East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

I’m a winner, I’m a sinner, do you want my autograph?

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And yes, that’s a quote from Supertramp’s Breakfast in America – but I’m not going to talk about that (great record, incidentally, part of my growing up etc.).
It’s lunchtime, not breakfast time, and as I’m skipping lunch, I’ve caught a small bit of silly fluff on the socials that made me feel like writing a letter to the director.
As we old people do.

A local influencer posted on Facebook the reason he dislikes ebooks

how do I get an autograph from the author? Do I ask the guy to scrawl his name with a sharpie on my e-reader?

Now that’s a problem, ain’t it?

Well, actually it ain’t.

When I published my very first self-produced e-book, back in – wow – 2013, I ran a small contest, and the first five reviewers got a special edition of the ebook, with my signature and a personal note on a white extra page after the cover.
Nice and smooth.

But really the point is another.
Why would somebody want my autograph?

As a way to increase the value of the book from a collector’s point of view?
In this case, that’s a bad premise, because digital copies make the whole collecting thing pointless, as everything exists in infinite multiples.

And you can’t resell your ebooks, so there.

Or are you asking me your autograph as a sign of your respect and appreciation?
Because in that case, a much better sign of respect and appreciation would be posting a review of my book, somewhere.
Or maybe buying it instead of downloading it from some pirate website.

The fact is, I’ve been getting this paper vs digital thing for over ten years now, and nobody seems to take into account the stories, or the accessibility of those stories, or the plain simple fact that some might like what we actually do not.

It must be because I’m on an empty belly.
I get grumpy like that.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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