eBooks and Autographs

A key question for authors who are being published through electronic means: What about book signings? Do they exist for an eAuthor?

It’s a tactile and nostalgic thing to take pencil in hand (yes, pencil is the preferred method. Ask any book designer or collector) and scribble something that lasts, even something that, one day, might increase the value of a book.

Of course, just to hold a hard copy of a book you’ve written is the ultimate thrill. But, I digress. We eAuthors travel a different path, at least for now. And book readings and signings are an integral part of connecting with the reading public, fans and creating an invaluable marketing tool.

What are the alternatives if the book you have written is not made from the bones of a tree but from a few atoms held hostage behind a screen?

Former software developer for Amazon, Evan Jacobs calls it Kindlegraph.

Sign in with a Twitter account, look up your favorite book or author, click button that says “Request Kindlegraph” and, voila, the author receives a message. Said author then “signs” your eBook using a finger on a track pad and it shows up on your Kindle. Slick for Kindle users (who can only download from Amazon) but, if you prefer to patronize your favorite Indie Bookstore (and you should)

instead of the behemoth, Amazon, non e bueno.

The Nook is rumored to have a similar feature. All good starting points, but may still disappoint the reader who prefers to touch a former tree.

One alternative: Present a postcard showing the cover of your eBook, title and all and use a Sharpie (fine for a glossy postcard) to scribble a personal greeting and autograph across the front or back. The fan then has something to touch and something to display.

The next challenge? Getting the bookstore to easily agree to eAuthor readings and signings. Few do. Even fewer have yet to adequately promote the eBook.  It’s a little like 1990 when laptops emerged with little on the web to make them useful. People had to be shown their value.

To the bookstore the value is this: The eBook is catching fire in a BIG way. Nearly half of all book sales now are eBook sales. Who knows, eBooks may help some struggling Indie Bookstores to keep afloat. Why not greet the eAuthors with open arms? After all, pages don’t make books, stories make books. Authors write stories. Bookstores sell stories. In the end, it’s the reader who feeds them all.

If you have book signing solutions for the eAuthor you’d like to share, please do!