Digitally Signed Books: The New Fad

The Los Angeles Times announced today that there is a new big thing in the world of ebooks: the e-signing. For ages authors have sat around bookstores doing signings for fans. I myself collect signed books. But now clever authors are taking this old marketing tool to a whole new place -- the internet.

Robert Kiyosaki is writes the "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" series, which we've all heard of. And he's not new to avant garde marketing. After famous financial guru Suze Orman gave away digital copies of one of her books in 2009 on the Oprah show, Kiyosaki did sort of the same thing, giving away a copy of one of his books, albeit in pieces, as he was writing it. When the book was done, he stopped giving it away and it immediately became a New York Times bestseller. (So did Suze Orman's.)

But now, inspired by fans who were asking him to sign their Kindles, Kiyosaki has invented a new phenomena -- a one-day-only digitally signed book. I've included a copy of the digital book plate in this post. Here is what he told the LA Times:

"You always need some kind of incentive to make things exciting and to get people to pay attention to you," he said.  "Our job is to attract as many eyeballs as possible. And in the world of competition you have to do something different, and autographed e-books is something new."

UNFAIR ADVANTAGE_Cov#199021Indeed.

The special digital signature will be given away only to those who buy a copy of his book, called "Unfair Advantage," on May 26. Book price: $10.

He is not alone in digital innovation. The LA Times reports in their article that two weeks ago, "children's author Sandra Boynton signed copies of her e-book "The Going to Bed Book" at a Barnes & Noble location in New York, using a stylus and special copies of the book offered for the Nook Color e-reader, according to CNet."

And this:
"A new company in St. Petersburg, Fla., called Autography is working to build an application that would allow authors to send autographed pages to a consumer's e-reader, complete with personalized messages."
So the publishing world continues to evolve at digital speed. I'll let the Kiyosaki have the last word, per the LA Times:
"We won't know for another 10 years if this will be collectible or not," Kiyosaki said of the signed e-book. "I treasure my autographed books, and I have my old copies of books that I hold onto with the signed page and I cherish them. I don't know if a digital page with my signature will mean the same for someone as my signature in their book, on paper. But there's one way to find out."