Thursday, April 1, 2021

Google Search: What to Write in a Gift Book


My Google search heralded this question this week: What to write in a gift book?

Well, it depends on the definition of "gift book." Is it a Christmas or birthday gift? That's simple enough.  Is it for a special occasion like a graduation? That could also be relatively simple to write. "Congratulations on completing your degree!" and the like. 

But what do you write in a book that you yourself have written? What do you write when it's a random fan who wants an autograph? That has always been where my creativity dries up like a spilled soda on the hot sidewalk in July. I've settled on some of the simple lines. "Thanks for reading," "Join the adventure!" "Thanks for the support," and so on, but I have often felt that this is sort of a let down for the person receiving the book. Surely, they are expecting something profound and personal from their favorite (maybe) author.

Sometimes I look to other authors' inscriptions in the books I've gotten for inspiration. For instance, I got a signed copy of 'Ghoul' by Brian Keene years ago, and he had written "Who are the REAL monsters?" in it, which makes sense once you read the book. I also got a few books from authors where literally all they did was sign in, and that was okay too.

I guess what it comes down to is what the person you're signing the book for is all about. Sometimes they only want a signature because they plan on selling it later, or they want you to sign it to someone else. I guess this is where I tend to overthink what the inscription should be.

I'm curious to know what other writers like to do for their inscriptions. If you're a writer, give me some ideas!

Stay weird.

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