On the Signing of Books
I’m getting an increasing number of requests for signed books, so I thought I would go ahead and make a quick post about it to refer people to later. So:
1. No, I don’t have any signed books for sale via my own Web site. I know some authors keep an inventory of signed books they’ll sell to folks, but I’m not one of them. The reason for this is very simple: I suck at order fulfillment. I mean, I am truly and extraordinarily bad at it. It is not a wise idea to send me money directly in the hopes I might get a signed book back to you. By turning you away now, I’m saving you from getting pissed at me later.
2. Likewise, I no longer sign books people mail to me to sign, even if they come with return postage/packing. Why? As above, I am extraordinarily bad at turning mail around. Yes, I know: open package, sign book, repack book, mail. How hard can it be? The question is not how hard it is, but how lazy I am. And the answer is: apparently very. Keep in mind this laziness is to my own detriment; there have been times where I’ve been delayed in getting paid for work I’ve done because I keep putting off mailing a W9 form. But this should put this in perspective: If I’m so lazy I can barely be bothered to get paid, you shouldn’t be surprised I’m lackadaisical with other mail-related issues. I’m sorry about this, really I am, but I’m 40 now, so it doesn’t seem likely this aspect of my personality is going to change at this late date.
3. There are ways of getting signed books from me regardless. Some examples:
a) I do a number of signed, limited editions via Subterranean Press, which in addition to be being signed, often have the added benefit of being quite pretty and well-made, so they’ll last. Upcoming signed editions (at the moment) include The Last Colony, METAtropolis, The God Engines and the chapbook “Judge Sn Goes Golfing.” More and different ones will come later. These signed editions are a bit more expensive than your average books, but they are worth it, I think.
b) I usually sign bookseller stock when I’m at conventions, so if you check with booksellers who attend conventions I go to, they often have extra signed copies of my books. One bookseller I know has some signed stock of mine is Larry Smith; he may be willing to accomodate you (note: if you do contact him, please do it by e-mail initially, okay?)
c) Last year at holiday time I did a thing with my local booksellers to come in and sign books that folks ordered from them; I’m very likely to do that again. I’ll post here and let you folks know of I do.
4. I do attend a good number of science fiction conventions and other literary events, and when I’m at them I’ll be delighted to sign your books. My general rule of thumb is that if I have a scheduled signing slot, I’ll ask you to wait until that point; if I don’t or if the scheduled signing has already happened, I’ll go ahead and sign then. Two requests: bring a pen (I often don’t have one on me), and if it’s obvious I’m in the middle of something, please catch me at another time. I really will be happy to sign your book then, I promise. I like signing books.
By the way, if I have already agreed to sign something for you, I will still do it; this is for going forward from here.
Any questions? Pop them into the comment thread.