Book Signing: A Strange Phenomenon If You Think About It

(signing)

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I might be the only weird person in the world . . .

.                  And this might be kicking myself in the foot, but . . .

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Why do authors sign books for people?

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Don’t get me wrong. This is personally one of my favorite parts of writing. I love that people want my messy, obnoxious signature in their copy of Sadie. That’s cool. In fact, I just signed another book for someone this week. I love it!

But . . .

Why us?

  • Why don’t teachers sign our children on the way home from school?
  • Why don’t firemen leave big black, ashy swirls on the sidewalk after they save our house?

Fireman Dave was here! Hope you enjoy!

  • Why don’t cement workers leave their hand print in all their beautiful work? (They’d get fired, yes, but why?)

I just find it curious that some professions get more credit than others.

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A Little Bragging

Since my engineer hubby doesn’t get to sign his hard work either, I had to brag a little. For all you truck fans out there, my hubby works on the pretty shiny parts of the F-150. Yep. He is that cool. There’s an article mentioning the new exterior changes on the F-150 in the Detroit News today.

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Now picture his permanent signature in the bottom left corner of that grille. Cool, eh?

Picture car salesmen saying, “Today is your lucky day! We have a genuine, autographed F-150 in our store. We keep it behind glass to protect it.”

Or picture people driving past my hubby on the street and screaming, “Stop! Stop the car! There he is. The guy who designed my grille! I have to get his autograph! STOP!!!!”

Might be a little weird, right? I know it would freak the heck outta my hubby.

So again . . .

Why authors, artists, and actors, and not engineers or computer technicians? Is it the A thing? If your profession starts with an A you give out your Autograph? Seems discriminatory somehow. And again, so I’m not misunderstood, I like signing books. I do. So . . .

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Here’s my little dare

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If you have a career in something that doesn’t normally require a signature, I dare you to sign something today (maybe in washable marker so you don’t get fired). See what kind of reaction you get. Sign that tooth. Sign that box of chocolates someone buys at Walmart. Go for it!

But . . .

You must come tell me about it if you do. :) I’ll see if I can get my hubby to sign the next F-150 he sees, and hope he doesn’t get punched by a truck guy who doesn’t like someone messing with his truck.

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(Ironically, I sign all my posts now. Don’t know why, I just do. But so you know, my real signature is not that pretty, and usually I don’t have the patience to get past the first B. It’s usually RE*scribble*)

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Author: Rebecca Belliston @rlbelliston

Hopeless romantic and author of CITIZENS OF LOGAN POND, SADIE and AUGUSTINA. Music nerd and composer of RELIGIOUS and CLASSICAL-STYLE music. I live in Michigan with my husband and five kids.

16 thoughts on “Book Signing: A Strange Phenomenon If You Think About It”

  1. I don’t get it either. I’ve never cared about ANYONE’s signature enough to wait in line to get it–even the princesses at Disneyland when my girl’s were little. I don’t like lines. I usually can’t read the signatures anyway of famous people who sign things, so it seems silly to me. When I played basketball, I got the signatures of the UNLV basketball players when they were National Champions…and as a teenager I thought that was pretty cool. But I didn’t have to wait in a line. They signed my brochure at basketball camp; but who knows where it is now. If I poured my own concrete, I don’t think I could resist sticking my hand in it to leave a lasting impression though (I feel for those poor concrete guys–too much temptation for me)

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    1. I have very few signed things, although I must say, the things I have that are signed, I cherish. Weird how that happens. And I completely agree about the cement thing. At least a fingerprint or something.

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  2. I beg to differ! There is something sort of magical in an autograph. I think for authors signing a book means so much more because their genre is the written word. Oddly enough, while we as a family do not have a lot of signed books or any other collection of autographs, even Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a collector. There is, however, a distinct reverence for our signed copy of Fablehaven. It’s a connection to the creator of the work- the personalization- that the author actually touched THIS copy of their book and wrote their name in it. It makes you feel like you have a tangible connection to the author, the one in a million version instead of simply one of the million. I suppose we want to have a piece of the creativity and see the actual creation from an author in that individual way. That’s kind of hard to come by in a world of mass market paperbacks, electronic books and wireless communication. I distinctly recall when I had a program signed by Richard Simmons at the end of a long week of rehearsals for an ice skating show I was in with him when I was in high school. That signature may not be worth much to anyone else, but it does hold a flood of memories of the sweet blind and handicapped children that bravely took the ice with us and the ‘daring rescue’ I executed to stop him from slamming into the wall (boards) at the first rehearsal. Now if only I can get my copy of Sadie signed by a certain author…

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    1. I loved your comment (even the length). There is definitely a connection you get when someones signs something of yours. I have a signed CD of the 5 Browns and David Archuleta. It’s pretty cool. Richard Simmons? Wow. That is some fun memories, I am sure. As for the copy of SADIE, anytime. In fact, how about you guys come visit us in Michigan? We haven’t seen you guys in years. Or maybe we need to plan a Continental reunion when we’re both in Utah. :)

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  3. Rebecca,

    The answer to your question is quite simple — your husband actually gets paid MONEY for the work he does — that’s all the appreciation he needs (and also wants).

    One thing you neglected to meniton — a signed work has monetary value only after the death of the artist … hmm…. would this be “poetic justice”?

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    1. Ah, I see. He gets PAID. Yes, that would be an important distinction. JK (You always make me laugh.) And should I be worried about the latter half of your comment? After all, you know where I live.

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  4. We had a software engineer who left his fingerprints around the website. They pop up in unexpected ways, like the day my boss deleted an employee’s profile after she left and the system said, “That should help the budget!” It makes me miss him, he had a great sense of humor.

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  5. Politicians sign autographs sometimes, right?

    Haha, if I ran across someone reading a law book I worked on, I’d totally sign it (but not a library copy… I think I’d get in trouble for that). “That’s right, dude. I helped publish that–hey! Don’t throw it at me! I didn’t WRITE it, and I’m not the one making you read it!”

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      1. Haha, well, I work for a legal publishing company. I don’t actually deal with any of the content; I just make sure it looks the way it’s supposed to before it goes to print (or online or ebook or whatever). It’s a pretty cool job, but it definitely doesn’t require any knowledge of the law (thankfully!). But since I work on a lot of bankruptcy books, I imagine most people would be overly fond of me if they knew I helped publish them.

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