So here are the current ebook average sales figures based on the last 100 books for which I have new or updated figures. Average sales in the first month currently stand at 102 copies, average sales within the first year: 284, average total sales to date: 346. Back before I even began to collect figures my best guess was that first month averages would be: 100 and first year: 300. Even given that this is, no doubt, a highly limited and probably unrepresentative sample I am feeling pretty smug about getting that close. At least the lines are trending upwards, sort of.... If you haven't sent in your figures, or updated them, please do :) (veinglory at gmail.com)
And as for how not to sign a book... this is part of the 'how not to be an author' guide that I could write. One of the reasons I started this site was in the hope that I could collect some information and help a few authors out there avoid my own trial and error (mostly error) approach.
One of the things about writing mostly ebooks is that my first opportunity to sign a book came as something of a surprise. I have been a regular customer at my local Borders for almost two years now. As such I got to know Deb who always seemed to be on deck and ready to help me find whatever obscure book I was looking for. She finally discovered, through a mutual aquaintance that I was a writer (did I mention I am not good at self-promotion?). In the meantime I had been trying to order a copy of the charity anthology Dreams and Desires, in which my story 'Blood and Feathers' appears.
To make a long story short I ended up getting my copy direct from the publisher and let them know to cancel the third attempt at a special order. The world being perverse (as it so often is, I muse, looking out at the spring snow falling past my window) the book did turn up in store--and Deb bought it! Today she presented it to me to sign my story.
My advice to y'all who haven't done this yet: think about it. I dithered wondering what to write, feeling odd about defacing a book, then accidentally put my real middle initial on it before finally managing to sign my pen-surname. Then I needed prompting to date it and spent a while longer dithering and managed to remember to put the month first as per American date formatting. What a mess.
Next time I will be ready with a cute quip and practised cursive flourish. I can only hope that I get famous enough for my first ever authorial signature to be a valuable collector's item ;)