Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Signing of the Times?

US bookbuyers seem to expect that a copy comes complete with author autograph and a while ago I blogged about Rushdie et al competing for the record of fastest book signer in the world. While it was amusing, there was a little voice in my head that said should an author really be spending precious writing time (hours and hours of it) on this, sitting in a warehouse wearing out the muscles in his/her precious writing hand?

Am much tickled by the news in the Guardian that an American publisher is looking to recruit a team of part-time workers who can forge the signature of millionaire best-seller writer (no-one knows who) for a fee of US$25 for 200 books signed. (The original ad is reproduced in Gawker which discovered the scam.)

And of course the article slips in a mention of authors who have found clever ways around turning up to bookstores for signings - Atwood with her longpen and JT LeRoy :
herself a fake, employed a co-conspirator to sit in her place at public events.

Postscript :

John Walsh shares his thoughts about book signing in the Independent.


Anonymous said...

i think this is unethical and i am sure no 'serious' literary novelist would hire people to fake their signatures.

why don't they make a personalized stamp of their signatures like chinese artists/painters and hire people to stamp this instead. it'll look nice too.

my guess is that millionaire author is probably a chic lit writer.


Chet said...

Or they can have a printed autograph included in one of the front pages.

bibliobibuli said...

agree with you about the stamp, pong.

i think folks should go to events and readings if they want their books signed. work for it lah!

but why do you assume it has to be a chic lit (i.e. female) author. a commenter at the gawker suggests (w. some convincing reasons) james patterson.

Anonymous said...

i think i'm going to get into hot water again, but i think people who read chic lit (i.e women) don't particularly care if they find out that the autograph is a fake. i mean what kind of people read chic lit anyway? mostly beautiful and not so beautiful loveable creatures but essentially airheads...

but for men who read 'serious' lit fics , i think they'll get terribly mad and won't take this too kindly and i think 'serious' writers' will never think of doing such a silly thing...


bibliobibuli said...

i won't put you in hot water .. but male airheads abound. himbos.