Sunday, August 28, 2005

Photograph requests

I've been receiving a number of emails asking for signed photographs of me. While I know I'm good looking ;-), I'm confused. As a small press author who has yet to achieve greatness, I'm wondering why all the sudden requests have started to arrive. Is there something I don't know? Have I suddenly become desirable? (in the photographic sense). Being a small press author, I don't have signed photos as there’s no demand for them (sits here wondering whether people just want something to throw darts at). If anyone knows why there's the sudden interest, please let me know.


Shaun said...

Mystery solved. After a bit of internet snooping, I found a site on Yahoo groups: A1 Autographs. A group formed for the hobby of autograph collecting. My emails started arriving a few weeks ago when I received my first request. As a matter of courtesy, I sent a photo. The person requesting the photo then posted about his success on the Yahoo group, including my email address, which is why autograph hunters are now swamping me. I'm quite disappointed to learn there's not a legion of fans hounding me. If only they were as eager to buy my book ;-)

Lee Carlon said...

That's really quite bizzare. You should tell anybody else who inquires that you always ship a signed photo with any books bought direct from you.

Shaun said...

That's a great idea, Lee.

Mike Arnzen said...

Hey Shaun!

Same thing happened to me. At first I was skeptical, so I plucked a phrase out of the e-mail that seemed "canned" to me and dis a websearch on it. Low and behold one of the requesters had sent the same exact message to all sorts of people in the writing and music business. After some thinking, I decided to print photos off my computer for these requesters, and sign them. The photos were a head shot that I digitally messed with in a funny way, making it unique and scary. I figure it can't hurt to cultivate a potential fan, even if they haven't bought my books...yet. They might in the future, right? So what's the harm. The one thing I think you might insist on, though, is an SASE. You shouldn't have to pay postage to add an item to their collection.

Shaun said...

Hi Mike,

I did wonder whether to send more photographs, but the expense was one of the things putting me off, especially when I was getting quite a few emails a day asking for the same thing. You are right though that it might cultivate a buyer, but from visiting and reading some of the posts on the autograph collectors sites on Yahoo, a lot of these collectors just seem to email anyone, regardless of whether they've heard of them or not, and regardless of whether it's an autograph they really want.

Your new novel, Play Dead sounds great. I'll have to order a copy.