Fuse #8

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sign Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Woman walks into a bookstore. Goes up to the clerk and tells them that she's an author and would like to sign copies of her book. Bookstore clerk agrees to this and within half an hour both store and author are happy. Little "Autographed by the Author" stickers are slapped on the title, thereby increasing the likelihood that someone might want to buy the volume.

The only problem? That wasn't the author. Just some schmuck off the street, and the clerk never bothered to do a check or anything.

To the best of my knowledge, the above situation has never occurred. Lisa Graff, who recently took her own autonomous signing to a B&N, speculates on the implications of letting any old person sign some books willy-nilly. I find myself intrigued. Let's say I walk into the Union Square Barnes & Nobles and say that I'm Kirsten Miller and I want to sign all their copies of Kiki Strike. What are the odds that they'd call me on that one?

And for that matter, I wonder what the stats are on signed books vs. unsigned books in terms of sales? We all think the autographed do better. What if that's not the case?

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At 9:58 AM , Blogger SilberBook-Blog said...

Having stopped in at numerous B&Ns and Borders (and a few smaller stores along the way) I have never been asked for ID. Happy store managers simply hand me a bunch of books, a pen and some "Autographed By" stickers.

Hmmm...Come to think of it, I have friends all over the country with decent penmanship....

It's nice we are welcomed warmly into the bosom of the bookstore - but maybe a quick ID check would be nice!

At 12:23 PM , Blogger Robin Brande said...

Very cruel of you to underline Kiki Strike for no good reason. I got all excited there, thinking the next one is hitting stores.

When, oh when?

At 1:36 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Slightly off topic: I just bought a copy of Kiki Strike at Powell's (ahem, the original, Chicago branch) for 5 measly bucks. The clerk said it was remaindered. How is that possible? I also snagged Octavian Nothing, Weedflower, A Drowned Maiden's Hair, and Hattie Big Sky for the same price...all supposed remainders. These books are definitely printing and re-printing in cloth, so how can any copies be considered to be remainders? Maybe I've always misunderstood the term?

At 3:55 PM , Blogger Gail Gauthier said...

I only started asking if I could sign stock a few years ago. I didn't have the nerve before. No one has asked me for proof of identity, and a couple of times I've offered. In fact, except for business cards, all my identification is under my married name, so I'd be hard put to prove I'm who I say I am.

At 9:53 PM , Blogger Gwenda said...

I've heard several horror stories from authors who offered to sign store stock only to be turned down with dismay ... because then the bookstore wouldn't be able to return the books if they didn't sell. Not sure if this is still the case...

At 12:04 AM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Robin, I have inside information on that book. Trust me, it's on its way.

At 10:31 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I had always been told that publishers didn't like to accept signed stock as returns, but was recently informed by a publishing employee that this is not the case. She said that it doesn't matter, and really, what store wouldn't be happy to randomly receive signed books?


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