Especially around the holidays, I receive requests for signed books. I always feel a bit sad to tell readers that I am not able to either sell and ship to them an autographed book, nor can I allow them to mail be a book to me for me to sign and return to them. We have a prodigious amount of rain here in the Pacific Northwest, and the sad fate of parcels left on my doorstep is too often to be either drenched or stolen. Also, the long lines for mailing packages are a very discouraging way to spend your day.
What I can offer, from time to time, is to mail you an autographed book plate for your existing book. It’s much less postage to send a signed bookplate, and if one is lost in the mail, it’s not as heartbreaking as losing a book. The bookplates feature art by Carol Craig. They are adhesive and can be fastened into the book.
The book plates are free, and we try to be prompt with them. Sometimes we have other pressing tasks to do first, so we cannot promise that a book plate will arrive in time for a birthday or anniversary. But we do try.
BUT THERE ARE RULES! (Oh, you knew that was coming, didn’t you!) Unfortunately, there have to be rules, so that no one is outraged when I won’t send them thirty non-personalized but autographed bookplates. (Not that I suspect those are for E-bay stock!) Or when I never even see a request sent via Twitter! Or when someone asks for twelve bookplates sent to different addresses.
So, here are all those annoying rules. I am willing to sign and mail bookplates to you, at no cost, and I am taking requests that reach us between now and January 31. Then we shut it down so that both Chase and I can do other needed tasks around the office.
You must send your request to Chase@robinhobb.com That’s the only email address that is good for this.
Within the body of your email you must clearly state
- How you want the bookplate signed, as in “To Cynthia” or “Happy Birthday Edgar!” Or Signature Only
- Your complete mailing address.
- Your first and last name
- your mailing address, formatted as I would see it on an envelope, thus
- 123 Happy Lane
- Apartment 7
- Another line in an European address
- Wonderful Town,
- Postal Code or zip code
- COUNTRY (The country is typed all in CAPS. And yes, even if you are in the US, we want it!)
- Please note that it’s not Jo Johnson Apt 7123 happy ln, Wonderfultown 98580. Please put each piece of information on a separate line.
- DO NOT put your address all in one line! Because often we cannot tell where a street ends and a city begins. Seriously, we have had overseas mail returned to us as undeliverable for this reason. So please make the full name and the complete address, in proper order, crystal clear!
- We have different bookplates: A buck, a ship, a feather. You can specify which one you’d like and we’ll do our best to get that one to you, but no promises! Sometimes we run out. If that happens, we’ll send you the book plate we do have.
- LIMITS: 2 (two) bookplates. It can be one for you and one for a friend. Or two for you. It cannot be two for you and two for Aunt Sadie and two for your dog, no matter how cute your dog is..
- You are now wondering if Robin Hobb is always so testy. Yes. You should include a note of sympathy for Chase when you request the bookplates. Ask him if it’s true if we make him sit in the unheated basement with only the light from the aquarium as he carefully types in the addresses on an old Smith Coronamatic typewriter. We did give him a rubber stamp for the return address. We are not without a heart. We do give him coffee. Instant coffee, but it’s at least lukewarm. Sometimes Kat throws stale cookies down the stairs to him, but only if they are the kind our crows won’t eat. Crows, we have discovered, regard gluten-free cookies as belonging to the ‘cardboard’ group on the food pyramid. So do I.
Seriously, Chase deals with these requests and all other bizarre errands. So clear information is a real kindness. Also, Chase sees this correspondence, not me. So if you have a pressing question or wish to contact me, please put that in a separate email to Chase, and he will pass those along to me.
Thank you so much for being readers and being interested enough to want a book plate!
Best Wishes for 2017!