Thursday, November 25, 2010

Debra – Autographed Books

First…Happy Turkey Day!

Next…let’s talk about autographed books.

So many readers love an autograph.  Personalized, of course.  Authors love to sign books.  I can’t tell you how warm and fuzzy I got at an Australia romance writers event when, instead of a GMC book, a woman stepped up with an old and tattered copy of BAD TO THE BONE and gushed.

Those are the moments you remember when it’s 3 a.m. and you’re pushing a deadline uphill like a square, two ton rock.

I was reminded last night that autographs are moments in time that we carry with us into the future.  My sister is moving.  We brought dinner to the new house so no one would have to cook.  As we’re leaving she says, “Wait!  I’ve found some books your friends autographed to you.  You must have loaned them to me and I lost them.”  She runs to one of the seven million boxes and returns with two books.

Book One.   THE WEDDING DRESS by Virginia Ellis
Gin died unexpectedly.  She’d been a stockholder in BelleBooks.  A dear friend.  When I pulled the book out, I smiled and my brain actually whispered, “Hey you!” as if to greet an old friend.  I had some lovely moments remembering the book and Gin.

Book Two.  WHEN VENUS FELL by Deborah Smith
Some would say that Deborah Smith and I are joined at the hip.  Now, anyway.  At the dawn of mankind (when I was just beginning to understand writing and publishing) I wanted to be the love child of Tami Hoag, Steven Hunter and Deborah Smith.  I thought Deb wrote the most amazing books.  She was a rising, shining star in the romance world.  Destined to become a NYT Bestselling author.  But I didn’t know her.

Eventually I sold to Bantam/Random House and I was introduced to Deb at publisher functions.  Over the years we became friendly and eventually business partners and these days we now talk and email so often that barely an hour goes by that we don’t communicate in some way.  Except when we sleep.  LOL!

So, back to last night.  WHEN VENUS FELL was published in 1998.  That was a year before anyone had ever dreamed or even whispered about a joint business venture  that would become BelleBooks, Inc. and its imprint Bell Bridge Books.

Deb- You are destined to run a publishing empire.”  Love Deb  --  Deborah Smith

I have to close now, because I need to go get Deb Smith to pick some lottery numbers for me.

How about you?  Do you love to autograph? Love to get autographed copies?  Have any autographs that are tied to people and memories that rush back when you read the autograph?


Patti (Book Addict) said...

I think an autographed book can make you feel more "connected" to the author. I love autographed books for that reason, and also if I went to a signing, there's the memory of meeting the author and the comraderie (sp?) of being with other like-minded fans.

catslady said...

I haven't been lucky enough to go to a signing but I have had the chance to talk to many authors online and when I get one of their autograph books it is something special. All signed books are but if you have any kind of connection, it's extra special.

Debra Dixon said...

Patti-- Yes, it's the memory attached to the autograph that is really "hitting" home with me. I don't know that I thought that much about autographs until last night. And now I'm really seeing them a new way.

Most writers have so many autographed books we do get jaded about them and now I'm realizing that I wish I'd taken more opportunities to get autographed books.

Debra Dixon said...

catslady-- The internet has made it so much easier for fans to make a connection with an author and to get more autographed books into the hands of folks like you who haven't been able to get to signings.

Boy howdy! Do authors appreciate the fans who come to a signing and they love talking with them. If you can get to a signing one day, you'll have a great time.

Michele Hauf said...

Wow, I think I need to get an autographed book from Deb Smith. Who knows what she will predict for me? :-)

That's so cool how you have those memories, Deb. I have a few prized autographed copies that I will probably rush to first if the house is ever on fire.

Yet as an author I'm always stumped what to write in the book for a fan I don't know. I try to be general, but who knows if that book might become a cherished treasure? The more personal the message, the better, I think.

Debra Dixon said...


I always feel pressured to "write fast" because someone is waiting.

And I always think other writers have better autograph lines than me! I think, 'How can they come with that stuff on the spur of the moment?!'

BelleBooks said...

When DD told me what I wrote to her more than ten years ago I immediately wrote to myself, "You're destined to meet George Clooney." lol But seriously, I'm a believer in off-the-top-of-the-head pronouncements. If they're truly spontaneous they often come from some deep spot inside us; meaning it's something we are motivated to create. Or not. I have a 1974 comedy club flyer signed by Steve Martin back in his stand-up days. Athens, GA. UGA campus. He signed "Deborah, Thanks for you know what." lol. I framed it.