Posted on February 10, 2006 Posted by John Scalzi 10 Comments
Ever since I left that e-mail address on Amazon I’ve been getting an increasing number of questions on how to get autographed copies of books from me, so here’s yet another entry I’m writing so I’ll have something to point people to. Here goes.
First, yes, I am happy to sign books. What, are you kidding? Back when I was a teenager I purposely made myself develop a distinctive signature so that if the time ever came when I got to sign books, I’d be ready. It’d be a shame to have those decades of preparation go to waste. Also, since some people have actually offered to pay me to sign their books, no, I don’t charge for signing books. I’m not a former baseball player or hobbit, you know. Even if I could charge, I wouldn’t. Thanks for offering, though.
All I ask is that you at least try to pretend that you’re not just going to turn around and sell the book on eBay. Which is to say, don’t come at me with 14 copies of the same book (unless you are a legitimate bookseller. Then we can talk).
The best way to get me to sign a book is to catch me at an appearance or convention, because I am at those in an official capacity, anyway. I generally don’t mind being approached in most circumstances, although if I am in the middle of something (a meeting with an editor, a deeply personal conversation, fighting crime, etc) I may ask if you can catch me a little later. But mostly I’ll be happy to sign then and there. There’s no harm in asking.
Alternately, you can mail me books to sign at the address you’ll find at the bottom of this entry, but only under the condition that you include both self-addressed packaging and sufficient postage to get the book back to you. The reason for this is a) I’m not made of money, and mailing books adds up over time; b) if I don’t have packaging and post right there in front of me, you may never get your book back because, by God, I am just that lazy. I wish I could say I’m joking but I am totally serious — if you don’t send postage and packaging, you may never get your book back. The problem is me, not you. On the other hand if you do send self-addressed packaging and postage, it’ll go into the mail the very next day. Easy.
The third way is to buy stuff I’ve already signed, like this and this. These things are limited editions, so when I’m hit by the inevitable bus, they may be worth something. Hey, you never know.
If you have questions, please feel free to leave them in the comment thread.
I’ll probably send both to you for sigs but I want to read them first.
Just make mine out to “eBay Winning Bidder”.
I know I have an unusual name but hey, I am Nigerian.
Would it have to be one of your books?
It would be amusing if it weren’t!
I’d suggest you reformat the bit about “include a SASE” in 72-point bold underlined flashing red type, preferably accompanied by an animated GIF of Athena jumping up and down pointing to it. It’s the simplest instructions that usually get summarily ignored.
If they forget the sase, then they probably won’t get the book back.
Sell on EBay? no way… I’m holding out for Clancy fame first… get busy writing.
(Scalzi books are one facet of my retirement portfolio)
How do I go about getting a retired baseball player or a hobbit to sign one of your books? ;)
Wait! You’re NOT made of money? I thought all SF writers were filthy rich. Dang. Another illusion burst.
Cool photos. Too bad you’re not going to Boskone.
I bought “Old Man’s War” and “Agent to the Stars” on eBay signed by you. One is a numbered limited edition so I’m confident in its authenticity, and the other one actually looks similar so I’m reasonably satisfied. Seems like people are doing exactly what you cautioned against. I haven’t read them yet though. (I’m an English teacher so who has time to read?) I’ve been teaching a year long science fiction elective for the past 9 years. I have your forthcoming book in my Amazon saved list. If I send it to you in a pre-stamped box, you’ll sign it? That would be cool. It’s odd, but when I saw the title “Old Man’s…” I figured you were an old guy too. Whoops. Another don’t judge a book by its cover error.
Visiting because I read your Amazon blog – a great idea, by the way. Maybe you might give readers who haven’t reviewed your books a blurby preview?
“Seems like people are doing exactly what you cautioned against.”
Well, to be clear, I don’t actually care if people sell the books on eBay or not. I just would prefer when they come up to me at a con or signing that it be personal, not business. As I noted, legitimate booksellers can make other arrangements with me on that score.
Re: TGB — as long as you send it to me as specified, I’ll be happy to sign it!
To save on postage and lost books, you might consider signing bookplates. I have enjoyed one of your books and just noticed a link here from how appealing.