It’s not just an autograph
It’s your name, and with it is usually some well wishes. But what do you write, if you choose to write the reader a message? Do you add a little message at all? Why does this even matter?
Well, your readers come to your signing because they want to meet the person behind the magic, so it matters greatly that you take the time to sign the book. Now there is some small debate about leaving a little message of just scribbling in the book. So here I am with my thoughts on why you should and why it’s important.
I always write a little something in the front cover to show the reader that I mean to keep their business. I may not always catch the name, but I always think of a little way to say thank you. This, believe it or not, connects you to the reader. When they see your name and remember the nice words you gave them for being your reader, it makes for return readers. Well the story has to hook them next, but this is really important in building a rapport that becomes your reputation in the author community.
Now, what do you say? Don’t write the same thing in each book to save time. It kills the personal connection and the one of a kind feel of the book. If you can catch a name, use it! Then avoid flowery statements (unless you’re trying to get a date (I don’t know)). Might I suggest something similar to the following:
“Margo, I’m glad you stopped to see me today. I was great to talk with you about the walking trails nearby, I’ll be checking them out before I leave!”
No one else had that conversation with you, so only Margo would remember that talk, and hopefully enjoys the memory too. Not to mention she now owns a piece of epic reading history. I suggest signing your name (or pen name) as neatly as you can, and keep it different from your everyday signature.
Congrats, you just made a fan for life (besides me, that is).
Now go write something!