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Monday, 18 April 2011

WHATEVER NEXT...

One of the downsides of eBooks is that authors have been unable to sign their books...until now, that is - The aptly named Autography allows authors to insert an autograph or salutation directly into eBooks – they can even add photos for die-hard fans.

The new technology, which is still in development, aims to keep book signings relevant in today’s digital age. “As ebook sales continue their meteoric rise, the author's primary marketing tool – visiting stores to sign books – is over,” explains the Autography website. “Fortunately, Autography has a solution to this problem.”

Instead of signing a paper book with ink, Autography allows authors to transmit their signature onto the customer's eReader device, along with a personal message. Customers can request any of the author’s books from the selection menu, with the autograph(s) appearing once they make their purchase.


The technology even allows authors to insert a signed photo into the eBook – perhaps posing with the reader at a book signing, for example. Another big benefit is that authors can conduct book signings via online video streaming to reach the widest audience possible.

“This personalisation can take place at the time of purchase or any time afterwards, including after secondary (used) sales,” the company explains. Authors can also give away signed sample chapters in an attempt to snare new readers – although it’s hard to imagine why anyone would want an autograph from an author they’re unfamiliar with.

According to the company’s website, autographs can be retrieved and replaced at no extra cost if you happen to lose your eBook.

1. In Person Author Signing Authors are freed from the brick and mortar prison. Rather than trying to entice readers into tired, outmoded stores authors can visit and interact with communities of readers wherever they are. Authors sign a temporary signature page until the customer has completed the online (or in store) purchase. The retailer's online store merges the autograph page into the ebook and transmits to the customer's eReader device. The author is not restricted to a single title or publisher - all of his or her books can be chosen from a selection menu at the customer's request for autographing.


2. Autographed After Purchase Authors can personalize an ebook purchase after the transaction has taken place. After purchasing and downloading the ebook the author is notified electronically of the customer's desire for a personal saluation. The customer can request a generic greeting or something specific, perhaps a birthday or anniversary dedication to a loved one, which the author then compeletes at a convenient time. The personal salutation is then inserted into a new copy of the ebook and transmitted to the customer's device. The signed copy then replaces the customer's originally downloaded ebook and they are notified that the ebook has now been signed.


3. Autographed Sample Chapters Authors can also now give away free samples of their work. Providing free samples of new authors, or authors writing in new genres, the ability to sign a copy of their work for customers to sample is a powerful driver. A personalized sample of an ebook's opening chapters is enough to get customers to consider a new author. If they like what they read they purchase the full ebook, which the retailer then downloads behind the signature page, leaving the autograph intact. The consumer now has an autographed copy of the book and the author/publisher has a new sale they would not otherwise have.

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