How to Sign an eBook


As you may know, I spent the weekend at FantasyCon and had a fantastic time meeting fans, authors, publishers, editors and artists, gathered for the British Fantasy Awards and a lot more besides.

Firstly, many congratulations to Kari Sperring for winning the British Fantasy Award for Best Newcomer with her fantasy novel Living With Ghosts.  I sat and listened to Kari reading from the sequel to this at FantasyCon 2009 and I was immensely pleased when this well-deserved award was announced.  She is a rising star of Fantasy, a wonderful novelist and a very nice person too. Go buy her book.

Congratulations to all the award winners, there are too many to go into here, but the British Fantasy Society have helpfully updated their site with the full list of winners.

Adam Christopher and his 'signed' iPad

Meanwhile I was with Andy Remic and Colin Harvey at a joint signing session in the Dealer’s Room when Adam Christopher – friend, writer blogger and man of many talents – came up with his iPad and declared that he would love to get his books signed, but he had the digital versions.  This is the first time I’ve seen the digital version of The Road to Bedlam and I have to say, it looks gorgeous on the iPad.

Consequently, I am ashamed to tell you that there were a number of offers to engrave his pristine machine with various epithets using a sharp implement (it was far too shiny) but he resisted until I produced some stickers I had acquired for just this purpose.

Here’s a photo of Adam with his newly signed iPad, showing signatures from all three authors.  In the age of the eBook, will this be the future?  Will fans adorn their technology with custom labels in the way that travellers used to cover their suitcases with stickers from foreign places?

Has anyone else come up with a really good way of signing eBooks?  I would love to hear comments, ideas and stories on this subject.  We are on the cusp of the age of digital publishing – so what’s the best way of translating the signed copy into the virtual world?

Comments, please.

  1. #1 by carl on August 11, 2011 - 12:48 pm

    thanks for the helpful info

  2. #2 by Geordie on January 19, 2011 - 2:29 am

    Last spring I wrote an application that allowed authors to sign their e-books. It is primarily used by the authors I publish but a few self-published authors have signed up as well.

  3. #3 by Robert Barrett on October 13, 2010 - 4:19 am

    Mike – we have a solution. Come take a look at http://www.autography.us.com

  4. #4 by DavidCake on October 4, 2010 - 4:48 pm

    I recently attended a book signing by William Gibson and he signed many iPads, Kindles, laptops, etc, with a Sharpie brought just for the occasion.

    He even signed my antique green-shaded desk lamp!

  5. #5 by Patrick Rose on September 20, 2010 - 2:53 pm

    Surely in the book purchasing thing there must be the option to add a gif a la paint? If not, that’s a huge mistake.

    *gets to work designing a competing system*

  6. #6 by Anne Lyle on September 20, 2010 - 2:10 pm

    That’s a fab idea, Mike – at last, a good alternative use for those return address labels Vistaprint keep trying to flog me!

  7. #7 by Mike on September 20, 2010 - 1:07 pm

    The postcard thing works quite well, but what happens when you lose one? Isn’t it better to have something embedded?

    On the other hand you could send a postcard to an author, via snail-mail, and have it sent back signed. That would be pretty cool.

  8. #8 by Mike Cane on September 20, 2010 - 12:57 pm

  9. #9 by Liz on September 20, 2010 - 10:16 am

    On the Kindle you can make notes within a page / manuscript…so I reckon an author can definitely add a personalised message to a reader’s Kindle in this fashion…

    But nothing beats the old paper method, does it?

  10. #10 by Adam Christopher on September 20, 2010 - 10:14 am

    Great to see you at the weekend Mike!

    Now that you mention it, the idea that an iPad (or other e-reading device) could become covered with stickers like an old suitcase or travelling trunk is immensely appealing. Perhaps authors will start coming to conventions with pre-made stickers, sort of like miniature book plates, with the book title/logo printed and a space to sign?

    This could be very cool indeed.

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