Authority Publishing home page

Where professionals publish - 877-800-1097

How to Autograph Books: Book Signing Tips for New Authors

Recently a new author asked me how she should handle autographing her how to autograph booksbooks. It took me back to when I had published my first book, remembering how awkward it felt to sign copies. I also thought about my first business—a bookstore—where we flipped through used books in search of autographs (the equivalent of a literary jackpot!). Some were short and sweet with just a name, while others had more personal inscriptions.

Here are some simple tips to help you prepare to autograph your books!

1. Decide where to sign.

I like to sign my books on the title page, which is where most books are autographed, though you can also sign the inside cover. In some cases, you may want to sign the front cover, though this is rare and would probably only be appropriate for a coffee table book or something that will be on display.

2. Personalize your message.

In most cases people want the book inscribed to them personally, though sometimes it’s intended as a gift so be sure to ask, “Should I sign this to you?” Use their first name and always ask for the spelling since even common names can have unusual spellings.

If you have time, try to personalize your message in some way: “It was great meeting you at the XYZ conference” or “I enjoyed learning about your business…”

3. Choose a signature phrase.

Ideally you should have one to three phrases that you write each time you sign a book so you don’t have to think too hard! Your message can also be memorable and should fit within the space allotted.

When I’m not pressed for time, I sign my books: “Wishing you abundant joy and success.” If a line of people are waiting I simply write “Best wishes.” Here are some others:

All my best


In gratitude

To your health

Much appreciation

Warm wishes

Best regards


Your friend


4. Make sure your name is legible.

Consider the fact that someday your book could be a collector’s item! Even if it isn’t, do you want to leave any doubt that you’re the one who signed it? If needed, practice writing your name so that it is at least partially legible. You should also sign first and last name unless your name is Madonna or Cher.

5. Add a date (optional).

Admitedly I usually omit the date—mostly because I can never remember what day it is! But recipients will appreciate it when you date your inscription.

6. Use a good pen.

I’ll never forget the day I was signing books and the only pen I had on me was one of those cheap stick pens I picked up from a hotel room. Though it got the job done, I didn’t feel like it demonstrated how serious I am about my work.

For those of you who autograph the cover or inside cover, a good Sharpie will probably be your best choice. For everyone else, do yourself a favor and invest in a nice pen. It doesn’t matter if the ink is blue or black, if the barrel is thick or thin, just choose something that you love and that makes you feel like an author! (Oh, and make sure the ink dries quickly!)

172 Responses to How to Autograph Books: Book Signing Tips for New Authors

  1. The information was exactly what I needed to know. I will have a book signing next month. The title is: On Becoming A Healthier Church: Managing “Your Stress.
    Thank you very much!

    • So glad it helped. Good luck with your first book signing!

      • tammy says:

        I am going to a book signing and am trying to decide whether to buy the hardcover copy or paperback? Does it matter or is one more commonly used over the other? obviously the hardback is more expensive but if it’s the right thing to do then I have no problem spending a little extra.

        • Linda Hickam says:

          I can answer that for you! I have a virtual bookstore (meaning I do not have a physical store) in which I only sell my husband’s 18 autographed books. I only carry hardcovers. The reason is that the quality of paper and ink used is different in each kind of book. You get what you pay for! A hardcover is printed to last, a trade (oversize paperback) has maybe 15 years life expected and paperbacks crumble in ten. And autographed HARDCOVERS will be collectible too, while the others, not really. Come shop at MY store, ha!

    • Hi,
      Thank you for all the advise! It seems like something you do ‘just like that’ but I did wonder where best to put the autograph and I never thought of how important a pen may be. I’m signing my 9 books series (Regency Romantic Warriors 1-9) in a ski-resort called Flaine in France. My books have been published in 4 languages and due to the bad snowconditions the local bookshop asked me to do something special for them. Amazing!

  2. Diane Ziomek says:

    Thank you for this information. I haven’t autographed any books yet, but was thinking ahead; my thoughts were the inside cover, but I believe the title page would be more appropriate.

    “The Homemaker Helper Series”

    • Ricardo Martinez says:

      I am a Vietnam VET, I wrote a book about my combat experiences in Vietnam. It’s my first book and is still being publish. Ike Diane I am thinking ahead as well. Thank you for the tips they are very helpful.

    • Linda Hickam says:

      My #1 NY Times bestselling author husband (sorry, proud wife and assistant to Homer Hickam) always signs where ihs name is printed biggest, yes the title page! We have actually seen forgeries and first tipoff was that it was signed on a blank page…not!

  3. The book signing was a success! Thank you again!

  4. Juan Bas says:

    Very helpful. I’m self-publishing my novel, Back Kicks And Broken Promises, through Abbott and may need to sign a few copies. You never know right?

  5. Pingback: My Fear Of Book Signing « Poems That Dance

  6. Pingback: Overcoming My Fear Of Book Signing « Poems That Dance

  7. Thanks much for the useful information. I have yet to write a book, one of my essays would just published in This I Believe: Life Lessons. Thus far each copy I have autographed has been done differently–simply because I really had no clear concept of how to do it. The guidance you provided is much appreciated.

  8. Verna Clay says:

    Thanks for the great information! I’ll see you at the Oregon Book Fair.

  9. William Hillman says:

    First book signing coming up on January 28. I never did one, so am not sure how it works. Do they bring there own books? Do I have to have books there for them to buy? Can anyone tell me the procedures. Thanks Bill

    • Hi Bill, More than likely you will need to supply books to be sold. If you’re signing at a bookstore, they will likely take a 40% discount off your retail price and pay you 60%. I’d recommend getting in touch with your host venue to work out the details. Good luck!

  10. Laurie de Paolo says:

    This is great information! I just published a small book of my sock monkey images and poems, “Sock Monkeys Forever”, and will be doing my first book signing November 26th. I’m going to go buy a good pen!
    Thank you for the tips!

  11. Andrew Bell says:

    I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve been thinking about this. Thank you so much for the tips!

  12. Lori Lyons says:

    So thankful that I found this. Strange to think that we don’t know how to sign our own names when the time comes. I’m preparing for my first book signing in a few weeks for locals, friends and family in our very small community. Very nervous. I self published, “Adopting in America: The Diary of a Mom in Waiting.” Hope it goes well.

  13. I found your site while searching for “where to sign your book”. I am signing my first sale of a children’s book I wrote entitled Punkin: A Dog Gone Story. I am excited to give a personal note to a budding reader! Thanks!

  14. Thank you, Stephanie, for all the info! I have a reliable pen in hand as well as a backup, ready for my first book signing this afternoon for my just released novel, “The Spirit of Nora”.

  15. As a former bookseller, this post brought back some fond memories of our author readings/signings. One highlight was hosting Steve Allen, who, after a lifetime of autography, had a very consistent autograph. I’ve always wondered if celebrities have one signature they use for public autographs and another for their legal documents and money transactions. [Here’s an Identity Theft plot!]

    May I add a suggestion to the list of do’s/don’ts?

    Before autographing unsold copies, check with the bookseller first. Booksellers often overbuy for an event as it is better to return a few copies than not have enough. Some publishers won’t accept returns of signed copies, which would leave the bookstore with an out of balanced inventory. Also, if the booksellers does want signed copies, find out how many, and unless specifically requested, do NOT date your autograph. While a date may be meaningful to the customer, or to the collector of a first edition/printing on its release date, dating the autograph ultimately dates the copy as no longer being “new” if it is still sitting on the shelves a week, month or even year(s) later.

  16. Janet Moroney says:

    Thanks for the information, it was timely. I just completed my first of three devotional books, in the series of ‘Experiencing God’s Plan -Together. For parents/friends to stay connected with their university children/friends while they are away from home. I have not had my first book signing as yet, so this was exactly what I needed to know. Thanks and God bless.

  17. Thank you Stephanie for the great tips. I have yet to organize my first book signing. What would you recommend?
    Author of “What Is Love? Perspectives On Love”

  18. Denine Phillips says:

    Thanks, Stephanie! I was delighted that my Google search for “How to autograph a book” came directly to your post. I haven’t had any formal book signings yet, but a woman asked that I autograph her copy of Don’t Give Up on That Dog! I didn’t have a clue, so your tips were very helpful.

    Since this is an individual book buyer, is it okay to include the date? Another thought was to create a paw print stamp so I could also stamp the title page with our dog’s actual paw print. Do you think this is a good idea?

    • Hi Denine, I think the stamp idea is cute and would be fun in addition to your signature. Adding a date is really just a matter of preference so if you want to do that and it’s for an individual, then by all means you should. Good luck to you!

      • Denine Phillips says:

        Hi Stephanie,

        I found my way back to your post, and see that you responded. Thank you! I’m preparing for my first book signing in May, so I needed a refresher :)

        Best regards,
        Denine Phillips

  19. Andries Jacobs says:

    Stephanie, good day
    Sitting early morning in Vancouver Canada, looking for direction, this website is great!!
    Your message, notes and guidance is direct and typical of an excellent leader.
    Thank you, this will help me completing the process of a world untill 6 months ago, totally foreign to me.

  20. Thank you so much. My book One Land Two stories is out this week.
    It is not my first but others were academic.
    This one is very different, receiving much attention I am asked to sign it numerous times. This was very helpful and thoughtful.
    Thank you,

  21. Christine Ong says:

    Thanks, I published my book last year. Your tips are great and I am glad I did almost what were suggested. Christine Ong, Singapore
    My book: Nyonya Kebaya Intricacies of the Peranakan Heritage

  22. Gail Huntley says:

    Hi, thanks for advice. I have my first book signing in May and will use your tips. By the way, do you usually have refreshments at book signings? Would the store do that or would I do that? thank you. gail

  23. Thanks so much Stephanie, I’ll go get that pen now….thanks for the tips “All the best..”

  24. Barbara Davis Dexter says:

    Prior to ordering (for myself) a stock of my book, “Around Damascus Township”, the publisher asked if I would be using my books for signings, and I replied “yes”. Now that signings are happening, the publisher insists that I sell the merchants’ supply of books before my own. There was nothing in the contract stating this, and nowhere else was this mentioned. What is protocol, if any? Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Barbara,
      Hmmm. It’s usually up to the merchant, not the publisher, to decide how book sales will be handled. Though the bookstore or hosting venue will likely want to sell their own stock first or purchase books directly from you. The publisher shouldn’t really be involved in that decision unless they are involved in setting up these appearances for you…?
      Best wishe,

  25. Hi Stephanie!
    So glad to have found your blog. It’s excellent!
    I have just published my first children’s book: Caterpillar’s Dream.
    Wondering how I could offer autograph copies online (besides offering those on our website). Would love to hear back.
    Thank you!
    Roitman Trillo

    • Hi Roitman, I’m not sure I understand your question… If you want to sell autographed copies via your website, you could always autograph book plates (stickers) to be included with purchases. Is that what you’re asking?

      • Sandra Kerns says:

        My books first came out electronically before I also offered paperback. Now that I’m having a signing someone asked how I was going to sign their Nook. (Tongue-in-cheek) I thought about it and came up with this idea. I made postcard sized copies with the cover on one side and the back blurb on the other with a space for addressing to mail, or just sign for locals, or I can sign one of each, scan and send electronically for my overseas readers. Everyone has liked this idea so far. Good luck to all of you book-signing authors.

  26. having my first book signing in august thanks for all your info and the tips. think they are sure helpful

  27. Louise says:

    My first book of poems is being published in Oct. 2012. This is very helpful to read through. I am sending signed copies to endorsers now – any tips for signing for endorsers? Like what to say? Thank yous? thank you, Louise

  28. Kim DeSalvo says:

    I’ve just published my first novel, a contemporary romance titled, “Incidental Happenstance,” on Amazon. As I have buyers around and even out of the country, it has been suggested that I sign book plates to include for those who request them. The size of the book is 6X9. What size would you suggest the book plates be so as to have enough room to write a little message? Should the title be printed on the book plate, and would you suggest any other artwork be included? A border, perhaps?

  29. These book signing tips are very helpful as I am on the verge of having my first signing scheduled soon. But I have a few questions if I may. My book “A Beautiful Husky needs a home” , that was reviewed by Betty White, has been out for a couple months, and I am totally green and somewhat fearful how to approach book stores for signings. My book is designed for children but written for families considering getting a new pet, it is also the official book (major funding contributor) of a pet health charity I have started. For the giveaways, would it be appropriate to bring Charity related items? The charity Runa’s R.A.C.E. Fund (R.R.F.), promotes pet adoption, posts pet health tips and disease warning signs, and has a blog and online store. I am also trying to link up with other charities that are rescues in a cross promotion on the website “Shelter Links” page. I was also thinking of having fliers made with the pet tips and or the shelters R.R.F. has already linked with. Would this be a good move? Or should I just stick to “book” things? I am learning as I go and by the seat of my empty pants pockets. Thanks,
    Cherie AKA Runa’s MOM

    • I think it’s a great idea to work with related charities and find ways to cross promote. Successful book promotion definitely involves thinking outside of the box so keep trying new activities. As for approaching bookstores, there is nothing to fear. Even the big box stores are usually receptive to local authors. Just make sure to walk in and ask for a manager. Good luck to you!

  30. Perry McMullin says:

    Thanks for taking the time and actually thinking to write this for those of us that follow in your footsetps. It is better to think ahead than wait to look stupid or even worse, screw up books.
    Sepmper Fi Stephanie

  31. thanks for the tips, I was thinking inside cover but title page might be better, also, the few I have signed I had trouble finding the right pen, so I may try a sharpie,
    Ann Howie Hood
    “Put it Back”
    Children’s book

  32. Dalton Reutlinger says:

    I have a question. For my Novel “Chris Lynheart” I’ve been designing my own alphabet and language to use for a land that I came up with, and I just finished the first book of my series this morning (minus all the editing and sending off to a publisher, ETC)

    So if I were to sign a book, could I use it in the language I created? Personally, I think that would be very original. But I’m new to writing and this is my first book.

  33. Stephanie Godwin says:

    I havnt published any book yet but thanks am sure it will help. Thanks again.

  34. David Yoo Sr says:

    Thank you for some great & helpful tips for autographing my first novel, Real Gold.

  35. After 3 years my book has finally been published and I have a series of book signings

    Thanks for all the helpful advice
    I sign my books with

    See you at the Races!

    Iron Mate Mark

    Mark Kleanthous
    Athletes and now an author of “The Complete Book of Triathlon Training”
    450+ Triathlon Competitor

  36. I found the above information most helpful

  37. Erik Roth says:

    I have a book signing next month. It took me nearly four decades to get a publisher to go for it and it is such a pleasure to be one of those seeking this advice. I love the helpful hints. Next month is time for my first royalty check and I can’t wait to see if I broke even on the expenses of using manuscript illustrations. [$100 each} and if I get ahead of the author’s advance. The book is certainly being offered in enough locations. .

  38. Ramiro T Hernandez says:

    This was incredibly helpful, thank you. I’ll keep this in mind in case I may ever need to use this information. My first book is still being edited by a student editor. I don’t even have a publicist yet.

  39. Thank you very much for the tips! It is a very good tips indeed for new writers. This helped me at my autograph session. Thank you again!

  40. Mathias Hardeman says:

    Thanks for all of the great pointers. This indeed makes me feel better about being a new author on Amazon. The title of my true story book is: PULPIT GANGSTER, Life Inside a Cult.

  41. Pingback: How to prepare for a successful book signing | Jane V. Blanchard

  42. Bonnie Collins says:

    I have a book signing tomorrow in Harrisburg, PA. My debut memoir, ‘Braving Time’ was published in late 2012 by Balboa Press, so I’m new to all of this. Your article was most helpful. Many thanks!

  43. Sylvie Fox says:

    Just the right information, at the right time. Thanks.
    Sylvie Fox, author of Puppy Love

  44. Pingback: Pen-sive moments of a fat pen person! | Jenn J McLeod

  45. Elaine White says:

    Thanks so much for writing this. My first book has just been published and although I’m not doing any official ‘book signings’ at the moment (mostly due to ill health) lots of family and friends are asking for personalised signatures on their copies.

    They were nice enough to buy their own book and then bring it to me, but I was a bit stumped about what was right and what made sense for signing it. Your advice has really helped. I read elsewhere that you should add the date and thought it looked a bit impersonal, so I’m glad it’s a choice thing.

    I think I’ll be taking your advice and doing a nice little personal message and then my name. It’s less stressful. Now I’ve just got to figure out what the personal message is… 😀

  46. OMG! Stephanie, this has been absolutely fantastic information. I could never thank YOU enough… Can’t wait until I personally put it to use. I haven’t had a book signing myself yet, unfortunately due to health issues. However, can’t wait until I’m able too.
    My Memoir “With Death Before Us” was released in Dec. 2012. And have worked on a book signing in Maui for next yr. when I’ll be there again. It’s the true grit of what a close family goes through when the father, husband fights for life. It’s filled with Love, positive attitudes, perserverance, spititualty, and the importance of being an educated advocate. Written with the feeling that If the book helps just one other person, it was well worth the blood, sweat and tears through the writing, that took 12 years to complete. Thank you again for the insight, and your sharing of this valuabale information. May God Bless YOU! I wish you the VERY BEST…

  47. Dana Wyatt says:

    This was so helpful. I’ve just finished publishing a book I wrote for the hunter-gatherers for my 6th grade history class! The kids are so excited to get a signed copy from their teacher!

  48. DJ Jones says:

    I have just authored and published my first book. I would like to write a personal inscription to the person(s) that had helped me with research or encouragement, but as my handwriting is too big to include all I want to say on the title page, would it be appropriate to write this on a separate sheet and include it loosely in the book and sign only my name on the title page?

  49. Fabiola says:

    Great information, I am signing and sending out some books for bloggers and media producers as part of my media campaign. What my message should be?

  50. Paul McNeer says:

    Thanks for some excellent tips! I just released my first book, “Conversation with an Angel,” and am hoping to do some book signings in the Atlanta area soon. I have so much to learn that I am searching for every tip I can find. You had some good ones. Thanks!


  51. Thanks for these tips! I launched my book “Raise Your Game” at the end of last year. When I’m just signing a couple of books, I like to use one of my favourite quotes: “As long as you live, keep learning how to live.” ~ Seneca … but it’s a bit long when there is a queue of people … “best wishes” seemed a bit short – but looks like it fits the bill! Thank you!

  52. Wonderful tips!
    A couple ideas I would add, from my experience:

    Do NOT use a Sharpie permanent marker – they say they’re permanent, but that just means the ink won’t run if it gets wet. With time the ink of a black Sharpie fades to a bad purple/pink color…it may take a couple years, but you want your signature to last a lot longer than that.
    My book is an art book, with semi-gloss pages, so I use American Craft’s Slick Writer – it’s acid free, permanent, waterproof, non-toxic, and quick drying, so I can sign and close the book immediately. It’s great! If your pages are not slick, I think the ink of most pens (besides Sharpies) hold their color with age.

    Also, be careful not to let yourself be distracted while you’re signing. You may be able to multi-task better than my artistic, one-track brain can, but when I’m talking to the person before signing, and then try to continue the conversation as I sign, or they keep talking while I’m signing, I easily make mistakes. I’ve even misspelled my own name once, and numerous times misspelled their names, even after just verifying the correct spelling!

  53. Since I have a new book coming out in September, this is really helpful. Great idea to take a small task and show how important it is to do it right, even if we do it differently from another author.

  54. This was extemely helpful advice! I am a veteran newspaper reporter, but I recently self-published my first book titled “Joy Ride! The Stars and Stories of Philly’s Famous Uptown Theater.” My very first book signing is just over three weeks away, but “Joy Ride!” is doing so well that I’ve been selling copies out of the trunk of my car! I’ve only signed a dozens or so copies thus far, but I was wondering if signing on the title page as I have been was proper, and thanks to your very informative post, I am somewhat relieved! Now I can sign with confidence when my big day rolls around. Thanks Stephanie! And a word to aspiring authors. Don’t be afraid to self-publish. That’s what’s up! After haggling with traditional publishers, I finally took matters into my own hands through self-publishing and social networking, and now my book is ON FIRE!!

  55. Thanks to Authors who post their experiences. Often writers need to mention our downfalls writing – which bestows inspiration to others.
    As a Christian writer I often forget the words written by Apostle Paul:
    “Our lives are like letters, known to read by all men; an epistle of Christ …
    written not with ink by the Spirit of the living God.”
    Therefore, we must welcome the joy of God’s gift of writing to us. Those He has appointed to be great storytellers, of His goodness and grace!

    “Wishing you abundant blessings”

    Carolyn L. Keeton
    Author, Carrie L. Keeton

  56. Thank you! My first official event as an author is upcoming and this was very helpful.

    “The Art of Submission”

    Ella Dominguez

  57. Thank you for this article! I recently published my first book and received my first order. I spent some time last night signing some of them (on the title page, as you recommend).
    I find I need to do is practice my penmanship – I’ve become SO rusty!
    One question: what is your opinion about pre-signing books with a generic phrase and autograph? This way, they are ready to go at a moment’s notice. And would a bookstore appreciate me going to them and autographing their copies of my book on their shelves?

    • I don’t think there is anything wrong with pre-signing books. When it comes to bookstores, you’ll have to take that on a case-by-case basis and ask the store manager. one old trick in the author world was to go in and sign your books on the shelves, with the idea being that the buyer would be excited to find the surprise AND the book wouldn’t be as likely to get returned by the bookstore. But bookstores have changed over the years so I’d recommend introducing yourself to the manager and asking first. They will likely be thrilled and will add a sticker to the front to designate it as an “Autographed Copy”!

  58. Very good info, thank you. My book is due in August, I will definitely use your techniques at my book signing.

    Michael Hall

    • Steppi G. Pulley says:

      I have published two books : Conquering Lion’s Faith and Poetry From A Godly Heart. My books are on and this information on book signing was very helpful.

  59. Steppi G. Pulley says:

    I have published two books: Conquering Lion’s Faith and Poetry From A Godly Heart, and this information will be very helpful in the signing of my books.

  60. Karen Thomas says:

    Thanks for the tips. My new cookbook Karen’s Kitchen and Family & Friends’ Favorites arrives Monday. Already 69 pre sold, and they want them signed.

  61. Ave Pfleegor says:

    This has been really helpful. I wrote my first book ‘A Winter Wonder for the Ave Maria’, and, as a surprise, my parents organized a book-signing/sweet sixteen party for my Sweet 16! They wouldn’t tell me any details but said I needed to practice signing my name with a little note. I didn’t find out anything else until just today, (my birthday) that my birthday party is at a B&B! I was having problem deciding what to say and where to sign my name, so this is a wonderful helper. Thanks so much!

  62. I have written a book Me and Medicine by Dr Krishna Mohan Mishra, and I had no idea until I read your views on how to autograph your book. Thank you very much, for the tips,it solved my dilemma, just on time befor autographing 2nd copy of the book.

  63. Shara says:

    How do you sign a book with a pseudonym?

  64. Ralph says:

    Thanks for your help. I will have a book signing Sunday at our church for my newly published book From a Canoe to a Chevy, about our years in Brazil. I appreciate the fine help given in your tips.

  65. Ralph says:

    Thanks for your help. I will have a book signing Sunday at our church for my newly published book From a Canoe to a Chevy, about our years in Brazil. I appreciate the fine help given in your tips.

  66. Richard Todd says:

    Your information is forever valuable. I just published my first book yesterday, The Golf Rules. I’ll be autographing copies soon and will use your tips. Thank you!

  67. Lizzy says:

    Thank you for all your information on your first signing of a book… it’s excellent and very helpful (-:)0~

  68. Anna Aizic says:

    Your article about the first signing was very valuable for me: I am planning a signing event of my first book: The Circles of Life, a memoir, and your tips are very helpful! Thanks!

    Anna Aizic

  69. Great information! Just when I needed it. My book “Royal Secrets of the Winning Edge” just came out and I am trying to be prepared for my signings, readings, and my book launching party. My book is about encouraging, inspiring, and empowering young girls of today to embrace their God given beauty, inner beauty, as well as the outer. That in each and every young girl….God sees a winner in them. Thank you Stephanie for your valued information and giving me a chance to share.

  70. E.K. 'Ted' Turner says:

    Thank you Stephanie, your suggestions are timely. My first book ‘Beyond the Farm Gate’
    is in the stores and a launch is less than a week away, we expect 100 or more to attend.
    My fear is, that with a line up to ‘get a signature’ I may feel pressured to sign quickly and
    may even flub the names of people I know quite well. Is it tacky to ask purchasers to write on a note pad exactly how they want their name in a salutation? This will probably be my only such event since I am 87 and have little else to talk about!
    Should I sign E.K. or Ted or E.K Ted ? My publisher is the University of Regina Press. Sincerely, Ted

    • suecanfield says:

      Hi Ted,

      It would be fine to ask purchasers to write how they want their name. Great idea! It’s completely up to you how you want your signature.

      Sue Canfield, on behalf of Stephanie Chandler

  71. Gisela Wicks says:

    Thank you Stephanie Chandler for your wonderful suggestions on how to sign autographs and what to write. I’m so glad I checked out your website, because I just published my one and only book, a memoir, “Born into Hitler’s War” It’s the story of my childhood and teen years. It begins when I was very young, the horror of WWII, then after WWII ended my family and I lived behind the iron curtain in East Germany under the Russian occupation, from where we in 1953 escaped to West Germany.

  72. Many thanks for sharing your helpful hints. I am passing them along to another first time author. Her book The Precipice and mine Celtic Knots were both self published and so there was and is a lot to learn. One word of warning to would be self publishers RESEARCH before choosing to whom you will intrust your precious work. Good luck to everyone brave enough to make this journey.

  73. Thanks for sharing these tips. My first book, “Scripture Works” launched on Amazon June 1st. I have people asking for an autograph, but I wasn’t sure the best way to go about it. This article helps! Thanks again!

  74. S. M. Anker says:

    My second book, Thank You in the SAS series was just published and I have been asked to sign my first autograph. That is an exciting thing to do. Fortunately the book was left with me for a few days to ponder on what I would write. All the remarks on this stream were extremely helpful, not only for that purpose but so many other things. I love technology. Thank you all for your words.
    S. M. Anker

  75. Thanks so much for the tips! People are always asking me to sign their books so this will help!

    God bless!

  76. I recently self published my first book “The Power of the Mind” Beauty, Health and Wealth on May 28, 2014. I have just recently started signing books that have been purchased and as an author it’s funny how we are at a loss for words when it comes to this moment. I appreciate the article which was very helpful and I will utilize this information going forward. Thanks again.

    Daphne Jones-Robinson (Author)
    The Power of the Mind

  77. My name is Teresha Hughes and I am a new author. My book was recently published on amazon, June 14, 2014. It’s my first children’s book entitled, Where is Sungi Bear? (A collection of children’s book based on using the imagination again). I am super excited but got a bit nervouse when people started asking me about book signings. This information has been most informative. Thank you all ever so much.

  78. As a new author of “The Fairy Clan of Phenloris-An adventure in a magical land,” I found preparing ahead for signings is always a good practice. I made a list of the things I thought were relevant to signings and have signed over 50 copies of my book to date. I decided to go on a web search to find other ways one might continue to do books signings and found your page. Ms. Chandler, I had to laugh out loud because everything you listed I have done. And a good pen is truly a life saver. I practiced my signature for nearly nine months before my book came out in print and found, for me, the first letter of my first name and the first letter of my middle name worked well with my last name. It flowed effortlessly, and with no hesitation. A search of famous authors signatures revealed many used their first and middle initials along with their last name. My advise as far as signing is to do what feel natural and flowing. Thank you, Ms. Chandler for your book signing tips. It’s a great confirmation that I am on the right track.
    Sincerely, Therese Grant

  79. Robert Olsen says:

    My debut romantic suspense novel “Under the Egyptian Sheets” was just published on Amazon. I read your fantastic advice just in time! Thanks so much.

  80. Thank you so much for the great tips! My book,”Maggie Sinclair, Will You Please Fix Your Hair?!”, was published this summer and is now available on I have already been asked to autograph copies. I bought a great pen in my signature color and have been rotating a a few phrases in and out. I’m so glad I read this before I started signing; it’s a thoughtful process, for sure.

  81. Thanks for the information. Have been signing my first name only. Should I change to both or simply continue? Daisy McIntosh is the book.

  82. thanks so very much for the advice. it was so helpful.

  83. Argie Hoskins says:

    Thanks to you! My first book: More Than a Ticket Memoirs Flying with American Airlines from Props to Jet just hit the market four weeks ago. I have my first signing at the end of Sept. I am nervous because of my spelling on the spot is sometimes difficult. I wrote the book with my maiden name Hoskins. Do I also add my married name Shumway or just no last name?

  84. Greer Taylor says:

    thanks Stephanie for this advice – and to all the other authors who have commented (good luck to you all !)

    I have a launch and signing tomorrow for my book “ephemeral” and just thought it would be good to check protocol for signings – so glad you mentioned coming up with some phrases – I will have to do that!

  85. Dupe says:

    Thanks for this information and for all the others who have shared their experiences. My book titled: My Eyes My Sight My Health is coming out in 2 weeks, so I thought I should be ready for book signing.
    Can I sign different messages for different individuals depending on what I consider is their contributions?

  86. Isalon Taylor says:

    Thanks this help alot I just published my poetry book “The Birth of Flow” and I currently have friends and family that would like a autographed copy…I am so humbly blessed…Isalon Taylor

  87. Excellent post, Stephanie, thank you! I’ve got my first book signing at the end of ths month in Kent, England and this really gives me more confidence to tackle it. Also, if anyone’s reads this in time my two books are reduced in price on Amazon until the 16th Oct ’14, they are part of a series can but can be read standalone too, the series is called Ancient Origins, you can check the book details out on
    Hmm, this is a blatant plug isn’t it, should I even be writing this or is it considered poor form?

  88. E. Lewis Brown says:

    Good advice. I self published several months ago although I did not have to pay for anything. The publisher contacted me that they wanted my book titled Dianna Doll, a fantasy murder mystery and I have sold books all over the U.S. and it is available on Amazon.
    I usually sign, I enjoyed writing this. I hope you enjoy reading it. Also, I set aside a portion of each sale as a donation to Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Brown’s Mills, N.J. as they have never presented any patient without insurance or who could not afford their services with a bill. I was once one of them.

    I have a second, non-fiction book, coming, I hope, within the next year. Much harder than fiction, but so worth it.

    Thanks again for your info.

    E. Lewis Brown

  89. Leona Palski says:

    I am glad I found this! I’ve been signing books, but really wasn’t sure if I was signing the way I should! I have my first official book signing at a local gallery and gift shop and the local library. My book is a children’s book about a snowman named “Dimples”. This is my second Dimples book, through self-publishing. My first one, didn’t get printed until a week before Christmas because I was just learning how to get it together.

    I don’t have a website or blog yet. Just a fb page for Leona Paints.

    Thanks again and have a great day!

  90. Sandy Lee says:

    I am a new author of a book called “No Unturned Stone” – A Mother’s Quest, that will be released on Amazon and other major distributors at the beginning of 2015. However, the book can be purchased off of our website at this time. It is the story of my unbelievable journey searching for my grown son who mysteriously disappeared four years ago. Thank you for the tips as I am having my first book signing event in a week.

  91. Hi again Stephanie!
    Your blog is always a good reference resource.
    I have my third children’s picture book: “Thankful For Today” being published on Amazon in a few days. I’ve published two others: Caterpillar’s Dream and Ellie Sanchelly.
    What is the best way to get local bookstores to allow a book signing?
    Thanks so much!

    • The best way to connect with local bookstores is to walk in and ask to speak with the manager. They will typically want to see your book to make sure it’s professional. They may also ask how you will help promote the event, so come prepared to answer those questions. Congrats on another book!

  92. Pat C. says:

    I just published my first book: Life & Love – The Journey In Verse… It is now availale on My first book signing is this Saturday, November 22, 2014 This blog has been very helpful to me. I just wanted say thanks!

  93. My book “Dust in the wind Real FEMA Disaster Stories” is a memoir of 25 years as a FEMA inspector. Written as a non-fiction book it reads like a fiction book. It has lots of adventure stories as well as helpful tips on how to prepare for a disaster. I have my first book signing this weekend and I want to thank you for all the tips on how to sign my books. Thank you so much, I was kind of worried about what to write in each book and now I know.

  94. Kimberly Kay says:

    This is very helpful, I just published my first book A Mom’s Point Of View: Beginning Adulthood.

  95. Fairouz says:

    Thanks for the very helpful information!
    My name is Fairouz the author of ” The Tiny Sweet triplets” I will have my very first Book Signing on February 21th, 2015

    I think I will have my autograph in the middle of the first page with a smiley face because it`s a children`s book.
    This book based on true events and I`m so excited. I wish all of you all the best on your next book signing, Blessing, Fairouz :)

  96. I am the Author as well as the main distributor of my book It is on the subject of Napkin pat of table presentation. If requested, I sign my book with
    “To . . . . . . Happy folding”. I believe that the personal touch add extra value to the book, if bought as a gift, however the book loose it’s value if re-sold or passed on. What is your opinion.?
    Luigi Spotorno

  97. Mark Smyth says:

    Thanks for the tips! Signing seemed obvious at first but I wanted to make my book signing a little more personal. This all puts it into perspective! I look forward to signing copies of my new book “From Sertao to Surgery”.

  98. Thank you so much for your GREAT advise! My first “official” book signing for my book, ‘It’s All About Me! Mind, Body and Soul’ is this Sunday at my home town church in Hempstead, Texas. There was a media blast sent out to all of the local newspapers and social network sites. I’ve been told to expect people from all walks of life and I really needed some help on how to autograph my book. This article was a huge help for me.
    Thank you so much for taking the time to write it! You are greatly appreciated!

  99. Thanks for the information, I have a book signing event today and found the information very helpful.

  100. Hello Stephanie,
    Very nice summary of book signing. It’s always good to have a list of signature phrases on hand, so I thank you for that. Also, adding a date hadn’t crossed my mind, so I appreciated your touching on that as well as the comments that addressed that issue.
    I’m proud to say that I’ve just published CALABRIA: THE OTHER ITALY, a non-fiction book about a little-known region in the toe of the Italian boot. I have my first signings coming up and am looking forward to getting over that initial awkwardness you mention and that I had already anticipated.

  101. Patrick says:

    1. Is it too gross to ask more for a “signed ” book-say $5.00, than an unsigned book, such as celebrities are doing now..
    2. Are authors obligated to sign copies when asked beyond the usual “book signing” event. That is, when buyers call the publisher for a book, they often want them signed—then I have to sign a bunch of books (sometimes cases full) when I’m too busy to do so.

    seems like the publisher gains – but I see no advantage.

    What do you think?

  102. Thank you so much for your helpful information, I will have my first book signing next month. the title is: PAINT YOUR STRESS AWAY, The Book on Art a Therapeutic Tool.
    Thanks again for your tips.

  103. M. L. Pope says:

    The first time I ever signed a copy of the book I released last year, I signed it in my kitchen with a pink ink pen because it was all I could find. It was terribly awkward but thrilling at the same time. Now, after reading this blog, I really wish I’d had a decent pen!

    Thanks for writing this; I’m really glad to know that I’m not the only one who had questions! The first one I released is titled The Day We Faced the Storm and I’m slowly getting used to signing. This (and the comments) have been a big help. I’m releasing a new book in a couple of months so it’s time to find that perfect pen :)

  104. Stephaine,
    From almost not writing this post to….. 140 responses later! Looking forward to the day of signing. My new and first book, Nick’s Very First Day of Baseball is being purchased by many relatives for small kids. I find dating them really helps lock down the memories of their childhood. Also, as a sports theme, I always try to reverence a positive action remark similar to the them of my book. Dont give up! Give it your all ! Thanks for your insights and opening this chain of thoughts. Coach Kevin

  105. Kyle Kringle says:

    Hi, I just started writing my book so no where near the promotion phase yet but am looking forward to it in the next year or two. Your blog has given me lots of advice on how to do a signing and am really looking forward to making mine work. I have some questions, is it a good idea to get ahold of a well known author of a similar genre that is doing a signing and see if they will allow you to set up near them? Also I plan on having some very special books made for the first people who come to the signing to give out free do you think this would help in anyway? Thanks for your time.

  106. Jean Dennis says:

    I just published my first recipe book titled Caribbean flavors recipes, coming out the end of may, and I plan on doing my book signing in June or July. since this is a recipe book, would it be appropriate to share samples of two of the items from my book.Tiny portions of course, maybe some roti and curry .The aroma will beckon the clients and my sales will soar. But, would this be allowed? I have not not approached the book store with this since I am not sure what the protocol is for a recipe book.Please help.Also your site is extremely helpful and I really just stumbled upon it, what a blessing. Since I have been an RN for years and owned my own restaurant, I assumed I know how to sign a book and never really gave any thought to my penmanship. well, I promise you I will practice my signature and not do the usual scribble, something I never thought about Thanks again.

  107. I have self published a book called Encouraging A Friend with our trials on I have printed some copies for the people that helped me with the proof reading of the book. So I was trying to find just the right words to thank them, plus how to do one. Great site.

  108. I just published my first book titled “The Art of Critical Writing & Reviewing”, coming out the end of may, and I plan on doing my book signing in June or July.

    Your explanation has shown me what to do.

    If there is ever a book that explains to you all you want to know about critical and reviewing writing, this is it! THE ART OF CRITICAL AND REVIEWING WRITING explains the relevance of art criticism and details on how to review genres of literature, text across disciplines and other communication expressions such as music, dance, painting, sculpture, audio, video contents, radio and television programmes, internet contents among others. It also enumerates variety of styles available to accomplish the stated task.

    The book also reveal the secret of how to satirise and review the activities of prominent politicians, business moguls, religious leaders,individuals,activities in Nigeria and the world over.

    The presentation of facts in the book makes it user-friendly. It is not an overstatement, the readers will not only derive writing, critical thinking skills, pleasure and enjoyment from reading this book, they will also find it most inspiring and rewarding.

  109. Mary says:

    Thank you for this information. I published my book in October 2014 and I’m currently working on a follow-up book. I’ve already had my first book signing back in January of this year for my book Divorced But Not Disowned. It was a success and I’d like to have another book signing because although I have consistently gotten 5 star reviews, sales have slowed down on How long is too long to wait between book signings?

  110. Jim Ettwein says:

    My book, The Grandpa Book, is just starting to get traction… and Father’s Day is coming. :) I appreciate the info on author signing… some folks have emailed me asking for an autographed copy for their father. This is something I didn’t anticipate… :)

  111. How fabulous that when searching for ‘book signing gifts’ the 6th thing that came up on google was my friend Stephanie’s blog post from 4 years ago. :)

  112. Timmigo K. Burnett says:

    I enjoyed all the comments on book signing. I have written and it is now published a book called (Behind the Chair) ‘Memories, thoughts, Lessons, and Blessing). My book signing date is July 12th 2015, and I plan to sign the inside cover, or the tile page.

    Thanks for your help!

  113. Thanks so much for this blog post. I am having my first book signing in October in my hometown of Hahira, Georgia for my new novel “Carnies and Wildcats.” Great information and I will be sure and use it. Now to find the right pen…

  114. Linda McCormick says:

    I have written a non fiction book about the Henry Harmon Spalding family (early missionaries in the Northwest) titled “The Spaldings of the West”. I was able to inspire the famous author, Jane Kirkpatrick to write a historical fiction novel about his daughter, Eliza Spalding Warren. Jane’s big book release will be here in Brownsville, Oregon next weekend (Sept. 13, 2016). I will be selling my book right next to her, but still have not come up with a clever, heartfelt message to go along with my autograph. Help! I just don’t think Best Wishes is enough. What should I write?

  115. Thank you for providing options regarding how and where to personalize a book. I am very appreciative that your site was so easy to navigate and that my questions were answered. Next week I am hosting a launch party and book signing for my work Count It All Joy: Life’s Lessons from a Child with Special Needs.

  116. Rosalie Lauerman says:

    Thanks for sharing these tips, they are most helpful. After reading all the comments, I did not find an answer to my question. I’m left handed and write by curling my wrist (like President Obama does) and as a result of dragging my palm over the fresh ink often smear what I’ve written. So I put a blotter (or in a pinch an upside down sticky note under my palm. It’s hard for me to accomplish a neat signature on the title page of a book. Is it ok to sign book plates and hand them to the purchasers along with their books? My children’s book, Jockey Hollow, has recently been published and there will be book signings soon. Thanks for the help.

  117. Priscilla Wiliams says:

    Just published my first book: Kaleidoscope of Life

    Thank you for all the tips…

  118. Pat says:

    Thank you very much.This information is a great relieve .I like your suggestions on how to sign autographs and simple unique comments and the best page to sign my book ,Treasure in the Attic.
    I will be having my book signing in February 2016 by God’s Grace.This is my second children’s story book.

  119. Just published my first children’s book, “Arthur Zarr’s Amazing Art Car,” and I’ve had several successful book signings. Thanks for the information! Just what I needed to know.

  120. I just received my bulk shipment of books (“Ruby Red Shoes – Empowering Stories on Relationships, Intuition and Purpose”) and with friends, family and clients excited to buy their very own signed copy, I was drawing a blank on how to approach book signing. Your post succinctly covered all of the components I need to know. THANK YOU! Big hugs, Kristine

  121. Thank you – I went searching specifically for items like this. My publisher just told me she had several interviews and signings she is working on for the release of my first book Kiss Me Deadly. I’m nervous knowing this is the first impression most readers will get of my work! This gave me some confidence since they were all items I’ve already practiced.

  122. Joan Powers says:

    Thank you for such a wonderful blog. I too, much like many of the others, have just published my first children’s book, “Operation Breathe Easy”. It is about a young boy who needs a lung transplant. I was inspired by an adult friend who is a double lung transplant survivor. It is available on I am grateful to those who are willing to share their experience in the book writing world for those of us who are just getting our feet wet. First thing on my to-do list tomorrow, treat myself to a new pen!

  123. Use whatever signature feels right to you. I use my regular one!

  124. Congratulations on your book!

Comments Rule! 5 Reasons to Leave a Comment on This Post

  1. We link your name to your website which may improve your site ranking with Google.
  2. Because we include your web link, other readers may click through and visit your site.
  3. Contribute to the conversation. Did this help you? Do you have something to add? Share with our readers!
  4. It's good karma! You just might get more comments on your blog as a result, not to mention visibility with other readers.
  5. We pay attention to comments and appreciate users who take the time to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>