This is topic Contacting Authors in forum Books, Films, Food and Culture at Hatrack River Forum.

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Posted by akhockey (Member # 8394) on :
I'm sure most of you have some experience in this, but are there any avenues other than contacting agencies or showing up at speaking engagements that you've found successful in getting a book signed by an author? I have a friend that digs the poet Mary Oliver, and I was looking to see if there was any way to get one of her collections signed for them for their birthday.

Hatrackers are super helpful and wise, so I figured if anybody would have an idea, it would be y'all. Thanks!
Posted by Sean Monahan (Member # 9334) on :
Have you tried contacting her directly? Her website has contact info - snail mail address, email address, and even a phone number. Maybe she'd be willing to have you ship it to her to have it signed.

ETA: Or maybe easier would be for her to just sign one she has there and send it to you.
Posted by scholarette (Member # 11540) on :
I have gotten a book signed by buying from a book store near the author and she went over and signed it there and then the local bookshelf shipped it to me.
Posted by akhockey (Member # 8394) on :
Sean - thanks for the website, but I think that is a different Mary Oliver. The Mary Oliver I am looking for was born in '35 and does specifically poetry, essays and the like. She lives in Provincetown, MA as far as I know.

I haven't been able to find any contact information for her personally. I called her agency and they said her only speaking engagements anytime soon are in Ohio and Arkansas, and I'm schooling it up in Minnesota right now.

Scholarette, I'll try calling some bookstores in Provincetown and see if they have any ideas. Thanks for the advice!
Posted by Jake (Member # 206) on :
Akhockey, where in Ohio? If it's Dayton or Cincinnati I might be able to help you out, depending on when the speaking engagement is.
Posted by Lyrhawn (Member # 7039) on :
I've gotten a book signed before by writing (snail mail) to an author to ask him. He said sure, to UPS him the book, which I did, and he sent it back to me (paid the shipping himself on the return) with a lovely note inside.
Posted by Shanna (Member # 7900) on :
Ah, Lyrhawn, that's nice.

My mom tried the same thing with Kathleen Woodliss because she named me after one of her books. It was supposed to be my present on 18th birthday. However, she sent it back unsigned.

Thankfully, most authors are awesome. We get alot of local authors in at my store doing various, informal signings. I can't remember a time when I've shipped a signed book across state lines for someone, but I've done it for people in nearby cities. A gracious and thanks-filled request will go a long way in winning favor with retail employees who put up with bad attitudes all day.
Posted by Sean Monahan (Member # 9334) on :
D'oh! Sorry ak, my mistake.
Posted by akhockey (Member # 8394) on :
Sean, not a problem my man. The effort was more than appreciated!

Jake, I'm not sure. I'll give the agency a call and ask, but that would be incredible if you could do that. I'll keep you posted on what they say, thanks for the offer!
Posted by akhockey (Member # 8394) on :
Jake, it's in Cleveland - thanks though. [Smile]

I got ahold of a bookstore that was already looking to get some more books signed by her for national poetry month, so that might end up working out. Thanks for the suggestions everyone!
Posted by Jake (Member # 206) on :
Sure! Wish I'd been able to help. Hope that the bookstore is able to come through for you.

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