I was sitting around on a Saturday morning wondering about autographed books and how this could be accomplished for e-books. A few of my friends had gone so far as to have their physical e-readers autographed. Anyway, I put out this idea out on Twitter:
“@sabram Kickstarter idea for someone: A system to get author autographs on digital books. Go…”
Obviously I am behind the curve because almost immediately a couple of my tweeps told me about a few tools for this. Awesome. So I thought I’d post them here just in case you don’t know about these either.
“Authors and artists can personalize their work for consumers in unique ways — here are some examples:
1. In Person Author Signing Authors are freed from the brick and mortar prison. Rather than trying to entice readers into tired, outmoded stores authors can visit and interact with communities of readers wherever they are. Authors sign a temporary signature page until the customer has completed the online (or in store) purchase. The retailer’s online store merges the autograph page into the ebook and transmits to the customer’s eReader device. The author is not restricted to a single title or publisher – all of his or her books can be chosen from a selection menu at the customer’s request for autographing.
2. Autographed After Purchase Authors can personalize an ebook purchase after the transaction has taken place. After purchasing and downloading the ebook the author is notified electronically of the customer’s desire for a personal salutation. The customer can request a generic greeting or something specific, perhaps a birthday or anniversary dedication to a loved one, which the author then completes at a convenient time. The personal salutation is then inserted into a new copy of the ebook and transmitted to the customer’s device. The signed copy then replaces the customer’s originally downloaded ebook and they are notified that the ebook has now been signed.
3. Autographed Sample Chapters Authors can also now give away free samples of their work. Providing free samples of new authors, or authors writing in new genres, the ability to sign a copy of their work for customers to sample is a powerful driver. A personalized sample of an ebook’s opening chapters is enough to get customers to consider a new author. If they like what they read they purchase the full ebook, which the retailer then downloads behind the signature page, leaving the autograph intact. The consumer now has an autographed copy of the book and the author/publisher has a new sale they would not otherwise have.”
Authorgraph / KindleGraph
Evan: “Hi! My name is Evan and I’m a software developer living in Seattle, WA. I build web and mobile applications and I especially enjoy creating tools that help people personalize their digital experiences.
About the idea
I really enjoy reading and I also enjoy meeting the authors of my favorite books. One time, during the summer of 2010, I attended an author reading in Seattle. After the author had read a section of his book, he invited everyone to come up and have their books signed.
I had the author’s book on my Kindle and I felt awkward since I didn’t have anything for him to sign. In May of 2011, I built the first version of this service to enable authors and readers to interact through digital books. Note: this service was orignally called Kindlegraph before I changed the name to Authorgraph in November 2012.”
“KindleGraph is one of the most widely used online meeting places for authors and writers from all over the world.
The service was launched in 2011 and allows the authors to digitally autograph an eBook and send it back to the user who owns it.
The service, on one hand, provides opportunity for the users to have autographed eBooks and, on the other, promotes the work of writers.
Evan Jacobs is the creator of this service who also has some work experience with Amazon.
Originally, Jacobs released a platform that allowed the exchanges of eBooks among users and served as a connecting place for authors and readers. Since the inception of the website in May 2011, over 15,000 eBooks have been listed in the database from some 3,500 authors.”
Not quite the same thing but Margaret Atwood’s LongPen might be useful too:
The LongPen is a remote signing device conceived by writer Margaret Atwood. It allows someone to write in ink anywhere in the world via tablet PC and the internet.    It allows audio and video conversation between the fan and author while a book is being signed remotely.
The Long Pen in Action (YouTube – .22 minutes)
“LongPen Signature Solutions™ provide legally-binding methods to sign documents remotely. With LongPen™ hardware and software – including the unique RealWET™ pen-on-paper signature and the Transactional Masterfile™ for all-in storage and extra non-repudiation – the distance between signing parties becomes irrelevant. LongPen™ transmits an original signature via a secure network – instantly.
LongPen™ utilizes proprietary biometric handwriting technologies to provide users with a simple way of executing hardcopy and digital documents while complying with all regulatory requirements. All products can be combined with video conferencing for a full long-distance business solution, allowing users to interact in real time HD video and audio.”
Atwood talks about the benefit to authors of not having to travel to engage with readers and sign books.
Quite a few public libraries maintain proud special collections of autographed copiies of books – often collected at conferences and trade shows where staff met the author.
I foresee some opportunities her library programming and events and author readings. Has anyone seen this done yet in a library context?