Dec 24, 2012

Beautimus Bookplates & Awesome Author Autographs

("Ex libris" is Latin for "from the book")
((To get right to business, scroll down for a list of authors who will send you autographed bookplates.))

          Bookplates! No, not plates with images of books on them, or an open book holding a piece of toast. I mean those rectangles of paper, sometimes sticky on the back, that you put in the front of your books. You can either use these rectangles to denote your ownership of said books if you write your name on them OR, even better, you can get authors to sign them and your books instantly become autographed! Now, you might think, well, if I have the book already, why don't I simply ask the author to sign in it directly? Why do I need this possibly sticky-backed rectangle of paper? It's in case you don't have the book yet, or on your person at the time of the signing, or if you want an autograph to give as a gift or as a giveaway and you don't have extra copies of the book, or you want to stick it on your forehead, I don't know. But bookplates are awesomely handy, especially if you're not rich enough to buy every book you might have the chance to get an author to sign. And you know what? As much as we'd like to think so, author (and illustrators too) aren't superheroes. They can't visit every town or every city in the world to come sign your books. So enter the bookplate, the handy, small, thin, and oh-so-mailable item that can carry the valuable scrawl of those not-able-to-be-every-where book people.
(One of my own bookplate templates. Click on it for the original size. You can save it and use it if you like. It's transparent)
          I like to carry bookplates with me to all of the book signings I go to. I do this because 1) I might not have the book (oh, the monies) 2) I would like an autographed bookplate or two to use in future blog giveaways 3) someone at the event realizes that they do want an autograph after all but they left their book at home, or don't have money to buy one, and/or are positive that their niece/nephew/grandchild/best friend who is not present but who owns the book would love an autograph--so I kindly give them a couple of bookplates (or address labels that have become bookplates) to get signed and explain why these little pieces of paper are relevant to the situation.
          The start of my bookplate usage for autographs, spurred by necessity from lack of monies (which persists), began with sheets of sticker paper for my printer. You can get these on Amazon or at Michaels or office supply stores. I drew some bookplate frames on my iPad (one is shown above) and then imported the image to a Word document and copy and pasted it until I had a sheet of many cut-out-able bookplate stickers. I used my little paper cutter and sliced the pages until I had a small stack of nice looking bookplates. Eventually, because of my often lack of preparation, I resorted to cutting the sticker paper plain (without running it through the printer) and then hastily scribbling a border onto the resuling bookplates. Then, from even more time-crunches right before events, I thought, "why not get something like those 'Hello, my name is' stickers, only blank?". So I did. I found them on Amazon and they were awesome. And then I ran out. Next, I found some white labels of a decent size in the office supply section of the local campus bookstore. They were blank address labels. They are what i have now and they're great too. My dream item though, is a pack of clear chipping labels. Clear is totally the best because it's as if the author has signed directly onto the page! Or if you have a boxed set you want the autograph on--the clear label won't cover any of the images! Or for a poster? Or other swag? Anyway, you get the idea.

          Traditionally bookplates are illustrated with a small area free for the name of the book owner so that borrowers of the book know whom to return it to. I remember I had bunches of illustrated bookplates when I was a kid. "This book belongs to" with a fuzzy kitty or a scantily clad warrior woman riding a Pegasus--oh the tatas (thank you Boris Vallejo--shown right). I thought bookplates were cool. Stickin' 'em in, scribblin' my name. These books are mine. Yeah (said with a deep sense of satisfaction).
           But now bookplates are so much more to me. Not only is this book mine (which I don't necessarily need validated anymore by inscribing my own name), but it's got the author's signature in it. Whole new level of cool, ne?

          So below I've compiled a list of authors (and a few illustrators) who have said on their websites that they will send you bookplates. Some simply require you to fill in an online form and they will cover the mailing cost, while others rightfully ask that you send a self addressed stamped envelope (SASE) and they will gladly mail you one. You may be asked to write a review or provide a proof of purchase as well. Whatever you do, make sure you read the instructions carefully and as always, give a big bundle of thanks to the authors. It really is a sweetness to their readers that they would take the time to give you a little something something. And don't we just think they are rock stars? *_* "uhh, can I get your autograph please?" *collapse*
           I've also made a few simple bookplate stickers on my Zazzle shop, if you want to take a peek. Authors who advertise that they do bookplates will have their own supply, but if you've got a favorite author and you're not sure if they do bookplates, you can contact them via email to ask and/or send them a SASE with your own bookplates for them to sign. You can purchase already made bookplates, or make your own in any of the ways described above. If you do a Google image search you can even find a bunch of bookplate templates to use if you go the printer + sticker paper route.

Offers ending soon (possibly) from holiday 2012:

(YA) Jessica Khoury, author of Origin.
(Happening NOW until New Year's Day) Click here.

(YA) L.B. Schulman, author of League of Strays.
(Happening NOW until Dec. 31st! Quick!) Click here

(PikBk) Various authors & illustrators: Jim Averbeck, Gianna Marino, Maria van Lieshout, Melissa Guion, & Dashka Slater.
(Happening NOW, not sure how long it'll be going on.) Click here

(YA)  Diana Renn, author of Tokyo Heist.
(The offer is for the holidays, but it may last longer--what if you receive a copy of her book as a gift? It's via email, so no postage lost in asking.) Click Here

(YA)  Tiffany Schmidt, author of Send Me a Sign.
(This offer is also centered around the holidays, but it seems like it's all right afterwards too. Again, it's online, so won't hurt to ask.) Click here

(The Raven Boys bookplate with
illustrations by Maggie Stiefvater)
Ongoing (maybe):

(YA/MG/PicBk)  Ursula K. Le Guin, author of The Earthsea Cycle, Annals of the Western Shore series, Cat Dreams, and many other books. Click Here

(YA)  Maggie Stiefvater, author of the Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy, the Books of Faerie series, The Scorpio Races, & The Raven Boys. Click Here

(YA) Kelley Armstrong, author of The Darkest Powers series & Darkness Rising series.
(This is going to Canada so make sure your return postage is correct. Do it at the post office.) Click here--PDF

(YA) Sarah Beth Durst, author of the Into the Wild books, Drink, Slay, Love, Enchanted Ivy, Vessel, & Ice.
(Whereas her site doesn't say anything about bookplates directly, I sent Sarah a letter with an SASE and she kindly sent me bookmarks and bookplates! There is a mailing address on her site.) Click Here

(Bookplate for Amy Plum's
Die for Me series)
(YA) Jackson Pearce, author of Fathomless, Purity, Sweetly, Sisters Red, & As You Wish. Click here

(YA) Amy Plum, author of the Die for Me trilogy. Click Here

(YA) Susan Dennard, author of the Something Strange and Deadly series. Click Here

(YA) Kim Harrington, author of the Clarity books, The Dead and Buried, & the Slueth or Dare series. Click Here

(YA) Sylvia Enghahl, author of Enchantress from the Stars, Journey Between Worlds, Children of the Star series, and other books. Click Here (scroll down)

(YA) Kimberly Pauley, author of Cat Girl's Day Off, and the Sucks to be Me series. Click Here (you'll need to send an IRC to the UK if you live in the US. She explains on the page.)

(YA) Meagan Spooner, author of Skylark. Click Here

(Chained bookplate with cover
image from Lynne Kelly)
(YA) Lynne Kelly, author of Chained. Click Here

(YA) Clare B. Dunkle, author of the Hollow Kingdom trilogy. Click Here

(YA) Linda Joy Singleton, author of The Seer series, Dead Girl series, & Strange Encounter series.
(She doesn't have bookplate specific info. on her site, but another author said that she at least used to do bookplates. Her email & PO Box are available.) Click here

(YA) Gina Damico, author of the Croak series. Click here (scroll to bottom of post).

(YA) Colleen Houck, author of the Tiger's Curse series. Click here.

(YA) Sherrilyn Kenyon, author of The Chronicles of Nick and sooo many other series/books including manga and graphic novels. Click here. (Find the "Can't make an event?" section on the right sidebar.)

(YA) Jeri Smith-Ready, author of the Shade trilogy. Click here.

(YA) Malindo Lo, author of Ash, Huntress, and Adaptation. Click here.

(YA) Melissa Buell, author of The Tales of Gymandrol series. Click here.

(YA/MG) Amber Kizer, author of One Butt cheek at a Time, 7 Kinds of Ordinary Catastrophes, and the Meridian series. Click here.

(YA/MG/PibBk) Donita K. Paul, author of The Dragons of Chiril series, The Dragon Keeper series, and many more books. Click Here

(YA/MG/PikBk) Susan Tayler Brown, author of Hugging the Rock, Enrique Esparza: The Battle of the Alamo, Oliver's Must-Do List, and many others. Click Here

(Bookplate illustration drawn
by author and artist Grace Lin)
(YA/MG/PicBk) Linda Sue Park, author of The Third Gift, A Long Walk to Water, Click, Archer's Quest, The Firekeeper's Son, and several other titles. Click Here

Grace Lin, author & illustrator of Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, Starry River of the Sky, Year of the Dog, Dim Sum for Everyone, Fortune Cookie Fortunes, Ling & Ting: Not Exactly the Same, and many others. Click Here

(MG) Jimmy Gownley, author & artist of the Amelia Rules series
(I'm not sure if bookplates are still available, but it's worth a shot! You simply contact him via email.) Click Here

(PicBk) Verla Kay, author of Tattered Sails, Broken Feather, Civil War Drummer Boy, and many others. Click Here

(I'm Bored bookplate
illustration by Debbie Oh)
(PicBk) John Segal, illustrator of This is Maine, Little Mouse & Elephant, an edition of The Reluctant Dragon, & others, and author & illustrator of Carrot Soup, The Lonely Moose, Pirates Don't Take Baths, and several other titles. Click Here (scroll down to the bottom)

(PicBk) Anna Grossnickle Hines, author & illustrator of Pieces: A Year in Poems & Quilts, Daddy Makes the Best Spaghetti, I Am a Backhoe, and many others. Click Here

(PicBk) Debbie Ridpath Oh, illustrator of I'm Bored. Click Here (4 styles!)

(PikBk) Jodi Moore, author of When a Dragon Moves in. Click Here


  1. Why have I not heard of these before!?!? This is genius! I want some...not to put on my forehead, but for my books!

    1. They're so handy for readers and authors! There are even bookplate collector societies!


So, what do you think, oh Lovely Reader?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...