A couple of weeks ago I covered Autography, a prototype system for autographing digital books involving an iPad 2. Now Barnes & Noble is about to release an upgrade to the Nook reader that will allow Nook owners to have authors sign their e-books using a stylus. (Presumably via the touch-sensitive color LCD screen portion of the reader.)

Interestingly, eReader (which Barnes & Noble bought) long allowed authors to do something similar using an Easter Egg function of the Palm PDA reader client. I wonder if that’s what gave B&N the idea?

At any rate, for Nook owners this could be a rather better way to do book autographs than the complicated Autography system that would involve social networking and downloading and various rigamarole on the part of the author. Nook owners could just activate the autograph function, hand the stylus over, and get the signature. Just like with a paper book.

Which in turn makes buying a Nook start to look more attractive to “serious” e-bibliophiles. The wi-fi model is becoming available for $80 refurbished now and then, after all…


  1. It will be interesting to see how well this works. If the quality of the signature is as bad as those electronic credit card pads at the grocery store then this will be no good at all. I also wonder how long it will take someone to hack it so they can insert the electronic signature into other documents.

  2. I find this idea completely bizarre. If I ever got an author to sign a book it is very much a ‘physical’ thing. The ink on the paper. The connection with the physical act. Yes yes I am one of those who has NO patience with the preference for paper books based on ‘physical’ and ’emotional’ connections, but it seems to me that an electronic sig is a pointless and empty exercise. They can include a ‘scan’ of the sig with every eBook … what’s the difference ?

The TeleRead community values your civil and thoughtful comments. We use a cache, so expect a delay. Problems? E-mail newteleread@gmail.com.