Authorgraph, baby, the neatest author aid since the invention of electronic word-processing devices! Okay, maybe I’ve been half asleep at the switch, but I hadn’t heard of Authorgraph (formerly called Kindlegraph) before. I was so excited, I rushed out (electronically speaking) and signed up for the free app.
What is Authorgraph? you might ask, and rightly so, trying to clear yourself of the storm of writerly enthusiasm energizing each keystroke of this article. Authorgraph is an application developed by a fellow named Evan Jacobs of Seattle, WA. The app originally came out as a service of Amazon’s Kindle e-reading device and was called a Kindlegraph. Last year, the software was upgraded to be able to work on almost any e-reading device, including Nook and Sony, thus necessitating the name change of the app. Here’s how it works:
First you sign up for your free Authorgraph account. You will also be directed to allow Authorgraph to use the information on your Twitter account, and the URL of your finished Reader Request form will include your Twitter name. Once your new account has been confirmed, you set up your signature by going to the Add A Book to Authorgraph page and inserting your Amazon ASIN number (see below for how to find this number) in the space provided. That’s it. Could anything be easier?
You need to do this on an individual book-by-book basis, and each request will be completed through an automatic process, wherein you receive the request via Authorgraph. You then add your note and insert your signature and send the finished Authorgraph to your reader with a picture of the specific book cover. Below are Authorgraph’s answers to some frequently asked question by authors about the implementation and use of their Authorgraph signature..
1. What is an Authorgraph?
It’s a personal, digital inscription for an e-book. It is sent directly from an author to a reader’s digital reading device.
2. What does an Authorgraph look like?
Here is an example.
3. Is Authorgraph.com affiliated with Amazon?
No, Authorgraph.com is not affiliated with Amazon except that Authorgraph.com earns an affiliate fee for any books purchased from Amazon.com after clicking on one of the Amazon links on Authorgraph.com.
4. What is an ASIN?
ASIN stands for “Amazon Standard Identification Number”. It is 10 characters long and may include both numbers and letters.
5. How do I find the ASIN for my book?
The ASIN for your book is right after ‘dp’ in the URL of your book on Amazon.com.
For example, in the URL http://www.amazon.com/dp/0061977969, the ASIN is 0061977969.
6. Do readers need to own or buy my book in order to receive an Authorgraph?
No, but readers who request your Authorgraph are very likely to be current or future readers.
7. Do readers need to own a Kindle device to receive an Authorgraph?
No, Authorgraphs are viewable on a wide variety of platforms. Readers can simply enter a regular email address at the time of their request and they will receive an email with links to download a PDF version (viewable in applications like iBooks) or an AZW version (viewable in all Kindle apps on iPad, iPhone, PC, Mac, etc.) of their Authorgraph.
8. Is the Authorgraph inserted into the e-book?
No, it is a separate document. This allows a reader to create a “collection” where she can keep all of her Authorgraphs together.
9. Do I need to have a Kindle version of my book to sign up for Authorgraph?
No, any book (even paperbacks and hardcovers) can be Authorgraphed, as your inscription and signature are simply attached to a cover image of the book.
10. Does an Authorgraph use my real signature or does it just print my name in a script font?
One of the most distinctive features of Authorgraph.com is the ability to actually draw your signature. This signing takes place completely in the browser window using a mouse (or your finger if you use a tablet). However, there is also a default option that allows authors to print their name in a script font if they don’t want to use the signing feature.
11. Can Authorgraphs be personalized?
Yes! Every Authorgraph goes only to the specific reader that requested it so an author can write a custom message for each reader. In addition, readers can include a short message to the author in order to provide a bit more context for personalizing the Authorgraph.
12. Is there a cost to send or receive an Authorgraph?
Requesting, sending and receiving Authorgraphs are free! However, if a reader uses Amazon’s Personal Document Service to receive the Authorgraph on his/her Kindle, then Amazon may charge a small delivery fee.
Once you have requested to add your book to the Authorgraph signature system and it has been confirmed, you will receive a widget that will show the Request for Authorgraph of your book to be used by readers. You also have an option to send your Authorgraph to new readers and loyal fans by accessing the Authorgraph Live page. As I told Evan in my note to him (as suggested by him in order to test it all out), this great aid is the coolest thing to hit authors since the invention of the word-processing machine!