My book signing is approaching. In fact, next month at the beginning of May, I will be doing two book signings in the Morgan Hill area. Believe it or not, there are some traditions in how to sign a book and ways to make the whole experience eventful and easy on the writer. Here are some simple tips to help you prepare to autograph your books!

1. Decide where to sign.

Sign 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.

2. Personalize your message.

People want the book inscribed to them personally unless it’s a gift. 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.”

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.

Here are some typical phrases:

All my best

Thanks

In gratitude

To your health

Much appreciation

Warm wishes

Best regards

Onward

Your friend

4. Make sure your name is legible.

Consider the fact that someday your book could be a collector’s item! Make your name legible. Sloppiness is unprofessional. You should sign first and last name.

5. Add a date (optional).

Recipients will appreciate it when you date your inscription.

6. Use a good pen.

Never forget to bring a couple of high quality pens that flow. 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! Make sure the ink dries quickly too.

For those of you who autograph the cover or inside cover, a Sharpie will probably be your best choice.