Saturday, June 20, 2009

Kindle Signing?

Technology is now infiltrating the world of author book signings. A recent New York Times article reported on a possible new trend: Kindle signings. People who have traded in their tangible books (in the name of being more green or in the name of being more cool) for this snazzy, new, hip electronic device, have all their favorite literature stored in one place. So what is a Kindle owner to do at a book signing? Apparently, you have the author sign your Kindle.

I think the idea is interesting. For me, getting an author's autograph is all about the experience. It is about having those few moments to connect with the writer. It is about having the chance to ask a question. It really isn't about what is being signed, so I have no problem with the idea of an author signing a Kindle.

I talked with other people and two camps emerged: the Kindle Signers Unite (KSU) and the Keep My Kindle Clean (KMKC) groups.

Mystery author Cricket McRae sides with the KMKC'ers,"If I had one, I wouldn't want anyone to sign it. It would be like having someone sign my laptop. Too weird."

Editor Chuck Sambuchino also agrees, "The autograph wouldn't be as original or as special."

Then there is the KSU group. Anne-Marie Nichols, a professional blogger, thinks the autograph would probably rub off. "Still, I'd love any sort of science fiction writer - especially the old school ones - to sign it, someone like Ursula Le Guin, Isaac Asimov,or Ray Bradbury since many of their stories predicted similar devices. Unfortunately, Asimov and Bradbury have passed but Ursula is still around and writing more than ever."

Ellen Javernick, author of the children's book, Birthday Pet, would have Patricia Cornwell sign it. "I can't put them down and they always remind me of my dad who was a pathologist before it was politically correct to be one."

It never occurred to literary agent Kristin Nelson to have authors sign her Kindle, but she likes the idea.."I would ask Neil Gaiman. He's just a wonderful writer on so many levels--adult, children's, fantasy. I'd also ask JK Rowling because she single-handedly reignited the whole children's field and really established children's publishing as a force to be reckoned with.There really is a before JK and after JK."

"For romance," she continued, "I've always been a big fan of Julia Quinn's--the perfect blend of light humor with emotional compelling historical romance (especially with the Bridgerton Series,). For literary, probably Marilynne Robinson. She's such a beautiful writer."

Children's author Gary Raham is kind of in the middle. "I do own one and I guess if I got one signed it would be by whatever guy invented the concept in the first place. The kindle is the plastic and polymer embodiment of his idea. I consider the Kindle a "book facilitator" rather than a "real" book, so still would rather have an author sign a pulp and glue version of their literary creation."

The whole idea is an interesting one. What are you thoughts about it?



Roger said...

When did Bradbury die? Last I heard he was still alive and kicking. Heck, I think he's even still writing stuff. :)

Emily Cross said...

Hi Kerrie,

How are you?

i'm sorry to bother you, but I've recently started up a community forum for writers called the The Writer's Chronicle(mainly for those who blog) where we can meet and discuss all that is writing with other 'online' writers. Also with the recent addition of some published author members we have decided to set up a section to support published writers and help them promote themselves and their books - as we all know how hard it is to get published and how its even harder to get a large readership!

I know this email is out of the blue, but i was hoping that you might drop in and take a look around and perhaps join if your interested?

I'd greatly appreciate it,


Emily Cross

Writer's Chronicle Link:

Name: Luana Krause said...

I'm not a Kindle owner, but I think it's a bit weird to have your kindle autogaphed by an author. It's a machine, after all, and in time, machines break. But a book lasts forever (well, almost).

BrennaLyons said...

LOL! I'd beat someone who signed my electronics.

At the same time, I don't know why anyone would question what an e-book author would sign. You sign something paper, of course. Make cover flats. Make postcards with the cover on them. Make booklets of a connecting short story. Those become collector's items. Honestly, there are a hundred things you could be signing.


Shiloh Walker said...

I'm not interested in signing anybody's ebook reader, but some options some readers have used for ebooks~Some get an autograph book and use that for authors to sign. Others print out covers and keep them in a binder.

Kerrie said...

Roger, you are correct. I should have checked that before I published. He is now 88.

Emily, I will check out your website.

Luana, books do last forever. I agree.

Brenna & Shiloh, thanks for the ideas on what else we can have authors sign.

But to all of you, which author's autograph would be the ultimate autograph for you to have? The Big Kahuna, The Top Dog, The Bomb....

BrennaLyons said...

Since you're looking for ideas of what to sign... My favorite that I've done personally was making frame-able prints of a page of my world glyphs and signed those. I printed them on vellum I got at a discount store, so they came out at about 10 cents per item, which is expensive, but they are collectors' items, more or less. Won't work for a huge signing, but hey...who said e-book authors aren't a creative lot?

So, what autograph would I die to have? I've met most of them or gotten them already by passing books back and forth in mail, purchasing signed copies and so forth. I'd love to have the late David and Leigh Eddings' autographs. I'd also love to get Stephen King's. Everyone else's are fairly easy to come by, in comparison.


Kerrie said...


You're frame-able prints idea is an interesting one. I have to agree about the Stephen King autograph. I am deep in his memoir, On Writing, and I think it is crazy good.

BrennaLyons said...

One more that I've used... A publisher of mine who does hand-drawn internal art lets me purchase B&W 8.5X11" copies of the art pieces to give away as prizes and/or sign at signings. Since the art pieces are frame-able work...and cost me 8-10 cents per piece, if I'm buying more than a dozen at a time, it's workable.


Lise Fuller said...

Personally, I think authors ought to carry around copies of their book covers and just sign them. However, there's another issue--identity theft will has to be dealt with in this case as well now. So sad...

Lise Fuller, author

How much danger would you face for the perfect romance?

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