photo of me signingIt used to be a no-brainer, autographing a novel that you wrote made it more valuable. The mere act of signing it in the bookstore created a bit of a hubbub around you, inevitably someone would buy a copy. You were a celebrity after all.

Along came that film Notting Hill where a small time bookstore owner played by Hugh Grant complains to  a movie star, Julia Roberts that she’d be hard pressed to find a book by a particular author that wasn’t autographed.

 Signing your work sounded like an act of desperation. With the advent of self-publishing, the signing act (of desperation) became more common.  People may even steer clear of the desperate writer.

Besides that what do you even write in the book when you don’t know the person who may (or may not) buy it?

An author wrote Miss Manners and agonized to her about exactly that dilemma. Miss Manners responded that the same amount of creativity exercised to write a book was not necessary to autograph it.  “Best Wishes” was sufficient.

I like that.  I don’t write that though.  “Live to Go Viral”, “Enjoy reading “on the fly'” are my stock lines for my latest two novels.  In this photo I go crazy and write “History buzzes to life!” and “Don’t be a fly on the wall!”  or  “Make every moment count!”  

Kids ask me in that voice of reveredom what it feels like to autograph my own books.  I hate to admit that it’s as though I’m writing lines for my grade six teacher.  Or recopying my work for my grade four teacher who didn’t like my handwriting.  I consciously try to get neater, I make my loops larger.

Today I was handed the blue and white “Signed by the Author” circle stickers. Yet another thing for the author to do, I thought grumpily.  Then as I sat placing the stickers in a spot that wouldn’t obstruct the great covers, I realized I felt pretty good, like I was giving myself stickers for good handwriting.  It was pretty neat and very loopy.

Best wishes,

Sylvia's Signature 






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