About a month before The Opposite of Me came out, I booked a signing at the big Barnes & Noble in my hometown of Bethesda, Maryland. The lovely folks at the bookstore followed up with a long email to my publicist, asking all sorts of questions. Did I prefer to sign with a pen or a sharpie? Which page of my book would I be signing? Would I like to have a bookstore representative write down the the names of the folks waiting in line so I wouldn’t misspell someone’s name?
I’d long dreamed of autographing my book, but I’d never thought about the mechanics of the process. Since then, I’ve collected stories of what other authors do. One signs on the last page of his books, just to be different. Most scrawl their signatures on the crowded page that lists the book’s title and the name of the author and the publisher’s information. For me, it felt right to sign on the page that just lists my title – because I like to have the extra space to include a little note along with my signature.
If I know the person receiving my novel, I’ll write something personal – an expression of gratitude for their friendship and support, or maybe a few words that will conjure a happy memory. If I’m signing stock, or inscribing a book as a gift, I’ll usually write “Happy reading!” along with a few x’s and o’s and my name. It turns out I do prefer sharpies, but I’m just as happy signing with any other kind of pen.
And you know what? Each and every time I sign a book, I’m just as excited as I was the first time.