Recently one of my writing friends said something that surprised me. When she does a signing at a school, bookstore or fair, she signs each book the same way.
This is something that I had never considered. But really there is no need to write a completely unique inscription in each book. Yes, you can include the child’s name but you have a set way to sign this particular book.
And while we are talking about the child’s name, don’t ask each child their name. Give each child a post-it note and ask them to write their name. The post-it note goes inside the book cover. Then when the child hands you the book, you flip the cover open, check the name, and sign the book.
It just requires a little prep-work. You need to decide how to make the signature unique and special. What do I mean by special? For younger kids, special and maybe just a bit silly is always good. For a book set in a blackberry patch, you might sign it, “Dear (child’s name), I am berry happy to meet you.” If your humorous picture book includes a duck, you could say “Dear (child’s name), I hope this story quacks you up.”
If your book is about a serious topic, a silly joke wouldn’t be the right way to go but there are still things you can do to create a unique signature. A story about immigration might get rubber stamped with a globe or an airplane beside your signature. “Dear (child’s name), thank you for joining (character’s name) on their journey.”
Stamps and stickers, a special pen and colored ink, clever lines and sincerity. They are all ways that you can make your signature special and book specific while still saving time. It may not seem like a big deal but one day don’t you hope to sign books for all 20 children in a first grade class?