How to Sign a Book
An autograph with a personalized message from the author can turn a favorite book into a prized possession with special meaning that will be cherished for years to come. Signing a book as a gift with a note to the recipient is also a great way to commemorate a special occasion and add a personal touch to the gift. Remember that your signature will last as long as the book does, so take care with your autograph and message!
Perfecting Your Signature
Come up with a unique and legible author’s signature.If your regular signature is not legible or interesting, you should come up with a new one to sign your books with. You want people to be able to tell who signed the book, it could be worth something someday!
- Make sure your signature includes both your first and last name.
- Look at some examples of calligraphy online or in a book of fonts to find a style you like.
Practice your new signature until you can do it without thinking.You should be able to autograph with your new signature quickly and consistently without too much effort. Start by practicing just the capital letters until you have them down, then practice signing the whole signature over and over again.
- Practicing your signature is key to get your hand used to the new style so that when it comes time to sign multiple books you can do it quickly like a pro! Practice in your spare time on a blank notepad until you perfect it.
Use a good quality pen with blue or black ink.Choose a pen that you are comfortable signing with repeatedly, and buy a few of them for when you inevitably run out of ink. A good option for book signing is a calligraphy pen or fine-tipped felt pen such as a sharpie, but it’s totally up to you and your preference.
- Make sure the ink of whatever pen you choose dries quickly so it does not smear on the page of the book.
Sign your book on the title page or the blank page opposite the title.These are the most common places for an author to sign a book. A less common place to sign is inside the front cover.
- Where you sign the book is completely up to you and your personal preference. When it comes to the value of the book, the only thing that matters is that it is signed, not where the signature is located.
Writing a Personalized Message
Ask readers for information you can use to write a personal message.Start with asking their name, and remember to double-check the spelling! If you have time to chat, try to get some more information that you could include such as what they liked about your book or who their favorite character was.
- Ask the reader if they would like you to sign the book to them or to someone else in case they are planning on giving it as a gift.
- If you learned a reader is going into 7th grade next year, then add a message wishing them luck and encourage them to keep reading!
Include the date and information about the book signing with your message.Another way to personalize your autograph is to write that you enjoyed meeting the reader at the book signing and write the name of the event or location along with the date. This way the reader will always remember that moment and place when they crack open your book!
- The more specific and personal your message is, the more special your book will be to the recipient.
Create at least one signature phrase or catchphrase to use.It’s good to have something ready to go in case you don’t have enough information to fully personalize a message. This way you can still make your signature unique and special.
- You can vary your message with different phrases such as: “Best wishes”, “much appreciation”, “all the best”, “thanks for reading”, and other well-wishes such as these.
- If you ever end up doing a large book signing event, then having these phrases ready to go will help you save time.
Signing a Book for a Gift
Don’t sign a book that is a first edition or may be collectable one day.Unless you are the author, or in some way associated with the production of the book, you should not sign anything that may be valuable one day as this will detract from the value. In this case you could include a signed card with the book instead.
- If you are the author of the book, or someone closely associated such as an editor, feel free to sign it as this will increase the value and make your gift that much more special!
- If you are not sure how to determine if a book could be valuable, check the page with the publishing information to see what edition it is. Generally, first editions are the most valuable. If the book is a special edition or part of a special collection it may also be valuable one day.
Sign the book on the first blank page of paper facing the front cover.Other common options include the title page, or the blank piece of paper facing the title page. Just make sure you will have enough room for the amount you plan on writing!
Write a personal message with your signature.Think about the occasion of the gift you are giving, or your connection to the recipient, and personalize a message that they can cherish forever. Include some personal thoughts and feelings with your message.
- You can look online to see some examples of personalized message for specific occasions such as baby showers or birthdays if you are not sure what to write.
Practice what you will write on a piece of paper before signing the book.Once you sign the book you will not be able to change it easily, so make sure you have practiced your signature and message first. It won’t be a pretty gift if you have to scratch something out because of a mistake when you actually sign the book!
Use a good pen with black or blue ink and sign the book with your message.It is up to you whether to use a thin or thick pen, just be sure to choose something you are comfortable with and that will look nice. Sign the book and make sure that the ink dries before you close it and gift wrap it.
- A good quality calligraphy pen or fine-tipped felt pen is a good option for book signing.
- An alternative to signing a book as a gift is to include an inscribed bookmark with it, that way they can use it and enjoy your message with future books they read!
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