How To Sign An EBook – Part Two

The Sharpie has dulled.

Why? It’s the answer to the industry’s most burning question – ‘how do you sign an eBook?’ – and it’s called ‘Autograph Now!’. It allows the author to sign, not the device, but the ebook itself.

From social networking site BookieJar, this new technology permits the author to sign on any touch screen device, or on any PC with a mouse. They can create a generic signature for all of their readers, or respond through BookieJar to dedicate a signature to an individual, or make drawings or sketches. There are also various security methods to ensure the facility isn’t abused.

In short, it looks very much like the thing we’ve all been thinking about every time the nice delivery man asks us to sign for our groceries – and it has a reader/writer self-pub network to back it up.

But will it catch on?

At a public event, being able to ‘virtually’ sign an eBook is a very cool thing – I’ve seen the looks on readers’ faces when William Gibson (who else?) does exactly that. It’s little piece of techno-future, a thrill of new.

As a site, BookieJar does virtually what a signing does in person – it connects authors (directly) with their readers, and vice versa. It makes the retailer in me nervous… but my twitter self jumps up and down and squeeees like a girl. It’s the logical progression of the #amwriting hashtag – and adding the signature gives it the personal touch of a real connection.

That same touch that William Gibson gives when he signs an eBook in person.

Signing ebooks is becoming a necessity; we all know that. Close as our SF/F community is here in the UK, and much as we all love our tactile bookshelves, the ereader has crept up on us, picking us off, one at a time.

For the moment, BookieJar is still growing – but if the idea expands beyond self-pub, or if this technology could be used through Twitter, or Facebook, or G+, or even through author’s own sites…

Then the future has arrived.

(See the previous article to this one on my old blog).

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Win-Win: How To Sign An Ebook

It’s so simple, it’s genius.

Removable, collectable vinyl covers – plain, a selection of colours, maybe they can be stylised by your favourite art toy designer – but ultimately, they’re there to collect signatures. Take one to a Convention, keep it on you, it protects your Kindle, it looks cool – and you get to show off all the autographs/sketches you’ve collected.

It’s a talking point in the bar – a great way to chat up fanboys/girls and a lovely excuse to approach your favourite writer. Plus the authors get to keep up with their public appearances – hell, if this is marketed right and catches on, it could be a new and different lease of eventing life… bigger multi-author signings will surely become more popular, and (we’re back to this again) everybody wins.

And how can you lose?

• People love to collect stuff – toys, stickers, hardware.
• People love to show stuff off – particularly in this industry.
• How many geeks have covers for their laptops – collect a year’s worth of stickers then change for a new one?
• How many fans have signing books – a new page for every author and/or artist they’ve met?
• How many people collect art toys, blind-boxed or otherwise?

As my boss would say, this fucking writes itself.

Art toys have invaded every level of the geek lifestyle – from iPhones to USB keys to every kind of ‘streetgeek’ fashion… the MonQee was a groundbreaker – the first cross-over of art toy and speculative fiction.

He proved that it works.

Let’s do this again – focused and saleable, an industry revolution. Vinyl designers to produce signable, collectable covers for eBooks. Don’t even get me started on rare versions and limited editions and yadda yadda…

It’s so simple, it’s genius.

So – who’s going to manufacture me a prototype?

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