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Discussion Starter #1
A fan reached out to me to say he loved one of my series. He custom 3D-printed something truly awesome and then paid to have it shipped overseas to me. I'm over the moon!

I would really like to send this fan something special in return. I don't keep a lot of hardcopy books on hand, and I'm not sure what value signed copies have to fans of ebooks. Any ideas? Does anyone keep author swag on hand for this type of situation?
 

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I am stealing this from the Castle TV show I am just watching - how about naming a small character in your next book after that fan (or asking for a name to use) and in the meantime send that person a letter about it? That is something they can put on their desk if they like to look at it and be happy about it and look forward to the next book.
 

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Do they have a favorite character in the book, or maybe one that touched them in particular?  It might be fun if you wrote a quick something that was a little extra for that character.  Like, a day in the life of "X" No editing, no perfection, but a completely personalized bit of extra story just for that person who liked your work so much.  I bet a fan would love it.
 

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I think either of the above are great options. Some authors definitely name minor characters after people as an homage to them. It's something the person can enjoy but shouldn't interrupt the story for anyone else (you've got to name those minor characters something anyway, right?). There's an author, Larry Correia, who has in the past auctioned off (or sold, I don't remember; I heard about it after the fact) character names for very minor characters who are meant to be killed off. I suppose the killing them off thing works because of his genre and fan base. If you have the time and a good idea, writing a very short story about the fan's favorite character (maybe even based on a prompt from them?) could work, too. Then you could use the fic as some kind of little bonus somewhere so others can also enjoy it. I think either of those sorts of things would be more meaningful and special than a signed book.
 

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I have a friend who religiously buys all newly released ebooks from her favourite authors. But she really wants a signed hardcover from them too when they do giveaways or run limited edition prints. So despite your series being predominantly digital, don't discount the possibility of a deep love and desire for a signed hardcover.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the ideas, everyone! I think I'm going to send him an early signed copy of the next release in the series and put him in the dedication.

Carol, those book charms are a fantastic idea! I'll have to dig around and see if I can find something that clever to have on hand in the future.
 

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I love all these ideas and am taking notes for the next time I want to do something nice for my readers!
 

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Usually, people asking for a photo or signature. This is my first time I notes these things. Really great ideas. I hope one day, one of my fans sends me something good :D
 

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I actually sent beautiful little hand-crafted dream catchers to my super fans. My book is about an alternate dream catcher world, so it was symbolic.
 
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