Not long ago I blogged about a book’s acknowledgments and dedications. In case you missed it, you can catch up with it right here, all my blogs remain permanently on my website.
Yet there is another type of dedication that I failed to mention—the one people ask for after the book is published. I’m talking about when people purchase a book and ask the author to sign and dedicate it to them or someone else. I know, they don’t really mean the actual dedication. They just want the author to write a stock dedication, something like keep dreaming, or reach for the stars.
There is nothing wrong with asking an author to sign and dedicate a book. I agree, it makes it more personal. And let’s face it, though I can speak only for myself, it’s flattering for any author. Yet it somehow feels awkward. Maybe even stressful.
Signing a book is easy. However, dedicating it creates other issues, things that might never have crossed your mind. Here are just few:
My first thought is what exactly do you have in mind? I’m unsure of what to write to you. Remember, we are strangers. Authors are creative, but not necessarily spontaneous.
Secondly, don’t assume I know how to spell your name. Is it Trisha or Tricia, Michelle or Michele, Lori, Laurie, Lorry or Lorie, Sara or Sarah, Joe or Jo, Tommy or Tommie, Tami or Tammy, Alan or Allan. And trust me, the list is endless. It’s helpful when the reader provides their name—printed, of course. Many authors have scratch paper and pens around just for that purpose.
Third, what exactly do you mean by dedicate it to you? You purchased the book. You paid for it. It’s not as if I’m giving it to you as a gift. The whole idea puzzles me.
Make no mistakes, I love my readers and am honored by each and every request. With every book-signing event I grow as a writer and turn into a better author. My readers are my spirit and motivation. But there is a difference between signing a book and dedicating a book.
I’d be honored to sign my book for you.