May I have your autograph?

People love to meet the authors of books. Not everybody has the gift to organize words, sentences and chapters into a logical format. As authors, this is a task that is fairly easy so it seems strange that others would admire the accomplishment. It is even stranger that someone would ask for our autograph. There is a sentimental value that goes with knowing you own a book with a personal autograph. Here are a few tips when signing your books:

- Have a couple of pens on hand. Experiment beforehand as to which type you like best. Some prefer the fine tips, others use gel pens, it is up to you.

- Brush up on your cursive and practice your FIRST name only. Using your first name and unique touches to your signature is a safeguard to plagiarism.

- Come up with a phrase that is pertinent to the book that you will use with your signature. It is nice to have an idea of what you want to say to your readers beforehand. Signings can become rather hectic and it can be hard to come up with something on the spur of the moment. Have a notepad handy. If someone wants something specific written to themselves or to someone they are purchasing the book for, you can quickly write down the message then transfer it to the book.

- If you are at a signing, take time to visit briefly with the customer who is purchasing your book. Practice listening for details that you could include in a personal message to them.

- ALWAYS ask how to spell the name of the person to whom you are addressing the autographed copy. Have them write it down for you on your handy notepad if you are not clear on the spelling.

- Some people do not want their newly purchased book written in and some people may feel awkward about asking for your autograph. If they don’t say anything, you can ask them if they would like to have it signed.

- I usually put my messages on the title page of the book as there is usually a space between the title and the author’s name.

Get creative, have fun with it, and create a memory in the reader!

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