Author’s Signature

This is Cat Hartliebe’s signature.


One of the forgotten items of an author is the signature.

Okay, it’s not really forgotten. It’s just not one of those most important parts of an author’s life.

Right?

Signed copies are desired once you get over the hump of people being interested in your work. That means a signature matters.

Many authors have pen names. That’s the signature you need. And if you are using your real name, I’d still suggest creating a signature for your author life.

Why?

It’s meant to be special. There’s interest in signatures for the readers. They want a signed copy if that’s an option.

Most want a signed copy if that’s an option. Not all. I’ve meant people who disapprove of anything written in a book.

Why should it be different than your normal signature?

If you’re using a pen name, it needs to be the signature of the pen name, not your real name. They aren’t interested in you as a person, but as an author. It’s a public file basically.

If you are using your real name, there is a concern with identify theft by using your real signature. Not that anyone actually tries to match signatures. But even more than that it creates a level of difference between you and your public profile.

There should be a difference. What you show the public should be your best form, your best face, your best identity. Public figures aren’t allowed weaknesses or bad days or anything wrong.

You’re the one who decided to publish. You created a public identity. Go back into hiding if you dislike that side of fame. Unpublish everything and return to hobbyist.

No one says you have to publish.

You can even just do one-offs in random collections or contests. Never amounting to much. Refusing all spotlight. That’s fine. No signature required then.

Now that you have the reason why you need a special signature, it’s time to decide on one.

Weigh what your genre and themes typically is. Your signature should have some level of reflection. It doesn’t have to be much. You can create a doctor’s scribble that works for everything. Mine pretty much is.

It’s more, don’t dot your ‘i’s with hearts if you write horror. Don’t draw a pet print unless animals are a common occurrence in your stories. Does the signature you plan on using make sense for your genre and theme?

If it does? Good. Moving on.

Now practice. Write and rewrite your signature by hand all over a page. Rewrite it a hundred times. Figure out if it’s good. If you can handle that much. You want something easy and quick that still shows you.

It doesn’t matter so much if you write it a hundred times. The more, the better, but there is a set number before you’re certain on the look and feel.

Next time you order some of your books, sign some of them. Decide where on the title page or book you’d want to sign. Figure out what type of pen or color or market or whatever to sign with. Make sure those match in some way to you or the story.

I have a collection of colored pens. Easy to use and comfortable in my hands. (Staedtler ballpoints are nice.) Then I match to the colors on the cover. Troubled Royals gets purple. Unwanted gets brown. Dragon Rider 6th Grade gets green. The signature is the same. The placement between the title and the author on the title page is the same.

There’s so many questions about the signature. And most authors don’t ask them until they have to sign sixty books for a promotion.

That’s not the best time to decide on your signature.

I would suggest weighing options and ideas while waiting for your first book to format. Before it’s published have an idea. Spend an hour weighing options. Signed a bunch of random stuff.

The author signature is important.

Even more so if you have a pen name like I do.


[About Cat Hartliebe] [Cat Hartliebe’s Books]

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