Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Autographed Bookplates: Are We Famous Yet?

Pam Hillman Bookplate
(Actual plate wouldn't have a border)
by Pam Hillman

A few weeks ago the authors of The Homestead Brides Collection mailed bookplates round-robin style so that we could all sign them. The set is still making the rounds among the nine authors, but when we’re done, we’ll all have bookplates signed by all of us to either mail to someone or put in books at book signings.

I thought that was kind of cool, and I realized this is a topic that we hadn’t discussed in Seekerville. So here goes... :)

In its most basic form, autographed bookplates are labels signed by an author and mailed to readers when the reader owns a copy of the book, but distance prevents the author from signing the book for the reader face-to-face.

The Homestead Brides
bookplates making the rounds
to all nine authors.

Pros of Bookplates

Obviously, the nine authors in The Homestead Brides Collection are not all likely to ever be at a book signing together as a group. So, if you are part of a collection, having some bookplates signed by all the authors is a neat way to offer added value to your readers.

It's also a good idea to have your own personal bookplates on hand at book signings. When I asked the Seekers for examples or tips, Mary Connealy remembered being at a book signing with a man who ran out of books but offered signed bookplates to send home with his fans who didn’t get a copy of the book that day. Also, if someone forgets their book(s) at home, then a bookplate is the next best thing if they won't have the opportunity to see you again.

Julie Lessman's Daughters of Boston bookplate designed
for use with the four books in the series. Stunning!


Cons of Bookplates

I read one article where a reader spotted “signed by author” stickers in her local bookstore. Excited, she purchased the books and only discovered after she’d gotten home that the books weren’t actually signed but had bookplates in them. She was disappointed, and I can certainly understand why.

I’ll admit that I’m not one to write in books. I shudder when someone turns down the corner of a page. I go into convulsions when I see a book that’s been dropped in someone’s bath water (the ewww factor is only part of my revulsion).  So maybe I’m not the best advocate of signed bookplates. But I do like tastefully done bookplates (like Julie’s) and would very carefully adhere those to a beloved author’s book.

Julie Lessman's Personalized Bookplate
The Heart of San Francisco Series

I would caution to not ever adhere a signed bookplate to a book unless you are the owner of the book. That bookstore would have been much better served to offer the bookplates in conjunction with the books, but not actually stuck to the pages.

Along that line, VJ Books, a purveyor of signed bookplates, recommends, “A bookplate laid-in (simply placed, not using adhesive), enhancing the value of a collectible book, when a direct signature is either impractical or impossible. We do not recommend attaching these directly to a book. By gently laying them in the book you do not risk damage to a book, and should an opportunity arise where the book actually gets signed, the bookplate can be easily transferred to another title by the same author.”

Interestingly, the most expensive bookplate on VJ Books' site was one by Elmore Leonard (Justified) for $35.99. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a photo available of this prized bookplate.

Bookplate design by Pam Hillman
Suitable for Contemporary Romance or Women's Fiction


Types of bookplates

~ Bookplates can be very simple with just a small, elegant design in black and white, or very elaborate and in color.
~ They can be generic, or book/series specific like Julie's gorgeous examples.
~ Themed bookplates that match the author's style or genre could be fun and sometimes quirky.
~ Bookplates tend to be 3”x4” or 4” x 4”, but can be any size.
~ They can be on any color label with a border or with a faded edges so that it’s less noticeable where the bookplate ends and the book begins.
~ Even better, order or print bookplates on clear labels, and then the actual book page shows through.

Bookplate Design by Pam Hillman
Ideal for a Suspense Author :)

Should You or Shouldn’t You

I suppose having a large selection of bookplates isn’t really a big thing, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have some on hand if you plan to have a book signing. In addition, I've had people across the country ask how they can get a signed copy of one of my books, so a bookplate would be one option in that circumstance. Karen Kingsbury has a good example of how to offer signed books and/or bookplates to her fans.

So, what do you think? Do you like the idea of a bookplate? Would you stick one in a book, or simply put it between the pages? Or are they just not your cup of tea at all?

Bookplate Design by Pam Hillman
Simple, elegant, timeless design

The Homestead Brides: Promises of free land lured thousands to stake their claim to the vast American plains. They built make-do homes and put all they had into improving the land. Readers will enjoy nine adventures as God helps homesteaders find someone with whom to share the dream—the work—and the love.

To celebrate the release of The Homestead Brides Collection on February 1st, we’re giving away another copy TODAY! Let me know in the comments if you'd like to be in the drawing.

Also, since we’re talking bookplates, if you’d like a signed bookplate, go to www.pamhillman.com and send me a message along with your mailing address. Specify if you want one for The Homestead Brides Collection (signed by all the authors), or one for signed by me only. If you want it personalized, please specify that as well.

133 comments:

Marianne Barkman said...

Bookplates! I love your post, Pam. I would love to have a bookplate for the Homestead Brides collection that I'm hoping to win today! Thanks for the opportunity! Have a great day! NO LIMITS!

Melissa Jagears said...

I don't mind writing in books, and I am not nice to books, my grandma hated lending them to me because of how I brought them back. But really, they're going to get bent a bit if I'm taking them in my backpack to school!! I'd rather my daughter read than be scared to mess a book up, so I don't get onto her much about how she treats books either.....unless they're out of print.....Yet, stickers in a book actually make me uncomfortable for some reason, strange, esp. for one author. But with 9 authors, I'd suspect that would be the only way to get it signed. I think though, that I'd not put it in for one author, there's something to the fact that the author actually touched the book when they sign it....though they DID touch the sticker. I DON'T KNOW I CAN'T DECIDE I'M GOING TO BE UP ALL NIGHT NOW TRYING TO FIGURE OUT MY PHILOSOPHY ON BOOK PLATES!!!

Kara Isaac said...

I'm with you, Melissa. If it was truly not possible for an author to sign a book then I might "settle" for a bookplate (which I'd probably leave in the front of the book but not stick it in) but I love LOVE my collection of books with actual author autographs in them :)

Melissa Jagears said...

What about author signature Tatoos!!!??? You know, like the kind of sticker that's clear except for what's printed? That would look like a signature instead of a big old block of paper.

TADA!!!!!! THIS is my Philosophy. I'm going to buy me something like this and print me off some clear sticker signatures for when someone asks me to send them a book signature.....not that anyone has ever wanted one....

But at least I shall sleep tonight....maybe, after another chapter of editing....

Mary Preston said...

A lot of my childhood books had book plates in them. Not signed by the author, but by the person gifting the book. The book plates were ornate & incredibly beautiful.

Cindy W. said...

When I was younger, I bought a small box of bookplates that simply said, "This Book Belongs To" and had lines for the owner to write name, address or whatever. I placed them in my keeper books for awhile, then decided it was the greatest thing to do. But, I love the concept of bookplates signed by the authors being slipped between the covers of a book.

I would love to win a copy of Homestead Brides and would love a fully signed bookplate by all the authors as well.

Smiles & Blessings,
Cindy W.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Mary Preston, I remember those! They were lovely.... "This book is lovingly owned by: And we'd sign our name!"

Now, author bookplates, oh my stars and on my word, I've never even thought of such a thing, my readers must HATE ME.

Although I send out hundreds of books/year so mostly they get a Ruthy message inside, under the Bible verse.

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Julie Lessman, those are A-M-A-Z-I-N-G.

I'd save the bookplate and kiss it!

Honestly, my contribution to this convo is FOOD.... so I'm leaving a tray of brownies with caramel filling... I'm doing the recipe Thursday over at Yankee Belle.

I think the big Avery stickers make great bookplates, don't you? That's about my pathetic speed.

Signed,

Really Lame Author

Ruth Logan Herne said...

This is the problem when you have Ruthy in on a collection...

And by the way, VINCE!!!!! You're going to love my novella "Prairie Promises"!!! :) It's stinkin' charming!

Sorry, I got distracted, bragging. Shame on me...

These gals are SO STINKIN' GOOD at organizing things, a blog schedule, the bookplates, gang-signed, a gorgeous gift basket we all contributed to...

and I, of course, am clueless.

I just want you all to know that I recognize my weakness and I can own it.

Signed again,

Very Lame Author

Jessica Nelson said...

Thank you for the helpful post. I've often wondered whether to use them or not. I haven't so far...but I like writing in books. ;-)

Jackie said...

Pam,

Thanks for sharing. My grandmother always put a little bookplate in books she gave me, and she always wrote a message. I still have some of these books, and they are even more special to me. (I know this wasn't the point of your post.)
If an author signs a bookplate for me I'll attach it to the book. Otherwise my luck would be losing it. Maybe because I love books so much, the bookplate is a deeper connection to the author. Next best thing to autographing the book.
Thanks for sharing today.
Marianne Barkman, thanks for reminding me...No Limits!

Tina Radcliffe said...

These are super cool. I never thought about it before!!! What a cool designer you are, Pam.

Tina Radcliffe said...

Brilliant Melissa Jagears.

DebH said...

I've never thought about bookplates, erm... didn't know those thingies in front of occasional books actually had a name.
I try to keep my books in good condition and treat them well - but if it is a well loved book, hey, bent pages and drink spills happen. As long as that author autographed bookplate doesn't look like the signature was printed, I'm cool with it. Of course, if it's a bunch of authors, printed copies would have to be done, so that's okay with me there. For a single author though, I'm looking for pen crease or sharpie ink to make me feel like they really signed it for me. Bookplate or not.
I guess that's my philosophy...
Julie's bookplates are uber cool though.
Ruthy lame isn't even in my lexicon of descriptive words for you. Inspirational, loving, feisty... yep, yep, yep. lame? never

would love to win a Homestead Brides book (with signed Bookplate... is that being greedy?)

and after some thought...
I like Melissa's idea of author signature tattoos. Nice word picture for me.

Rose said...

I do like bookplates. I've only had a couple of author's offer them.

I've never used them myself, but now you have me thinking, maybe I should!

Myra Johnson said...

Interesting discussion, Pam! The only time I've offered bookplates was for my debut novel, One Imperfect Christmas. I had a few requests from faraway friends and other readers who wouldn't be able to get the book signed any other way, so I used my PrintShop software to create a Christmas-y border and a generic message on clear stick-on labels. Then I'd add a short personal note and my signature.

Sandra Leesmith said...

Hi Pam, Great article and good for you to find a topic we haven't discussed yet. Yay.

I have used book plates when I ran out of books at a signing. It was a wonderful way to give the fans what they wanted.

I love Julie's theme book plates. Leave it to Julie to be so creative and thinking ahead.

I like the ones you created also. Good idea to have them along in case you need one.

Thanks for sharing this, Pammers.

Julie Lessman said...

PAMMY -- SUPER CONGRATS ON THE UPCOMING RELEASE OF HOMESTEAD BRIDES!!

And the bookplate you designed is sooooo very cool and such a fun idea to have it signed by all authors. :)

I personally LOVE bookplates (obviously), especially for historicals because they (bookplates) seem somewhat old-fashioned to me, so it fits.

But I gotta tell you, Pam -- LOVE that suspense bookplate with the blood -- TOO COOL!!!

Hugs,
Julie

Julie Lessman said...

Thanks, RUTHY, for your sweet comment! The credit, obviously, goes COMPLETELY to Keith, who is truly a master in graphic design. And thank God, or we would starve ... ;)

You said: "I think the big Avery stickers make great bookplates, don't you? That's about my pathetic speed."

Uh, my bookplates ARE Avery stickers, Ruthy, which I have set up in the label template and pop them out as I need them. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Sandra Leesmith said...

Melissa, I'm so glad you came up with a plan. Its a terrible thing to lose sleep over book plates???? LOL

Sandra Leesmith said...

Thanks for the brownies Ruthy. Guess Avery is ok. That's what I used. The clear ones.

But I like the idea of the theme bookplates. Then you at least KNOW the author signed them. Not just some publicity person.

Sally Shupe said...

I love my signed books! I have a special place on my bookshelf for them. It makes them personal. I also fold down the corners, and in some books, I've been known to highlight a sentence or paragraph that I really liked. My well-worn books are the sign of a much-loved book!

Jennifer Smith said...

Thanks for this post, Pam; I had never heard of bookplates before. I like the idea, though I agree that you probably wouldn't want to stick them in/on a book without the reader's permission. I wouldn't mind a book where the author had signed and stuck in a bookplate, but I can see how many readers wouldn't be crazy about it. Either way, very cool idea, especially for a book where there were multiple authors. (I LOVE Julie's bookplates btw!) Would love to be in the drawing! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Pam stumbles in Gloria Jean's Mudslide coffee in hand. Hey, I finally broke down and bought a Keurig with my Christmas money, so we have Gloria Jean's Mudslide coffee and Vanilla Caramel.

Sorry, I'm fresh out of Hazelnut, but if it's your fav, I'll sent Ruthy out to get some. What's a little snow to our Ruthy?

Wow, 22 comments already. You guys are rocking!

cathyann40 said...

I'd love to be entered for a chance to win this book. I'd love to read it.

Kav said...

LOL -- I like Melissa's idea of author tattoos. I can see it now, each of us sporting tatts of our favourite authors, no on our books, but on our bodies! Now that's true reader dedication.

As to bookplates. I like the idea. But wouldn't an author go broke on postage mailing them all out? I don't think I'd attach the bookplate to the book, but it would be fun to add it to my bookmark/postcards collage I have displayed in my wee little study. Yeppers. That would be uber cool.

Pam Hillman said...

Marianne, you're name's in the cowboy hat today! :)

lol - Melissa, the things that keep us awake! HA But so true.

Pam Hillman said...

Kara, I too love my collection of signed books. When I loan books out, I rarely loan the signed ones, and NEVER loan out signed Seeker books. I mean, who does that???????

Janet Dean said...

Pam, interesting post! I can see that multiple authors in an anthology is a great opportunity to use bookplates.

I've used clear bookplates in the past but have had very few requests. My bookplate had my picture, not the book's title or cover as LI doesn't allow authors to use partial covers. So no gorgeous bookplates like Julie's.

Janet

Deanna Stevens said...

I like the idea of bookplates.. The ones you shared are lovely.. I have received a few from authors :) please toss my name is for the Homestead Brides...would be a nice birthday present today :)
Dee

Pam Hillman said...

That's the ticket...uh...sticker, Melissa. Clear labels are da bomb.

When my kiddos got married, the wedding invitations were a creamy tan color and we bought clear labels and I printed up a huge stack for my future DIL to use with their return name and address on them.

Unless you looked really close, you couldn't even tell they were stickers.

Pam Hillman said...

And Melissa, I would ask for your autograph in a heartbeat! :)

Oh, and clear labels: I've never written on clear labels but I suspect you need to use a permanent marker of some sort. I figure gel pens or regular ink might smear. Anybody have any advice on writing on clear labels?

Cindy Regnier said...

Mixed feelings about bookplates but mostly like them. I once won a "signed copy" of a book that was really only the book with a bookplate attached. Hard to argue when I didn't pay anything for it but not quite what i expected either. I really want that Homestead Brides collection - and a bookplate would be an added bonus!

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, the "owned by" bookplates are gorgeous aren't they? There are lots of beautiful examples on Estsy and in google images. Some are whimsical and some are funny.

Both types of bookplates... "owned by" and "signed by" would be a cool collector's item for the Bibliophile. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy, weren't those so pretty? I love the old-fashioned, vintage style bookplates.

Pam Hillman said...

Also, I just discovered that the term ex-libris also refers to bookplates. Who knew?

Pam Hillman said...

Ruthy, you can be a really lame author when it comes to bookplates as long as you keep supplying us with brownies. YUM!!! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Gang-signed bookplates? Hmmm, not exactly the image The Homestead Brides were going for, but, whatever... lol

Pam Hillman said...

Jessica, hence the "Ask the Experts" post! :) I like idea of offering bookplates, but I'm still on the fence on actually sticking them IN the books.

Granted, a gorgeous bookplate goes a long way toward making me want to stick it to a book. Second, I'm more inclined to stick a bookplate to a paperback than I would a hardback.

But my biggest concern would be the yellowing of the glue used on stickers. Have you ever seen the yellowed tape used by libraries 50-60 years ago to hold dust jackets in place? Completely ruined the book, the jackets and just everything. :( Okay, well, the fact that the books are stamped all over with library names and pockets add to the jaded charm, but I just want to rescue those poor little books.

Pam Hillman said...

Jackie, how sweet that your grandmother added bookplates and wrote you a message! Those are DEFINITELY treasured books and something you can pass on to your kids and grandkids. LOVE IT!!! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Of course I'll attempt to include a "signed by all" bookplate with the Homestead Brides giveaway today.

But those stickers are still making the rounds of the authors and as this rate, who knows when they'll be back.

No reflection on the fact that I just mailed them to Mary Connealy and then they have to go to Ruth Logan Herne, along with 3-4 other authors. USPS might operate rain, sleet, or snow, but they're slow as molasses to boot!

Pam Hillman said...

Ah, Myra, Janet and Sandra have used clear labels. Tell us about writing on clear labels. Any issues with that? Smearing, etc?

Pam Hillman said...

And, for the record, Erica Vetcsh is the brain-child behind the ... gang-signed Homestead Brides bookplates. So blame HER! lol

Pam Hillman said...

Yeah, Julie, I was thinking of some of my friends who write suspense when I made that one. I could see that one in a suspense book for sure. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Sally, my husband does the same thing. It's just a personality quirk. For instance, my sister marks and dates every sermon in her Bible and has for many years.

If the preacher mentions something profound, she'll write it in the margins. I think it's cool that she does that, but I've just never been able to do it myself. Old habits are hard to break. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Kav, it would be a cool collector's item, wouldn't it? As far as postage, Karen K requests readers who want bookplates send her a prepaid postage envelope, and they can only request 3 bookplates.

So, once an author gets to a certain level of success, they'd have to make adjustments for that kind of thing.

Pam Hillman said...

Janet, your comment reminded me of something else... in some books, the 4x4 stickers might be too large to fit on the title page, but an author does want a bit of space to leave a message.

Pam Hillman said...

Cindy, I agree. Signed on the page is 1st choice, but bookplates are the next best thing! You're in the drawing. :)

Jana Vanderslice said...

OK...I'm guilty! I highlight, write notes, put in stickies as markers, and fold down pages in books- but only in nonfiction/professional books and my Bible. It's so much easier for me to learn & remember if I can interact with the information. I even highlight & make notes in my EBooks. Lately, I've been highlighting & adding notes to fiction EBooks when I see a good quote or an example of a good writing technique that I want to remember. When I give someone a book, I always write them a personal note in the front of the book.

I had no idea this was controversial! This writing stuff just keeps getting more & more complicated. :)

*please put me in the drawing! Thank you, Pam the Great!

Meghan Carver said...

Good morning, Pam! Your bookplates are beautiful! I had never thought of not adhering a book plate to a book, but it makes sense to leave it loose so that it can be transferred to another book if need be. Still, though, I agree with the others that an actual autograph is preferred. (As I get to know more writers, I'm gathering quite a collection of autographed books. Love it!) When I have won books here on Seekerville, they always come signed. I appreciate that!

Vince said...

Hi Pam:

The type of bookplate I’d most like to see would be one with a picture of the author signing a copy of the book in her workspace. Make it personal. Make it visually self-explanatory. And share a little of the author’s world with the reader. “From my home to your home with love.” (Why not a little emotion?)

I do feel sad, however, for the neglected “Boston Brothers” and their wives, Emma and Annie. I guess only the real daughters count. Sorry, Sean and Steven, we hardly knew you. : )

Vince

Pam Hillman said...

Jana, don't worry about it being controversial. To each his own in this case. I love that you write notes to those you're giving books to. They know you especially chose the book for them. :)

You'd be a perfect candidate for your own Ex-Libris bookplates for your friends. I loved Jackie's story of her grandmother putting bookplates in the books she gave her as a child. So special!

Pam Hillman said...

Vince!!! So GOOD to "see" you and what an AWESOME idea!!! Yes, I MUST remember this.

Of course then I'd have to shower and wash my hair, and clean up my office....

Hmmmm... that sounds like a LOT of work...

Pam Hillman said...

Knowing Julie, I bet Sean and Steven and Emma and Annie have their own bookplates.

If they don't, they will by day's end! ;)

Sally Shupe said...

Pam, I cringed when I read your comment about your sister writing in her Bible. No, I can't do that. I take notes in a notebook and summarize the sermon on my facebook page. I can't even highlight in my Bible. One thing that really stops me, though, is the pages are too thin and there isn't enough room to write (that's two things lol). Maybe if I had a bigger Bible with thicker pages?

Courtney Phillips said...

While I wouldn't reject a book with a bookplate applied to the inside cover, I would rather not have any stickers on a book of mine.
I'm picky like that. My mom used to not use bookmarks when she borrowed my books. Then I made sure to put one in the pages before I gave one to her to read.
I like my books to stay in new condition if possible. :)

Don't have any problems with a non-attached bookplate though!

Samantha T said...

I'm a little contrary on this. I don't like for a book to have writing in it, stickers on them, or for it to get damaged. However, the exception is that I do like to get just the author(s) signatures when I can. Of the two options I prefer to have a booked signed over a bookplate but greatly appreciate them for when you can't connect to an author for a signing. I wouldn't stick it to my book but happily tuck it between some pages in the book.

Samantha T said...

Oh i forgot! Would love to be in the drawing please.

Pam Hillman said...

Courtney, that's a good idea, and a subtle hint to your mom. :)

Pam Hillman said...

Samantha, I lean toward your philosophy just a bit as well.

I think the exception for me would be stunning bookplates that are very clearly meant for a specific book or series, and where the author has great penmanship.

Well, that leaves ME out! lol

Julie Lessman said...

MEGA THANKS for the kind comments about my bookplates -- that's COMPLETELY my hubby's deal, although I get credit for the nagging ... ;)

PAM SAID: "Knowing Julie, I bet Sean and Steven and Emma and Annie have their own bookplates.

If they don't, they will by day's end! ;)"

LOL ... I don't think so. Poor Keith is so slammed with work right now that I dare not mention a peep. Besides, I figured the saga started off being about "The Daughters of Boston," so I figured the four on one bookplate were more than enough, especially since I don't have images for Sean and Steven. :)

Hugs,
Julie

Naomi Rawlings said...

I've never once used a bookplate for any of my novels, nor have I been asked for one, nor have I put one from another author in anything I've written. Guess I'm behind the times, huh? It's really just not something I've bothered with. It seems like there's already so many things that suck up writing time, so why add one more. That said, I loved the look of Julie's bookplates with the heroines from her novels. Did the publisher do that for her? If not, wouldn't the publisher have to give permission for the different cover art to be used? I can see that being problematic for certain publishers.

Keli Gwyn said...

My stand on bookplates? Hmm...

Since I donate most of the books I've read to our local library, I think I would add a bookplate inside a book if I had one. Non-writer readers would probably be impressed that the author's signature is inside. I mean, who wouldn't be when they see a bookplate as beautiful as Julie's masterpieces?

When my debut novel came out, I signed my bookmarks and sent those out. I even laminated some of them and put a pretty piece of purple ribbon on the top. I figured readers were more likely to keep an autographed bookmark than they were the book. (I can't be the only person on the planet who doesn't save every book she's read, right?)

Cheryl Baranski said...

I personally like signed book plates when I can get them from authors. I did have one that I didn't care for, it had been stamped with the signature and smeared.

Pam Hillman said...

Naomi, it probably is a small thing and more of a niche, but once an author designs a bookplate they like, they can just print one sheet 6 bookplates of 4x4 labels and they have something if readers ask.

We can tuck this little tidbit in the back of our mind for later, eh? And you'll probably get asked for one at your next book signing! lol

Melissa Jagears said...

I just got a request for a author signature tatoo! Now I must buy some and figure out what kind of pen works.....hopefully I can find a pen that works otherwise I will be so so very sad.

Jan Drexler said...

I love Julie's bookplates. I want some - both Julie's and some of my own! I'd love to have some for my next (actually, first) series!

I like the idea of bookplates for long-distance signing or when the book isn't available. This is something I could do!

But I still want Julie's :)

And if we purchase our own copy of the Prairie Brides collection, how do we get one of the signed bookplates?

One last thing - "ex libris" is on bookplates because it means "from the library of..." So the owner of the book would put their name on the bookplate, and then when they loaned their book to someone, that person would know to whom it should be returned.

Pam Hillman said...

Keli, I think that's an excellent idea. Some of us who are submerged in books and author friends might be a bit jaded by having more signed books than normal.

And I've signed bookmarks with a sharpie, too. I've had a couple of people to stop by and mention an aunt or mother who enjoys reading, but they didn't buy the book, so I send signed bookmarks or postcards with them.

Pam Hillman said...

Yeah, Cheryl, I don't think I'd care for that either. :(

Pam Hillman said...

Melissa, I don't think it's proper to practice signing your name on your kids... Just sayin' lol

Missy Tippens said...

Wow, Julie's are gorgeous! And so are the ones you designed, Pam!

I just use clear labels so they can put them in the book without worrying about covering anything.

Carla Olson Gade said...

Vince, what a sweet idea!

Mary Connealy said...

The Homestead Brides is NOW SHIPPING FROM AMAZON...and it isn't even February 1st yet!

Missy Tippens said...

Kara, I think I'm with you. A bookplate would be second choice. :)

Missy Tippens said...

Melissa, that's exactly what I use when I get requests for book plates! :)

Mary Connealy said...

Those book plates are so pretty.

Julies are just practically WORKS OF ART!

And Pammy I love that you've got a MOOD going on the book plates.

I really love the pink flower but the suspense one is kinda super cool, too. What a great idea.

The closest I've ever come to book plates is signing clear address labels, no design, no nothing. They can be put in a book and it really looks a lot like it's been signed.

I mailed a couple of sheets of them to a book club that contacted me.

Mary Connealy said...

So I haven't gotten the book plates to sign yet. When will they get here, Pam? How's it going?

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Did you notice how cleverly the AMAZING WITH GRAPHICS PAM said "Once you have a bookplate you like..."

Hahahahahahahahah!

I will own my techno-challenged-ness! And worse??? Gosh, I have no desire to learn and like Naomi said, there is already so much that time-sucks my day like a really good steampunk time machine.... SCCCHHHHLLLUUURRRPPPP... Day's gone!

And I'm the annoying person who guards my computer time zealously. Other than stopping in here and visiting with my buds on facebook/twitter, if I'm on the computer I'm writing a story.

This is my dream and I guard it like Elsa guarded the secret of her frozen powers... Because if I don't do that, no one else will!!!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

Julie... they are gorgeous.

Tell Keith 'BRAVO!!!!'

kimkate106 said...

I love the idea of a homestead series. Both of my great grandparents were homesteaders in South Dakota. I would love to have a bookplate signed by all the authors.

Pam Hillman said...

Whoohoo on The Homestead Brides shipping out.

Move 'em, move 'em, move 'em!

Wait, that's some trail ride song, isn't it?

Pam Hillman said...

Mary, they're in the mail! You should get them in a couple of days at least. Why are we having this discussion on a public forum?

Ah, we are building ANTICIPATION!!! lol

Now, if somebody chases down a USPS truck en route from MS to NE, we'll know where to start looking for the culprits!

Pam Hillman said...

Kimakate, how wonderful that your grandparents homesteaded in SD. You'll love The Homestead Brides! :)

Janet Dean said...

Pam, I had no issues. Can't remember now if I used a Sharpie fine point or a ball pen but suspect the latter.

Janet

DebH said...

Melissa
go for the sharpie. they seem to be indelible for EVERYTHING (so says the mother of a five year old boy...)

DebH said...

ps. RUTHY
if youse really want, I might be able to figger something out for you...

Tracey Hagwood said...

Hi Pam,
I so understand your aversion to people writing in books. I bought 2 books from amazon this week described as in good condition and both had writing throughout and one had spoilers at the beginning of every chapter, making for one unhappy camper.

I would love to have The Hometead Brides collection with a bookplate signed by all the authors. What a perfect solution. Please enter me in the drawing and thank you!

Tracey Hagwood said...

After going back and reading a few comments, I must admit I do mark in my Bible and any reference book I plan on keeping. Any other books I try to keep in good condition for the enjoyment of the next reader.

Cara Lynn James said...

What gorgeous bookplates, Pam!

Janet Dean said...

Pam, you are fabulous at technical stuff. Does it come easy for you?

Janet

Sherida Stewart said...

I love all your ideas about bookplates, Pam! Please enter me for the Homestead Brides collection.....and I'll be visiting your website. Thank you!

Leslie McKee said...

Please enter me in the drawing. Thanks!This is an interesting topic. I'm just having a chance to get caught up on some of the comments. I personally love bookplates. I never heard of them until a couple of years ago. I have a number of autographed books, but there are a number of authors I have met but didn't have their books with me. Thanks to social media, I have been able to connect with a number of these authors and receive bookplates so now I can have that autographed book that I wasn't able to get at the time. I have a special bookshelf where I keep these autographed books. It's interesting to see the different design that people use for their bookplates.

Pam Hillman said...

Oh no, Tracey. Spoilers BEFORE every chapter? That would be horrible! Goodness, I only thought someone working toward learning to plot.. like a wannabe WRITER ... did stuff like that! 8-\

Pam Hillman said...

Janet, it comes easy, but I can spend too much time playing with it. Since it's just for my own enjoyment, I don't have to have it perfect.

And, actually, I've decided to teach Ruthy graphics design and she's going to take over that aspect of things for both of us! lol

I mean she's a cake decorator. She's a shoe-in!

Pam Hillman said...

Sherida, you're in the drawing! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Leslie, so glad to see you. Like you, I think the specialized bookplates that reflect the personality of the author (loved Vince's idea of a photo of the author signing books in their office!) goes a long way toward making the bookplate special for the reader.

And if the reader has met the author at one time or another, it would be even more special.

Sandy Smith said...

I like having signed book plates for books which I could not get an actual autograph. I would attach the label to the book. Just setting it inside would be an easy way to lose it. But I agree that book stores might be better off to hand them out with the book so the purchasers can do as they like with it.

Please enter me for a copy of the book!

Pam Hillman said...

You're in, Sandy!

Isn't this discussion great?

First, we all will have a better understanding of what to do when we meet a famous author in the airport and all their books are at home. We can whip out our bookplates (generic ones would probably be good for this!) and request a signature or two.

Second, I'm relieved to know that I'm not crazy in that I just wasn't 100% sure about sticking any old bookplate in a book. This project bears much more thought and design moxie than first meets the eye. :)

kaybee said...

OH BRAVE NEW WORLD, I never knew such things existed. More to look forward to when I eventually publish.
I had a SNOW DAY today and was able to work on formatting entries for contests, plot work on "Town" as suggested by my oh so wise crit partner, and punching up the synopsis for "Trail." I love snow days, at least when we don't lose the power.
Would love to win copy of "Homestead Brides."
Kathy Bailey
Up to my knees in it in NH

Pam Hillman said...

Yes, Kathy, a snow day WITH power and lots of fixin's on hand for hot chocolate, a big pot of homemade vegetable soup, absolutely NO reason to get out on the roads, and a copy of The Homestead Brides.

Now, that's a snow day to look forward to!

Ruth Logan Herne said...

DEB H., REALLY?????

Would I ever use them, though?

See that's the thing. I'm that bad. And then I feel guilty as heck for not using them!!!!!

Oy, the pain of the guilt is a killer, Deb!!!!! Let me think about it, I hate wasting people's time.

Now, darling, if you get into the cover designing business with your talent, OY!!!!!! Because you know I'll be needing covers!!!!!

#ruthyloveswriting

Chill N said...

Many of the 100+ year old books I have feature bookplates in them, but the plates either establish he book's ownership (From the library of ...) or have messages written on them as the book was given as a gift. And you know how some of us have a little trouble adjusting to writing a new year? One of my books is from a man to his mother and when he wrote the date he had to write a 3 over the 2 ... for 1873 :-)

Something about a modern bookplate, signed by the author, makes me uncomfortable. Maybe because I want to have met the author to have the book signed or received it as a prize via Seekerville :-)

That said, those plates you designed (and Julie's) are lovely, Pam! I would definitely use them as a bookmark and then keep them in the book (unattached).

Nancy C

Vince said...

Hi Janet:

Love your new picture! It’s the kind that makes me wish I’d taken it. My compliments to the photographer.

Vince said...

Hi Ruth:

Is “Prairie Promises” part of “Homestead Brides” ? Is it a novella that I may already have from a separate purchase? The copy for “Homestead Brides” needs a little work. Is it nine novellas or is it one story with nine contributing authors? In any event, please put me in the cat dish of a chance to win a copy.

Becky Dempsey said...

It bugs me when people dog ear the pages of a book and-gasp-that's what my husband does!! (But I tell my kids to use bookmarks, so they don't pick up the bad habit from him!) I don't like writing in books in general, but an autograph or personal note in the front is nice. I've seen stickers with a picture of stacked books that I thought would work for a bookplate. I'd love to win the Homestead Brides!

Debby Giusti said...

Pam, stopping by late...so sorry. I was gone all day.

Love this topic. So fun and so fresh! I've never done bookplates. Perhaps in the future.

I agree with Janet (love the new pic, JD), you're amazing with picMonkey/graphics! I tried. Had to download something that wouldn't so I gave up. Need to give PM another try. You make it look so easy and so lovely!

How fun to have the group-signed bookplate. Oh, that Erica! She's one smart lady.

Hugs to all!!!

So glad NYC didn't get hit as hard as expected. Any Villagers in New England and snowed under? Praying for your safety...and for the power to remain on.

Deanne said...

I wouldn't write in a book myself and I don't like dog eared books either. I believe treating books with respect is the way to go. If I win a book though I think it's great if an author sends a personalized message in a book they have signed.I think bookplates are fun. I would love to win a copy of Homestead Brides and would love a fully signed bookplate by all the authors as well.
Thank you Deanne Cnnamongirl(at)aol(dot)com

Audra Harders said...

Pam, you have so much creativity hiding in you...it's beyond imagination that you are an organized whiz with spreadsheets, too!!

I love the examples of bookplates, but I guess I've never really given them much thought. I'll have to ponder and go back and read all the pros and cons offered by everyone...all 107 comments before me, LOL!

Carla Olson Gade said...

Chiming in again late as I had a glitch earlier...
Pam, the bookplates is a great idea. Although the author hasn't signed the book personally, it is still a meaningful way to make it special. In other group publications I have signed a postcard with each of the authors adding to it, and also sent the book itself around for each to sign.

Kelly Blackwell @ Heres My Take On It said...

I am very kind to my books. I am always blessed when I get an autographed book and I treasure it. If I get a bookplate, I typically leave it in the book but I do not affix it. I am always concerned I will mess it up. Bookplates do make great sense when it comes to compilations.

CatMom said...

Loved this post, Pam - - AND seeing the creative bookplates you designed!
I like bookplates - - and don't mind if they're stuck inside the book. Just so it's not covering any words, LOL. ;)
(Sorry I'm so late joining the party---was gone most of the day).
Hugs, Patti Jo :)

Pam Hillman said...

That is so funny about the man having to mark out 1872 and put 1873. And really cool that you've got a book like that. Sounds like you have an amazing collection of books, Nancy!

Pam Hillman said...

Vince, The Homestead Brides are 9 novellas by 9 different authors AND three of those authors are Seekers: Mary Connealy, Ruth Logan Herne and me (Pam Hillman).

Isn't that cool?

Pam Hillman said...

Becky, thanks for stopping by. I've been visiting at the nursing home and lost track to time!

Pssst... I don't like dog-eared pages either. I always use a bookmark. But, yes, my hubby reads on occasion, and he's bad to turn the pages down. :( But I bought him some bookmarks for his Bible and thank goodness he uses those.

Pam Hillman said...

Deanne, thanks for stopping by. Your thoughts on book protocol (for lack of a better word :) seems to mirror a lot of others who've posted.

You're in the drawing! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Carla, thanks for stopping by. So, you've sent the actual books around for everyone to sign? That seems like a LOT of shipping. I imagine the recipient of those book(s) was thrilled.

I bought a book by several ACFW members once titled A Novel Idea and a whole bunch of them were at the ACFW Conference that year. I know know how many I got to sign it. 8-10 at least. Very cool! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Kelli and Patti Jo, so glad you guys stopped by. Have a great night everyone! :)

Edwina said...

Pam, This was a great article. Loved your designs!

Heidi Robbins said...

I think bookplates are a great idea, especially when themed for a specific book or series like Julie's. I love images of vintage bookplates, too.

I'd love to win a copy of the Homestead Brides collection! Please put my name in the hat :)

Kelly Goshorn said...

Pam your book I won on Seekerville, Claimin Mariah, is the first author-signed book I'm privileged to own. I agree with Melissa when I think about the author holding the book and taking the time to write a brief note. When you love the characters within those pages, that hand-written signature adds personal value. Although practically speaking, bookplates are useful when those authors live far away and you haven't won a signed copy of their book! Speaking of, if I'm not too late to the party, I've had my eye on Homestead Brides and would be thrilled to win a copy!

Kelly Goshorn said...

Oh on another note, I can't believe Julie's gorgeous bookplates are printed from home on Avery labels! Leave it to Julie! Any chance you'd send one my way for A Passion Most Pure which I've read three times! Don't tell Pam, but its dog-eared to all my favorite Marcy & Patrick moments!

jubileewriter said...

I like this idea very muh. Gives the author time to make their signature legible. Less finger crams from mega book signings. :)
I don't write in books either. I think respect fro books ws drummed into me in grammar school. I rarely underlne in my Bible either. An autograph is a different matter. That's why I love it when I can read what it says.

ohiohomeschool said...

I usually just stick them in the books and enjoy them. They make the front of the book a little more personal. I love the colored ones. Signed makes them much cooler. It also depends on the type of book. With a paperback I have no problem doing whatever. With a hardback it would depend on the beauty of the bookplate. I tend to treat hardback books better. But, I do love the idea of bookplates. :-) Thanks Becky

Linda Goodnight said...

Very interesting post. I would love to know where Julie's bookmarks were made. And for the record, I would use the plates in my favorite books and would love to have some on hand to send to readers who request them. It's much easier and cheaper than having them send the book back-and-forth to me which my precious readers will sometimes do. Love my readers!

Pam Hillman said...

Edwina and Heidi, thanks for stopping by. Glad y'all enjoyed the post! :)

Pam Hillman said...

Kelly, that is so cool that Claiming Mariah was your first signed author copy. :)

PS... regarding Julie's A Passion Most Pure... maybe we need to send you bookmarks instead! lol

Pam Hillman said...

Thanks for stopping by, JubileeWriter. Your love of books makes you fit right in for sure! :)

Becky, I agree. I think we tend to treat paperbacks a bit differently than hardbacks. Excellent point!

Pam Hillman said...

Linda, so glad to see your smiling face here in Seekerville!

Julie's husband is a graphics designer and he made the bookplates for her. Once you get a design to fit a 4x4 label, you can pop 6-up in a Word doc, tweak it just a bit, then print them on a laser printer on Avery Labels. You can print them on white or clear. The consensus was that most of us think we'd prefer the clear ones. :)

Andrea Strong said...

Writing in books doesn't bother me. I underline, highlight, make notes in margins. In my Bible, I used to note the preacher and the date of the sermon in the margins. That's an interesting study in frequently read passages, but I suppose that's for another place and time.

I love signed books. I used to have none. Then I discovered Seekerville, and all the generous giveaways. Now I have several.

Bookplates at book signings is a good idea. I attended a 3-Seeker signing in Tulsa a few years ago, but I had loaned out all my Ruthy books, and had nothing for her to sign. :( Bookplates to the rescue!

Luckily, Ruthy is indelibly marked in my memory of that day (Ruthy, construe that comment however you must ;) I got some good pictures too.

I like the tattoo idea, too. I think a fine point Sharpie would be just the thing.

And I would LOVE to be in the drawing for the Homestead Brides. I'm envisioning a pretty awesome road trip to track down all those autographs...but who has time for road trips these days? Bookplate is definitely the way to go.

Patsy said...

Pam, the bookplate is so pretty. I love your writing and would love to read Homestead Brides. I have several books that are signed by the author. I keep all those books (afraid I won't get them back)! They mean a lot to me.

Pam Hillman said...

Andrea, pictures with Ruthy beats a signed bookplate any day. :) But a bookplate with her sig on it would be cool, too!

Jenny Blake said...

im really late was in the city. I like book plates and like the idea of just lying them in the book as if you do give it away to a library you can keep the bookplate and if you are like me and keep autographs put it in my auto graph book.

Pam Hillman said...

Hey, Jenny, so glad you made it by! :) An autograph book full of bookplates would be cool.