Would You Like Your Book “Personalized” or Just Signed And Dated?

Don’t think of this as a blog. Think of this as a virtual booksigning, the hot new thing in publishing, at least according to the Wall Street Journal :

Hundreds of readers watched recently as historian Doris Kearns Goodwin signed copies of her new book at a Chicago stop on her book tour. Many of them were sitting at home.

Via the Web site VirtualBookSigning.net, they saw a live Webcast of the author reading, ordered the book, emailed the messages they wanted her to
inscribe and watched her sign the books.

The latest twist for book tours: no human contact. Instead of meeting their fans at Borders, some authors are beaming themselves to book buyers over the Internet. Methods vary, but publishers and authors are keen to find high-tech alternatives to the expensive, time-consuming author tour.

With 10-city tours costing about $20,000, publishers say they are scheduling fewer of the junkets. As virtual book events becomes more widespread, they’re changing the way books are marketed. Several publishing houses have invested in a remote-signing machine with a robotic arm, conceived by Canadian author Margaret Atwood.

When I shattered my right arm, I shouldn’t have had it reconstructed with titanium plates and screws…I should have replaced it with a robotic-signing arm. I could have leased myself out to publishing companies and signed for authors like Stephen King and Janet Evanovich…

5 thoughts on “Would You Like Your Book “Personalized” or Just Signed And Dated?”

  1. I do not approve of this. Getting a signature is jus a very small part of going to a signing.
    I like talking with fellow fans, and with the author.
    Plus I actually think bookstore are a better place to get books.
    Human contact rocks.
    Plus if we did this virtually I wouldn’t get to hug Lee.

  2. Didn’t Margaret Atwood invent a device that would allow her to do virtual book signings? It’s kind of the opposite, but still reflects the lack of human contact people move toward in a virtual world.

  3. I actually think the webcast signing thing is a kind of neat idea- not to replace the in-person experience, but as a way someone who doesn’t live on the book tour route could get a personalized signed book. The robotic arm thing is just silly. (Unless you could hack it and reprogram it to flip people off and write ransom notes. Then it would be cool.)


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