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View Full Version : Publisher looking for people to sign fake autographs on books



AnneMarble
08-21-2008, 04:06 AM
This is from the Guardian in the UK:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/19/usa3 (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/19/usa3)

A U.S. publisher ran a Craigslist ad looking for fourteen people to sign books for a big name best-selling author. They'll get $25 for every 200 books they sign. I guess this is one of those cases where thousands of copies of the books are signed for some kind of promotion -- but the author wasn't about to sign that many books. ;)

According to the article, "The advert says the fake signing, to be held in Los Angeles, will run over two days at eight hours a day. Each signing will take 15 seconds or less, and at that rate the team of 14 could sign up to 53,760 copies." Does this mean that they will be doing this all at the same
time in some warehouse or office? How bizarre!
:roll:

So what do you think of this? Is this going to far? Or has this become common for big name authors (and after all, some of the biggest names are using ghostwriters :rolleyes:)? What could this do to book collecting? Many people will pay more money for a signed book (depending on the author of course). But now, how do you know the author really signed it? Or is it worth less money if you got it through a publisher offer instead of getting it signed at a booksigning? I've seen signed copies of books that come directly from the publisher -- I got a signed Elmore Leonard that way once, plus a signed Stephen R. Donaldson book. But how do I really know they signed it? (Then again, they weren't signing tens of thousands of copies, just a few hundred I think.)

Medievalist
08-21-2008, 04:14 AM
I suspect that the publisher may be using a digipen, or other mechanical signing device that can in fact emulate an author's signature (or a presidents--yes, that's right, that's how the oval office has signed all those cards and letters, for years) well enough that it takes an expert to tell that it is in fact mechanical.

AnneMarble
08-21-2008, 05:20 AM
I suspect that the publisher may be using a digipen, or other mechanical signing device that can in fact emulate an author's signature (or a presidents--yes, that's right, that's how the oval office has signed all those cards and letters, for years) well enough that it takes an expert to tell that it is in fact mechanical.
Otherwise, those signers could later figure out how to make extra money by signing the name of a best-selling author to checks. ;)

Neurotic
08-21-2008, 05:21 AM
When I saw the subject line I thought you meant they were looking for people to go into book stores and sign the copies on the shelves. That'd be dishonest.

Maybe I'm unusual, but the idea of a copy signed for promotional purposes just like 50,000 or so other copies holds no appeal to me. The only signed books I have are that way because I met the author and politely asked whether they would mind. So long story short, I don't know about too far, but I'd definitely call it a pointless waste of time and money. People may well pay more but the volume of signed copies would surely devalue that.

Dale Emery
08-21-2008, 08:59 AM
I'd be willing to sign my real autograph on fake books. Would that do?

Dale

Bartholomew
08-21-2008, 09:14 AM
I can't imagine a more hellish job.

kct webber
08-21-2008, 09:34 AM
I think it's... well, it's stupid. People value signed books because they were signed by the author. People value signed books, partly, because they are fairly rare.

johnrobison
08-21-2008, 03:39 PM
When I sign books, I always write the name of the recipient also.

hammerklavier
08-21-2008, 05:12 PM
When I saw the subject line I thought you meant they were looking for people to go into book stores and sign the copies on the shelves.

Hey, I do that all the time!

Neurotic
08-22-2008, 03:25 AM
Hey, I do that all the time!

What? Go into book stores and put fake autographs in books?

hammerklavier
08-22-2008, 07:13 AM
What? Go into book stores and put fake autographs in books?

Sure, it's fun, and now I can get paid for it!

Linda Adams
08-22-2008, 02:17 PM
I suspect that the publisher may be using a digipen, or other mechanical signing device that can in fact emulate an author's signature (or a presidents--yes, that's right, that's how the oval office has signed all those cards and letters, for years) well enough that it takes an expert to tell that it is in fact mechanical.

Movie studios have been doing this for years. I have a postcard from the 1960's that was sent out to fans of a TV show. It has the "autographs" of the two actors on it, though it's pretty obvious they didn't sign it.