This is a guest post by M.B. Mulhall
I can’t say I’ve ever been to a book signing, but I’ve always wanted to go. Authors are like my rockstars, so to have them sign one of their books for me is the equivalent of some rocker throwing their sweaty bandana at me from the stage—cool, yet much less damp and gross.
So when e-books started gaining popularity I did have the thought “oh…now there will never be a reason for me to go to a book signing because most of the stuff I buy is in e-book form so what will they sign, my Kindle cover?”.
Yeah, that wasn’t happening. Then I stumbled up on a program called Kindlegraph.
It’s a fun little application where you can go and request a personalized digital inscription from an author for a specific book. The request gets sent and the author will type up a little message, and then they can literally sign it (although let me tell you, it takes a lot to make that signature look neat!) or they can “adopt” a signature, which just turns your name into a script font. I prefer the real thing; even if it is sloppy, you know someone really took the time to do it rather than a bot or something.
I haven’t had enough time to browse through all the authors signed up to participate, but from what I did see, there seem to be a lot of indie authors, which is pretty cool in my opinion. I feel like it’s one more thing the indie author can use and offer their fans that perhaps some of the traditionally published authors cannot. Also, many indie authors have neither the opportunity nor the funds for book tours, so this gives fans a chance at a sort of meet and greet with the author without having to travel to a major city or wherever the author is speaking. I could see this being used in conjunction with a live webcast. A book tour where no one has to leave their computers! It’s the future, baby!
Now, just so you know, you do NOT need to own a Kindle, or any e-reader for that matter, in order to request or receive a Kindlegraph. The Kindlegraph is really a PDF file with the book cover image, the message, and the signature. You can have it sent directly to your Kindle (although I don’t recommend this, and I’ll tell you why in a minute) or to your email address. So it really is open to everyone.
Kindlegraphs are free BUT there is the possibility that you could get a charge. The charge comes in on the delivery directly to your Kindle. Whispernet, which is the network that does Kindle delivering, charges a fee to have “personal” documents delivered to your Kindle; I think it’s 99 cents per document. While it’s not a hefty fee, why should you pay when you can get it for free? The way around the charge is to set up your Kindle address as your personal email address. Then you have the option either to keep a file on your computer with all the documents or to attach your Kindle via USB and drop and drag the document to your Kindle. I’m not sure how other e-readers work, but I would guess you could do something similar.
I think indie authors should definitely take advantage of Kindlegraph, as it can be another great marketing tool and can add to the uniqueness of the indie experience. Readers, you can use it to get to know some great up-and-coming authors and have something from them before they blow up and start to seem untouchable (as popular/famous people can often seem.)
So authors, go ahead and sign your books up. Readers, go check it out. If you search, you may just find this mild mannered blogger/indie author there as well!
About this post’s author:
MB Mulhall is the author of the young adult novel Near Death and the upcoming release Tears of a Clown. She is also a budding photographer. When she’s not pecking away at her keyboard or looking at the world up close through her lens, she’s got her nose stuck in a book. A Jersey girl, born and bred, she spends much of her time scouring the boardwalks for images to capture and conversations to overhear. MB dreams of filling bookshelves with her own work and of plastering her walls with photographs she’s taken from places around the world. MB blogs twice a week at Keystrokes and Word Counts. You can also “like” her on Facebook, and if that’s not enough you can always follow her on Twitter and see the ridiculous stuff she tweets about.