A Pen Mightier Than Any Sword

Have you ever signed a document or form and the pen smeared?

How did that make you feel? Frustrated … irritated … or just plain pissed off? Well, imagine being a writer and hosting your a book signing for your latest (or very first) book? How embarrassing!! I recently attended an Author’s Book Fair at the Hudson Library & Historical Society last Saturday (July 19th) in Hudson, Ohio. I had the privilege of meeting some very talented authors which I will blog more about in the near future. My main takeaway was that all 50-some authors were signing books with a black Sharpie. I don’t know why this felt like a mind-blowing revelation to me but I was like wow!  Genius!  I am so glad I picked up on this because I just had my first book signing last night at The Nervous Dog Coffee Shop in Akron, Ohio and I was just planning on using a nice blue that I found laying around our house. Yikes! That would have been a horrible lasting impression if that pen had smeared. ‘The Diamond Thieves‘ is the title of my first book in a young adult historical fiction trilogy entitled Extra Innings.

I’m sure most writers agree that quality is a top priority in their writing. Many writers, like me, are very private about their work and not willing to share it with the general public or even friends and family until it’s just right.  Well, I believe this Attention to Detail should also be applied to any and all interactions with anyone in conjunction with your writing.  Details go a long way.  Imagine the impression your customer who brings their signed book home only to discover that the author’s signature or personalized message has been smeared and indecipherable.  That’s major negative points against your overall quality reputation.  So here’s just a quick and very simple (BUT IMPORTANT) tip for all you writers out there:

Use a Sharpie when signing one of your books. Sign on one of the inside blank pages and NOT immediately inside the cover in case the Sharpie bleeds through. Remember, Attention to Detail is one of the ‘3 Key Qualities to a Successful Writer/Blogger’ (see my previous blogs).  Oh … and one more small suggestion:  I think black just looks the most professional when signing a book.

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