In Monday's post I told you about author Margaret Atwood's involvement in designing a remote autographing machine. Amazed by Ms. Atwood's apparent failure to understand just why her readers wait in line to get her autograph on a book, I thought the machine was a profoundly dumb idea.
Now Abebooks.com, an online bookseller, has put up a poll for its customers. At this writing, 467 people have answered the question, "Will a book signed via machine be as valuable as one signed in person?" 96% of the respondents have said -- surprise, surprise -- no.
I'm guessing that the remaining 4% simply misunderstood the question.
I found this gem in yesterday's* The Globe and Mail:
"We quite understand the idea behind MargaretGee, Mr. Davies. Ya think?
Atwood's invention because, as she says in interviews,
she is an old-age pensioner [who doesn't want to face
the rigours of book tours], but the intriguing thing we
found is that it's not so much the signature that fans
care about, it's meeting the author in person, that's
the real thrill," said Richard Davies, a spokesperson
* Once again, when I posted this link it was a freebie, but now you'll be redirected to a "you must register" page. More and more newspapers are offering their "fresh" news for free, but after a day has passed, you must register to view articles. That's a pain because bloggers like me link to news items without realizing that by the time our readers head over there, they'll be confronted with one of those annoying sign-up screens. Aargh. This particular article was very short, so you're not missing all that much.