The evolution of tools is especially apparent in knowledge work. Authors, for example, have gone from bone and ivory tablets, to paper, typewriters, computers, and back to tablets. Amazon told us in May that that they are selling more Kindle books than print books. But books aren’t all only about writing, selling, and reading. They are also about the artefact of the book. Books can be beautiful — and books can be signed by their authors. At least until the ebook form. Developers are having to create tools that will enable authors to sign books in a meaningful way.
Evolution of the autographed edition
In May of 2008, Novelist Jennifer Weiner signed the back of a Kindle that contained her work, Certain Girls. In October of 2010, President Obama signed an iPad — digitally — but that was just for his signature and used a drawing program.
KindleGraph and Autography hope to provide the tools that let authors sign and interact with their readers. Others think that digital autographs are less important than something that shows the reader with the author. Rachel Chou, chief marketing officer for Open Road Integrated Media told the New York Times: “We’re struggling with the idea: is it about the autograph or is it about the takeaway that you met that person?