One of the greatest thrills of a reader’s experience is when they can have a favorite author autograph one of their books. As a collector of signed, first editions, that’s always been one of my biggest hesitations in adopting the eBook experience.
What if I fall in love with a book and have a chance to get an author’s autograph? If I read it in eBook form, I’d have to spend the money twice on it; once for the eBook, then to buy a hardcopy to have the author sign. Bummer!
And from the author’s standpoint, what does that do to good old-fashioned book signings. Half of your readership probably purchased your book on an eReader, so what’s the point of a book signing? Or how do you recapture the thrill of attending one?
Or perhaps for financial, distribution or speed-to-market reasons, you opted to for an eBook-only version of your latest book. So, you don’t even have a print copy to sign! Does that mean you have to miss out on the relationship-building experience of sharing your autograph with adoring fans?
Not anymore! Last summer, Kindlegraph appeared on the scene, and it could just be an answer to your prayers. Currently, there are over 3,500 authors currently registered with the site, and over 15,000 books listed. So, you’d be in good company.
But what exactly is a Kindlegraph? It’s a personalized, autographed page for your eBook, of course! The Kindlegraph service enables authors to sign eBooks for their readers for free, and not just for those with Kindles. Kindlegraphs are available as a PDF or an AZW version.
Start by signing in with Twitter and then entering your AISN (Amazon Standard Identification Number) at http://www.kindlegraph.com/books/new. (The AISN is right after the ‘dp’ in the URL of your book on Amazon.com. For example, in the URL http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061977969, the ASIN is 0061977969.)
Next, provide the e-mail address where you want to be notified of pending autograph requests. It’s that simple! Within minutes, your book is added to the Kindlegraph library. (Note: Since books are added via an Amazon designator, your eBook needs to be available on Amazon.)
When a fan spots your book listed, they request a Kindlegraph from you. Once a day, you are sent an e-mail with the list of pending requests. You go into the system, type a personalized message, and then “sign” the eBook. This can be done by actually signing your name using a mousepad (or using your finger on a tablet), or you can use a stylized script instead.
Personally, until other signing options are available (like uploading your signature), I’d consider signing your John Hancock with an “X” or using the stylized script. Signing with the mousepad is like drawing something in MS Paint on the freehand setting; very unforgiving unless you’re highly skilled at it. Perhaps using your finger on a tablet is easier, but I didn’t get a chance to test that out.
When you’re done, your signature is added to the cover page of your eBook, and the Kindlegraph is then sent to the reader (to their Kindle, if they have an e-mail address on file for it, or e-mail address).
Once you’re done processing that request, move on to the next one in the list. You can write a different message with each request you receive (and practice signing your name again – perhaps you’ll master the technique with time!).
Another thing to note is that you should add your own books to the Kindlegraph library. Since you sign in with Twitter, when you add a book it’s automatically associated with your account. Your name is listed as the author, etc. So, when you add a book for someone else, the author name that’s displayed is yours, not theirs! Avoid the confusion, and add your own books! Don’t delegate this to anyone else unless they also have the authority to sign in using your Twitter profile.
With the first book you add to the site, an author’s page is made for you where fans can see all the eBooks you have available for autographing. There is also a customized widget that you can load onto your website that will take visitors directly to your Kindlegraph author page.
I love how innovative people, like Kindlegraph’s creator Evan Jacobs, find ways to retain what’s best about “the old days” and bring them into the 21st century. Don’t you?
Are you going to add your eBook to the Kindlegraph library? If you do, post a link to your Kindlegraph listing below!