KindleGraph for Author-Signed Ebooks, Designer Evan Jacobs

KindleGraph and Evan JacobsKindleGraph allows authors to autograph ebooks with a digital inscription that goes directly to the Kindle. It was created by Evan Jacobs, a very bright man and former Amazon developer. The program allows a brief note and signature to be added to the cover page of any Kindle ebook. It’s been around since May 2011 and already has 2,000 authors representing over 9,000 books (a number which seems to be rising daily). What a smart feature for both readers and writers who want a more personalized experience.

If you’re an Indie author wanting to participate, the sign up is free and easy at the author page at KindleGraph. Sign in with your Twitter account and enter the ASIN of your books to be alerted when requests come in. For readers wanting to request an autograph/personal note for any book, simply type in the Amazon ASIN to send a request to the author.

Evan, how did you come up with this project?

I came up with the idea for Kindlegraph because I felt awkward going to an author reading without anything that the author could sign for me as a memento (since I owned the author’s book on my Kindle). I built the first version of Kindlegraph during a two-day programming competition in May.

Just two days? Wow. Do you have affiliation with Amazon on this?

If you click through on any of the books listed on Kindlegraph you will be directed to Amazon.com where I’ll get a small affiliate fee from your purchases. Otherwise there is no affiliation with Amazon. I should also note that I spent about 10 years at Amazon as a software developer although I never worked on the Kindle or Books teams.

It says now the Kindlegraph is a separate document from the ebook; might that change anytime soon where it can be a part of the book?

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, it would be nice to integrate the Kindlegraph into the book, but on the other hand I like keeping all of my Kindlegraphs together in a collection on my Kindle so I can easily find them and look at them.

It’s awkward for me to draw my signature with a mouse. What are alternative ways to make my custom signature as accurate as possible?

I’ve heard this from a few other authors and I know that using a mouse for this kind of thing isn’t easy. It does get better with practice but many authors have also had great success by using an iPad or other tablet which enables them to draw with their finger. I also want to note that it’s important to capture the signature in this way because in enables all kinds of interesting transformations (e.g. resizing, animating,etc.) that simply wouldn’t be possible if authors, for example, scanned their signatures and uploaded them.

Evan, what do you envision for the future with it?

The future is all about enabling a stronger connection between authors and readers. Today, Kindlegraph serves as the “introduction” between author and reader, but I’m currently working on several ideas to make it easier for authors to stay in touch with their existing readers as well as be exposed to new readers.

Any tips for making the most of Kindlegraph?

In a way, you can think of Kindlegraphs as a new form of “social media.” People like to share their experiences with their social networks, and they are more likely to share Kindlegraphs that are fun and personalized so I would encourage authors to inject a bit of their personalities into their Kindlegraphs. Also, I’ll soon be launching a feature which allows a reader to leave a short message for an author when she requests a Kindlegraph. This message will provide a little bit of context to the author and will allow the author to personalize the Kindlegraph even more.

Do readers need to own a Kindle to receive a Kindlegraph?

No, readers can enter a regular email address at the time of their request and they will receive your Kindlegraph as a PDF attachment via email.

Do I need to have a Kindle version of my book to sign up for Kindlegraph?

No, any book (even paperbacks and hardcovers) can be Kindlegraphed as we simply attach your inscription and signature to a cover image of the book.

Interesting stuff. Thanks for designing and sharing, Evan!


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