me a pen ... give me a book (preferably one of mine), and I'm thrilled to mark it up.

But there are only so many events that I can go to, and with the price of gas and travel and stuff nowadays, it's even harder to get around. And I know that some of my readers are in other states, and it's not very likely that I'll get out to their neck in the woods.

So the topic came up. How can we make signed books available to our readers?

For myself, I don't have an answer to this, but I'm sorta working on a couple things. My preference would be to find a nice little Indie bookseller near to my house who would be willing to accept Internet orders, stocking a bunch of my books, and handling the whole 'taking payment,' packaging and shipping thing.

I found one that plans on doing it eventually, but not yet. Another listened politely, but didn't seem all that interested.

Where does this leave me?

I don't really want to give out my home address and take payments directly, because this, well, means that I give out my home address. I mean, I love my readers, but I don't want any stalkers or anything. And I mean stalkers in the very best way ... like they bring me beer and stuff ... but I don't drink that much beer.

Plus, I don't take credit cards, so the options would be cash and checks. Cash I like, but checks can be, um, problematical. Hey, things are tough nowadays .. thanks to our fun little buddy George Bush and friends.

Oops, sorry, I said I wouldn't be political.

My website server has Paypal options, but here I am again, packing and mailing and stuff. Ask my wife, I am not good at packing. I've sent my books to a few people and I hear grumbling about how much tape I use ... I like tape.

Anyway, the bottom line is ... I'm going to find a way to sell autographed books by mail. It's going to happen one way or another by the time my next book comes out next year.

So if you're looking for an autographed copy of either of my Adventures of Guy books, or Fang Face, my upcoming YA humor/vampire book, fear not ... it's going to happen. Sooner rather than later.

Stay tuned.


Fang Face (coming Aug. 2009)
The Adventures of Guy ...written by a guy (probably)
The Next Adventures of Guy ...more wackiness
The Heat of the Moment


Gayle Carline said...

Norm, I love signed books (I have a Tarzan the Untamed autographed by Burroughs), but I'm trying to cut down on the enormous amount of paper in my house, so I'm looking at either a Kindle or an E-reader.

Now, how do I get an author's signature on an e-book?

Norm Cowie said...

You've heard of air hockey? How about 'air signatures'?

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Air signatures...

Yeah, PayPal and a PO Box would be the only option for selling them directly. But a signed book does mean a lot to people!

We still have our autographed Terry Brooks book...

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