Tuesday, August 09, 2011

It's a beautiful thing...


By Robin 'Red Hot' Kaye

When technology finally catches up to our expectations.

Shortly after my very first book came out, back in November of 2008, a friend of mine from New York met me for lunch in Baltimore. She’d been one of my first writing friends; she shared my journey to publication and cheered me on for the seven years I’d known her. I was so excited to see her. While we were eating lunch, she asked me when my book was going to come out on Kindle. She had just purchased her Kindle and refused to buy another paperback—even mine. I was crushed—not because she wasn’t going to buy my book until it went on Kindle (heck, I offered to give her a paperback) but because I’d never get the chance to sign a book to her. She nicely refused my offer of a book because living in a studio apartment and being the voracious reader she was, she just didn’t have the room for books. Still, she assured me that she would buy my book as soon as it came out on the Kindle. I said something like, “Yeah, but what am I supposed to do? Sign your Kindle?”

Since then I’ve had people approach me at book signings asking me to sign book marks, mailing labels, and odd scraps of paper all because they were e-book readers. I gladly signed them but still it felt as if something were missing—like the book. Then, a few years ago, a wonderful young woman approached me at a book signing. She held out her Kindle and a sharpie and asked me to sign her Kindle. I was floored. She explained that she had a skin on it, but wanted only her favorite authors to sign it. I was honored, and I have to tell you, when I saw the company my signature was keeping, I was walking on air. But as cool as that was, there was something missing. The reader got a blanket signature, from each of her favorite authors, but not a signature or a personalized inscription for each of her books.

Technology had failed to keep up with my expectations of a personalized e-book signing until a few weeks ago. One day I was on one of my writer’s loops and saw a thread about signing Kindle books. I followed the link and was amazed to find out that finally, someone figured out how I, and all of my e-book reader friends can get our books signed. I found Kindle graph! A website where you can request personalized digital inscriptions for more than 4,0000 books from over 800 authors, and the author list is growing daily. I checked it out, and signed up. Now, every day I get an email telling me how many Kindle graph requests I have. And every morning I sit at my desk, in my pajamas, with my coffee and go to a virtual e-book signing. How cool is that? And the best part is, you don't even have to see me in my jammies!

10 comments:

krisgils33 said...

I haven't done this yet, but was thinking about it. Although I'm on my second Kindle now (my first one died last month...it was very tragic!), I still haven't found the time to peruse this Kindlegraph site. Someday soon!!!

Robin Kaye said...

Hi Krsgils33, so sorry to hear about the demise of your first Kindle. I hope you'll look into Kindle graph. I just looked and I think they have one for the Nook too. I'm really enjoying tracking down my favorite authors! It's been fun!

chapmansmythe said...

robin--i saw that article as well and was floored. Fantastic idea!!

Diane Garner said...

Hi Robin,
That is super cool. I don't have a Kindle but did download the Kindle for PC software. I wonder if Kindle graph works on those versions. When I'm pimping your Domestic God series to my friends, I show them the two autographed books. Then I refuse to loan out any of the four and tell them to go buy their own. LOL
Diane

Robin Kaye said...

Chapmansmythe - It's it awesome. I'm having such a good time! I get to put some thought into the inscription since I don't have a line of people waiting, I don't have to try to speak and write, something I find it impossible to do. I can use spell check--the dyslexic in me loves this. And if no one shows up at the book signing, I'm the only one who knows!

Robin Kaye said...

I'm not sure, Diane, but it would be worth a look. Oh, and thanks so much for pimping my books. Believe me, word-of-mouth is sooo important to a relatively new author's career.

Donnell said...

Robin, what an excellent post. In light of all the bookstores closing :(, Kindlegraph is a dream for authors and readers alike! Thanks and hope you're doing well!

Cathy said...

I need to spend some time figuring this out. I buy lots of ebooks for my Nook and didn't know it worked for those as well as the Kindle!

Since my book will be released in an e-format I'm excited that I'll be able to sign them! And score! that it spell checks!!

Cathy Perkins

Robin Kaye said...

@ Donnell - I was thinking the same thing about how our signing opportunities diminished significantly with Borders going out of business. This definitely helps pick up the slack. It's a great way to communicate with our readers.

@ Cathy - Does it work for the Nook too? I don't have a Nook and didn't know if there was something similar.

Walt Mussell said...

I also would love to know if it works for the Nook. Hope it does.