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Tuesday, 24 October 2017

How do you sign books when your signature looks like that of a three-year-old

One basic question and something that has stopped me publishing books for years is how do you sign a book when your signature looks like that of a three-year-old?

You've got basic tips like this.

How to Autograph Books: Book Signing Tips for New Authors

1. Decide where to sign.
2. Personalize your message.
3. Choose a signature phrase.
4. Make sure your name is legible.
5. Add a date (optional).
6. Use a good pen.

The first one leaves me paralyzed by indecision. The second one leaves me wallowing in pits of existential despair, and by the time the third one comes around the existential angst has consumed me and become my outer skin - long live the new flesh!

Other people manage it. Look what Alec Soth did with the original Sleeping by the Mississippi. He's hitting all the high notes.

Awoiska van der Molen is classy on the inside sleeve.

Mariela Sancari sits tidily under the publisher's logo - and the year and date matters too.

And my daughter Isabel does a tidy IT (her name's not Isabel Pantall) in the bottom right corner of her print (which will be available at the Tipi Bookshop in Paris).

That's how you place it, but how do you make it presentable in the first place, how do you write a cool signature?  How do you sign a book when your signature looks like that of a three-year-old?

Fortunately I've got the internet to help me out. Google how to sign a cool signature and this comes up.

How to sign a cool signature.

There's a Reworking Your Signature section which tells you to:

1 Experiment.

(I remember doing this when I was 7 years old. It didn't work then. It doesn't work now.)

2 Emphasize certain letters.

Look! A big P. And what is going on with the n?

3 Underline your signature for emphasis.

(But then I need the wikihow on how to underline and that's another wormhole altogether.

4 Use "old-timey" lettering.

(What  is 'old-timey'. Some sort of cowboy shit?)

5 Add flourishes to spice up your signature.

(I don't think I'll have to pretend to be drunk...)

6 Add numbers or symbols to your signature.

Mmmm, not quite. It's a bit too quiet.

And we have a winner!

(Oh and I nearly forgot. You can buy the book I'm going to sign here.)

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