Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Value of My Autograph

A recent Google-search for a copy of my book, Candles in the Dark, yielded dozens of results, which is amazing, seeing as how the book has been out-of-print for seven years.  Although my royalty-earning days for this book are long behind me, I was nevertheless astounded that one bookseller was asking a whopping $149.76 (plus postage and handling) for a single "new" copy containing my autograph.  (I have no idea when I signed it!)

Now . . . while I am impressed by the bookseller's gusto in asking such a premium price for one of my books (and a trade paperback to boot) I am even more astounded by the idea that my autograph would increase the value of the book by more than 1000%. As far as I know, not even Pete Rose or Yogi Berra or Tonya Harding command such high prices for their respective signatures at GenCon Trade Shows.  And I doubt that I could request $100 for my signature on the street, even if I carried a Sharpie and had a large literary following of well-read Benedictine nuns. 

No . . . but I'm not saying my autograph is worthy nothing.  My name is worth something.  I just have to figure out my street value.

Toward that end, I've been asking around.

Obviously, my mother thinks my autograph is worth a fortune.  Here's her testimony:

I remember that day in 1977 when you first wrote your name . . . you were 17 years old and I knew then that you would amount to something.  You loved to practice signing your name on your underwear elastic--I suppose you hated those wedgies and this was your way of creating your own identity--but I saved a pair of those BVDs in your baby book and removed the skid mark with All Tempa-Cheer.  I wouldn't take a million dollars for your autograph.  You are worth every penny we paid the doctor, which should tell you something, as you were unexpected.

Or consider this valuable testimony from Dad:

Value?  I still can't figure out how you missed that 15-foot jumpshot against Terre Haute North as timed expired.  You got your picture in the paper and sure, the cheerleaders went nuts, but you lost the freakin' game!  I did manage to sell the game program you signed, but the guy only gave me $2 for it . . . and he was drunk.

I also checked at several local pawn shops, and as one owner told me:

Never heard of ya', Pal.  I wouldn't give you a plug nickel for your autograph even if it was hammered in sterling silver and dipped in mother's milk!

As you can see, my autograph's value is in the eyes of the beholder.  I do plan to sign several napkins tonight and introduce them on eBay.  You should be able to pick up a bargain there.  Or, if you send me $19.95 (plus postage and handling) I'll be glad to sign some underwear.  But for that price, don't expect me to wash them.



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