A new remote autograph service called Kindlegraph has been popping up around the blogosphere the past several days, and it demonstrates a way to approximate the classic book signing experience. A reader signs in and requests a signature, and the author completes the request online using a simple form hosted by digital signature company DocuSign.

In theory the signed “page” would be integrated into the actual book, but at this proof of concept stage it produces a one-page document that includes an image of the book’s cover, the author’s message, and an image of the author’s signature.

In the screencast, Kindlegraph’s developer says he created it as part of a DocuSign Hackathon held in April, which means of course that it relies heavily on DocuSign’s signature system to work. The author types out a personal message, which is printed in a faux-handwritten typeface, then adds his real signature that’s stored on DocuSign’s servers. The reader gets the final product as a Kindle file.

It’s a promising attempt at figuring out the problem of joining book signings with epublishing, but there are still a few kinks to work out. The generic handwritten typeface is confusing for this sort of highly personalized product, and the recycling of a single signature image makes it far too easy for the author to be impersonated—how do I know the publicist didn’t write my message? To really keep the authenticity of a book signing, I imagine readers are going to want to be able to “see” the author creating the message and autograph in real time, which is something DocuSign can’t offer with its canned library of signature files. Still, it’s cool to see developers coming up with such imaginative uses of existing technology in the ebook space.


For an alternative approach to digital autographs, check out “Barnes & Noble to add autograph function to Nook”.


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