Thursday, October 9, 2008

Where to Autograph Your Books

Here’s an interesting topic rarely addressed; what is the proper way to autograph a book? New writers and seasoned authors listen up! There really is a “proper” way to sign.

Book buyers love to receive signed copies, so how important is it to present a “properly” inscribed book?—I say “very!” Follow the suggestions below to present your “best work!”

To start, use a fine point ink pen, not a ballpoint or marker. Many types of ink have a tendency to bleed through the pages and can damage the book (and look tacky).

There are many different ways to inscribe a book. The most common is a simple signature. Inscriptions should be written on the bastard title page with the exception of the dedication copy. Below is a list of the basic rules of book signing.

Signed copy — Includes only your signature. This is appropriate for people you don’t know personally.

Dedication copy — Signed on the dedication page to the person or persons the book is dedicated to. This often includes a personal note.

Inscribed copy — Written to someone you know and usually includes a personal note.

Presentation copy — Written to someone who helped you with the book, and usually has a personal note.

The most valuable of these is the inscribed dedication copy because there is only one. Try to avoid signing a book to a specific person if you don’t know the person, except as a special request.

One way to make your signed copies appear more special is to label them with a transparent sleeve, flag, or ribbon that reads “signed copy.” You can purchase transparent paper and print these at home. Or try ordering slickers for the front cover. These are available at

How you sign your books really isn’t too important unless you plan to be a famous author some day??????

For more tips on producing and marketing a polished book, read A Book Inside, How to Write, Publish, and Sell Your Story, Plain & Simple Books, LLC, (2008).


Unknown said...

Great advice!

It looked like you were going to give the URL to where we can purchase the transparent sleeve, flag, or ribbon. I'm interested in knowing more about that.

Also, you might explain the bastard title page.


Carol said...

The transparent sleeves are easy to make. Staples sells the sheets, then I make a templete with the words "signed copy" and a small pen logo or use clipart. I paste and copy the phrase, print the sheets, cut them into strips, then put a small fold in the strip so they hang down the front of the book while the short end is tucked into the book. Anyone who dosen't "get this" and would like to see a sample, e-mail me your address and I'll send you a sample.
Also, the bastard title page is (or should be) the first page of your book where just the title is placed (sorry, should have clarified that for those who didn't know!)
Best wishes for successful book sales!
A Book Inside