I can’t say I’ve ever been to a book signing, but I’ve always wanted to go. Authors are like my rockstars so to have them sign one of their book for me is the equivalent of some rocker throwing their sweaty bandanna at me from the stage. Cool yet much less damp and gross.
So when e-books started gaining popularity I did have the thought “oh…now there will never be a point for me to go to a book signing because most of the stuff I buy is in e-book form so what will they sign, my kindle cover?”.Yeah, that wasn’t happening. Then I stumbled up on a little program called Kindlegraph.
It’s a fun little application where you can go and request a personalized digital inscription from an author for a specific book. The request gets sent and the author will type up a little message and then they can literally sign it (although let me tell you, it takes a lot to make that signature look neat!) or they can “adopt” a signature which just turns your name into a script font. I prefer the real thing, even if it is sloppy, you know someone really took the time to do it rather than a bot or whatever.
I haven’t had enough time to browse through all the authors signed up to participate, but from what I did see, it seems to be a lot of indie authors, which is pretty cool in my opinion. I feel like it’s one more thing the indie author can use and offer their fans that perhaps some of the traditionally published authors cannot. Also, many indie authors don’t have the opportunity nor the funds for book tours, so this gives fans a chance at a sort of meet and greet with the author without having to travel to a major city or whatnot where the author is speaking. I could see this being used in conjunction with a live webcast. A book tour where no one has to leave their computers! It’s the future baby, yeah!
Now, just so you know, you do NOT need to own a Kindle, or any e-reader for that matter, in order to request a Kindlegraph or receive one. The Kindlegraph is really a PDF file with the book over image, the message and the signature. You can have it sent directly to your Kindle (although I don’t recommend this and I’ll tell you why in a minute) or to your email address. So it really is open to everyone.
Kindlegraphs are free BUT there is the possibility that you could get a charge. The charge comes in on the delivery directly to your Kindle. Whispernet, which is the network that does Kindle delivering, charges a fee to have “personal” documents delivered to your Kindle. I want to say it’s 99 cents per document. While it’s not a hefty fee, why should you pay when you can get it for free? The way around the charge is to set up your Kindle address as your personal email address. Then you have the option to either keep a file on your computer with all the documents or attach your Kindle via USB and drop and drag the document to your Kindle. I’m not sure how other e-readers work, but I would guess you could do something similar.
I think indie authors should definitely take advantage of Kindlegraph as it can be another great marketing tool and can add to the uniqueness of the indie experience. Readers, you can use it to get to know some great up and coming authors and have something from them before they blow up and may seem untouchable (as popular/famous people can often seem).
So authors, go ahead and sign your books up. Readers, go check it out. If you search, you may just find this mild mannered blogger/indie author there as well!