It Was Hard Enough Writing The Book, Do I Have to Sign It, Too?

Margaret Atwood took the high-tech approach to avoiding the book tour — she created a machine that would allow her to sign books in distant locations from the comfort of her living room. Now a publisher is taking a decidedly low-tech approach — they are hiring people to sign books for the authors. The Guardian reports:

They have posted an advert on the listing site, Craig's List,
inviting a team of part-time workers to fake the signatures and get
paid in cash for the privilege.

The advert says it is looking for
14 people who can do a blitz of false autograph signing on behalf of
two unnamed co-authors of a newly released, and equally anonymous,
book. "You will need to be able to copy the look and style of both
author's signatures," it says.

[…]The advert says the fake signing, to be held in Los Angeles, will run
over two days at eight hours a day. Each signing will take 15 seconds
or less, and at that rate the team of 14 could sign up to 53,760 copies.

9 thoughts on “It Was Hard Enough Writing The Book, Do I Have to Sign It, Too?”

  1. Hmmmm…… I wonder if they people doing the signings will pretend to be the authors too. I only get signatures when the artist or author is available in person, other wise it means very little to me.

  2. WTF?! With that attitude, isn’t it simpler to just print a signature in the book to begin with? The cost will be marginal, all copies will be signed right off the press, and it will have the same level of personal attention by the author.

  3. I don’t see the point of having a signature that isn’t really a signature.
    I’ve had some authors sign books for me. I usually do it so I can stand in front of that author and say something like, “Hi, I like your book.”
    Also, the truth is, I am more likely to BUY the book if I hear the author speak and there is a chance to get the signature.

  4. This has been going on Hollywood for years…I worked in various capacities on various tv shows,and have some experience on this. One show was about some pals who lived in a big city…some of the actors got so tired of signing photos (for charity) that they made it hard for the intern/production assistant (P.A.) to ask. One P.A. could so well forge certain signatures that many many many photos went out..even to charity auctions…with only partial authentic cast signatures…though one could never tell.
    The other is a famous saloon singer who never signed his stuff…always done by his life long secretary. I still meet people proudly showing the tuxedoed figure in the picture with the personal signature and do not have the heart to tell them the truth (and if one researches a contract signature of the artist the real signature looks nothing like the one on all the photos!)

  5. Lee, I feel I have to defend the honor of a fellow Canuk-ski (Canadian). Margaret Atwood goes on book tours here and in Europe. But she was just trying to see MORE fans and to avoid the fatiguing travelling, hotel living and hotel food. The fans who used the LongPen experience say it added MORE intimacy to the experience of meeting Margaret rather than taking it away. The signature was authentic, it just flowed from where she was to where the fan was.
    In further defence of a fellow Canuk-ski (I’m on a roll here, aren’t I?), Alice Munroe (did I spell her last name correctly?) also supported the LongPen experience and called it “ideal” for both the writer and the fan. (We love Alice here in Guelph, Ontario as she came and saw the beautiful cathedral and wrote about it in one of her short stories.)
    I don’t know if this is the wave of the future. But I do know that some bookstore owners are delighted with LongPen, especially in small towns. It allows the bookstore owners to create an event by bringing a famous author “into the store.” With any new technology, of course, there are minuses along with the pluses. But I know that if Elton John was on the screen in front of me, talking to me, I wouldn’t turn the experience down, and I’d understand that he’s busy and coming to Guelph is not a priority item! But then, I love new technology.

  6. The LongPen is an absurd invention and I can’t imagine why anyone would want a book signed by one. Having just a signature on your book means little enough as it is — having a fake signature? I don’t get it.


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