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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Above and beyond the cost of the paperback, shipping and taxes, how much is a reasonable increase for an autographed copy? Marti's Books
 

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Interesting question.

I would say Zero. Trad-published authors as far as I know don't charge for signing copies at bookstore events.

In any event, a signature only becomes worth anything with the rarity of the signature on a book when the book is deemed a classic, or the author gains worldwide acclaim Or it might not be the signature of the author writing the book, but the person who is the subject of the book, which could be a biography written by someone else, for say a pop star or a president. or other famous celeb..

To me, signing a book to send out to readers who are buying the book direct is more of benefit to the author as a marketing tool where the reader considers it might have a future value.
 

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The only autographs that enhance a book's value are autographs of known dead authors in popular books.

Signing a book is an excellent marketing tool that boosts sales, especially if you sign the book in front of the buyer (I think it works better in non-fiction books). You should not see this as an added value that must be charged but as a strategy to sell a few more copies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've never done a book signing, so how does that work? Does the bookstore pay all the costs, and then sell at the same online price plus shipping and taxes? Or is there a store markup?
 

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I've never done a book signing, so how does that work? Does the bookstore pay all the costs, and then sell at the same online price plus shipping and taxes? Or is there a store markup?
I don't know for fiction.

For non-fiction i put a for-sale book stand on the courses I sold and the participants buy a lot and come to me for signature on breaks.

The motivation of buying to the author you have in front and ask for signature is so big, because even if I include books of the same niche but other authors, the people only buys mine and they always come for signature and selfie.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Interesting question.

I would say Zero. Trad-published authors as far as I know don't charge for signing copies at bookstore events.

In any event, a signature only becomes worth anything with the rarity of the signature on a book when the book is deemed a classic, or the author gains worldwide acclaim Or it might not be the signature of the author writing the book, but the person who is the subject of the book, which could be a biography written by someone else, for say a pop star or a president. or other famous celeb..

To me, signing a book to send out to readers who are buying the book direct is more of benefit to the author as a marketing tool where the reader considers it might have a future value.
So what I have is a fiction, written about about the worst train wreck in Colorado History that happened in 1909. I thought since I am a local author, it might sell well in this area. I can see your point about signed books being a draw to a book signing. On the other hand, selling on my website might be better and attract fans outside of my area. I doubt the buyer would even know if I' raised the price because of the signature, and it doesn't sound like there's a standard price point. Thanks for your insight. McShane's Bride (The Dotsero Train Wreck)
 

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Autographs are free.

Signed books are a terrible way to make money. It's just too expensive to ship books. I sell my signed paperbacks so they're actually cheaper than buying from Amazon, but I only sell in bundles, and of course it will take much longer to get the books from me. It's just a huge hassle to keep stock, sign books, send them out.

If I was going to redo my signed paperback system, I'd do preorders once or twice a year. Readers have to reserve in advance, I buy based on reservations, sign, send.

I don't highlight signed paperbacks so I don't sell a lot. When I do highlight them, I sell a small amount, but not enough to really justify the mental space or admin effort. Even with my assistant doing the admin stuff.

I do like how my office spells like paper because of the 50+ paperbacks in my bookshelf though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The only autographs that enhance a book's value are autographs of known dead authors in popular books.

Signing a book is an excellent marketing tool that boosts sales, especially if you sign the book in front of the buyer (I think it works better in non-fiction books). You should not see this as an added value that must be charged but as a strategy to sell a few more copies.
Thanks for the advice.
 

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If you do a signing in a bookstore it varies with the store or chain. I've done them where the store ordered some to have on hand and took their cut, then had me leave some signed books for them (they have a section for signed books). But they ordered them and my only income was the normal royalty. I've also done them where I brought the books. I bought them at the author price and then sold them at retail, giving a chunk to the bookstore. They also asked for signed copies and gave me a consignment contract for the books I left behind. The contract was for six months later and they sent me a check for the sales and the unsold books. You have to be flexible. As Crystal said, it isn't a moneymaker... just engagement with fans and potential fans.
 

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I did a book signing for a novel at the local B&N. They had done this before for local authors and already had a procedure. They ordered five copies from Ingram to get the title into their system (which is apparently different from online) and had them on hand on the appointed day. I brought about 40 copies of my own. I sold about 20 copies (about what both I and the store manager expected), all of which were rung up on B&N's registers and they collected and kept the money. They then ordered 15 copies from Ingram and I picked them up a couple of weeks later. Seems like I left behind a couple of copies they put on the shelf and sold later.

I would have made a lot more money if I could have provided all the copies from my own stock, but that's the only way they would do it. In any event, I donated the retail price to a nonprofit, so it actually cost me money, but I received considerable local publicity as a result of the nonprofit tie-in. We had plugs on TV news from at least two stations that we would probably not have had if not for the nonprofit angle. One of the local TV stations showed up at the store, shot footage, and put it on the news that night. That didn't help sales at the event, but it did benefit the nonprofit, which was the point all along. We were going to do it again the next year but the pandemic squashed it.
 

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I sell my signed books for $15 in person for one, 3 for $40, 6 for $75. They might be listed on amazon for 11.99 or 12.99, but I have to have them shipped to me, I pay for gas, and wear and tear on my vehicle. I setup my displays... I hock books for a couple of days, staying at a hotel or campground. Readers don't even blink at those prices.

-b
 
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