I really only have one more point I'd like to discuss that came to mind during BEA and I’d like to get opinions on the matter. It is regarding getting a book signed. Do you request signature only or a personalized book?
I have always been an advocate for the personalized books, but the more I have thought about it recently, the less inclined I am to get books personalized. Let’s face it, I can’t take my library with me no matter how I may try to make that possible. No one will want a copy of a book signed to me and they would have no resale value if personalized. This is all a theoretical "after I’m gone" discussion. Morbid, right?
What I tell the authors, as I am not about to spew my "after I'm gone" sentiments (they'd think I was crazy and would probably be right) and they all seem to assume we want them personalized, is that I don’t know where the book will end up. Which is true. That it will start with me. Also true. And that I like to share the love. True that too.
Most authors understand and don’t have an issue, but I feel I was the victim of non-personalization prejudice. I was in line for a book, title and author shall remain nameless. He/she was, after all, a personable guy/gal. The point is, I had time to see what he/she was doing when signing. Everybody, and I do mean everybody but me, was getting their books personalized. He/she was signing on the title page, adding a witty sentence and then stamping the page with an awesome octopus ink stamp.
When it was my turn, I gave him/her the spiel, don’t know where it will end up, etc. So the first thing is he/she signed on the end papers, not the side glued to the cover, but the first page when you open the book. It does have a lovely ocean wave sort of coloring, but he/she signed his name and handed me the book.
Um, what? Excuse me! Where is my freaking octopus stamp?
I am not laboring under any false assumption that had I gotten it personalized I still would not have gotten an octopus stamp. I totally would have. He/she wouldn’t have thought twice about it, but it makes me feel like I bought the copper package or tickets for the cheap seats. I got my golden ticket, but I drank from the chocolate river, I stole fizzy lifting drink. So I get nothing. I lose. Good day sir!
Have any of you experienced anything like this? And I’m curious to know that for those of you thoroughly entrenched in the signing not personalized camp if you think it makes a difference in how the author relates to you. And for any authors out there, how do you feel when someone just asks for a signature and not the book to be personalized?
I'll be waiting to hear your thoughts, or read them, whatever.