Tuesday, 3 September 2013


There are still plenty of hard copies of books being sold (or maybe that should be "soft" where paperbacks are concerned). Thankfully. Don't get me wrong—I appreciate that digitization is expanding the availability of good reading. And I remember not so many years ago when there were fears that reading books was falling in popularity. Well, that is no longer a problem, and the recent interest in Kindles, Nooks, and apps on smartphones and tablets just shows that reading literature will be here for some time to come.

But it occurred to me a few weeks ago that a digital version of a book cannot be signed like a physical copy can. I remember back to 1994 when my wife and two young children went to an author's book signing in Whitby. There, Robin Jarvis, author of the Deptford Mice books, and the Whitby Witches trilogy, was sitting, happily talking to his fans, some of who had travelled many miles just to meet him and get their books signed. (He also signed books that they already owned, that they may have bought elsewhere; it wasn't essential that you had bought it at that very shop. Top marks to the Whitby Bookshop!)

But how would you get a personalized copy of, say, a Kindle edition?

I have just signed up with Authorgraph—a way of digitally signing an eBook. Well, not quite. What happens is that, providing that your chosen book is listed on authorgraph.com, you can request the author to send you an authorgraph. What you receive is a downloadable PDF file of the book cover, with the author's message and signature beneath. Brilliant stuff!