Wednesday, January 26, 2011

How To Get A Signed Copy Of An E-book

Writer/reader blogs and online groups are chockablock with pros and cons (mostly the former) of e-books and electronic reading devices. There's one question, though, that I haven't seen addressed: how do you get a signed copy of an e-book? Like many writers, I enjoy accumulating books signed by authors, whether personalized to me or not.

Recently, my friend Susan Schreyer brought out her first mystery novel, "Death by a Dark Horse" as an e-book. I knew it was an excellent, original work, a cozy in which the principal murder suspect is a horse, and I wanted to buy a copy. But not having a reader and not wanting one (a whole different blog post), the idea of sitting at my computer to read Susan's book, after a full day of sitting at my computer writing my own book, didn't appeal. "Besides," I asked Susan. "How am I supposed to get a signed copy?"

She had no answer to that, and there the issue lay for a short while. But last week, Susan told me she had just brought out a trade paperback version of "Dark Horse" via amazon. I sent in my order immediately, then brought the book to her for a signature. "Do you know - you bought the first copy of my book in paper," Susan said, and now I can proudly display her debut novel, signed to me and inscribed as Number One. Top that!

Which gives one answer to my initial question. I guess I also could have downloaded the book, burned the file to a CD, then gotten Susan to sign the disk. Doesn't quite seem the same, though. O tempora! O mores!


Linda said...

You know, I love my Kindle (and Kindle for Android) for a whole lot of reading (I'm catching up on classics I skipped while in school--testing out of most English Lit classes had a down side, though I did not know it then).

However, I too cherish certain autographed books, and had never thought of this aspect of e-books. Maybe because I only "collect" certain authors?

Guess this is just another reason we cannot stop physically printing books--Hip, hip, hooray! LOL

Susan Schreyer said...

Thank you for your kind words about my mystery, Larry! I think we'll have to wait for all those brilliant engineer-types to come up with a solution to the obvious need for the problem of how to autograph an e-book. Maybe they'll develop the screen to be similar to what you use to sign when you use your credit card at the store...hmmm....I wonder who I contact with such an outstanding suggestion?

Larry said...

Linda, thanks for dropping by and commenting. I guess a wise person is neither first nor last to abandon the old for the new. Good luck with your first novel - hope it's the first of many, however it may be published.

Susan, who should you contact? I'd say a copyright lawyer with a strong geekish bent. Could be some serious dough there, way beyond royalty statements.