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I’m a sucker for book signings and signed copies of novels (I just went to a midnight book launch with Cassandra Clare and Holly Black last week), and I know there are a ton of people out there who feel the same way.

But what about the fans of eBooks, who don’t want hardcover novels lining their wall? What are they to do? There have been various workarounds – things like having an author sign a postcard or bookmark or even digitally signing a photo of their book – but there’s a new app in the works that sounds like the best solution of all … and it will debut at BookExpo America in May!

Autography Autography is a new tool that allows for a signed photo to be inserted IN to the eBook itself. Here’s how it works: A fan poses with the author for a photograph. The image immediately appears on the author’s iPad. The author uses a stylus to sign the photo and include a message if they choose. The author then taps a button that sends the fan an e-mail with a link to the image, which can be downloaded into the eBook.

It takes about 2.5 minutes, which is a little more than a normal autograph … but let’s face it, most fans want to sit and talk to the author for a minute anyway!

Autography also promotes the virtual tour, which is becoming pretty popular, especially with children’s book authors who do Skype tours with various schools. Now an author can have the tour and provide digital autographs, all without leaving their house.

And the app doesn’t just have to be used for eBooks. It can be a picture of concert tickets, a baseball card, a comic book, or whatever you want signed.

Some authors feel this further promotes a distance between themselves and the reader, but I think it can only help those who have already jumped on the eBook bandwagon. What do you think?


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