Wednesday, December 9, 2009

If You Sign Your Book

If you sign your name in your book, you’ve “autographed” it. Putting a personalized note in your book, and then signing your name (example: “To Florence, best wishes, Catherine”) is called “inscribing” it.

In Meet Me (the book is coming soon) I mention that poet Jane O. Wayne said she’ll autograph but won’t inscribe her books – having once found for sale a used copy she’d inscribed to a very close friend. Picture sending a heartfelt Valentine e-mail to your love. Imagine that he or she forwards it as a Valentine to somebody else.

If you send books out into the world, these things happen. It is part of authorhood. It’s recycling. It’s all good.

I too sent an old dear friend a book inscribed to her. Now she’s selling that copy online at secondhand. Because of the inscription she’s charging rather more than double the cover price. Like, which of us should feel embarrassed?

1 comment:

  1. Wow. What a very weird position to be in. I think I'd be wounded, valued or not.

    In the book "Mortification", tales of writer's lives, one poor guy finds the book he inscribed for his parents in the trash. Can you imagine the ego surviving that?

    Rest assured, my Catherine Rankovic-inscribed book is treasured and safe upon my bookshelf. :-)