Top Ten Author Signatures by Jillian Heise

There’s just something about meeting an author and getting a book signed that creates a stronger connection between the reader and the story. As I was thinking back on some of the most memorable author signatures I’ve gotten in books, I thought it would make a fun Top Ten post for Nerdy Book Club. So, today I’m sharing with you my Top Ten* Author Signatures (in no particular order)

The one who started it all: DAVID LEVITHAN has some of the most fun statements in his book signatures. I’m not sure if I love his editing (he edits some of my absolute favorite authors) or his writing more, but I do enjoy getting his books signed. Unfortunately, my copy of Every Day didn’t make it back to me by press time, but I still love his Dash & Lily’s signature (which was my first).

I was not able to meet LARA ZIELIN myself, but my sister classroom teacher, Brian Wyzlic, got me her books, and when she heard I lived in WI, she had fun. This was the secondary signature that sparked my idea for this post.

I admit I was a bit obsessed with The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by MICHELLE HODKIN before I ever met her in person (and was blogging/tweeting about it often), so I was uber excited to know she would be at the Anderson’s Young Adult Literature Conference last year. I got to gush in person about her books, and she is one of the nicest authors I’ve met. Why two books? Because I got to see her at NCTE & ALAN a few months later as well. There’s something fantastic about opening a book and seeing something written to you that makes you feel like you can do anything and gives a boost to your day.

ANDREA CREMER was another book/author I was obsessing over. Her’s was the first specially personalized signature I got. Yes, I probably was twitter stalking her slightly as I gushed about Nightshade leading up to the ALAN Workshop that year.

Since I have such a hard time picking just ten, I’m adjusting it slightly by grouping some authors together, and since I know ELIZABETH EULBERG and SIOBHAN VIVIAN are friends, I’m sure they’d have no problem appearing together. These were another two authors whose books I really enjoyed and tweeted about often, so after talking with them on twitter, it was exciting to finally meet them in person, which is reflected in their messages, making these signatures even more special.

Now I have to do a combination again. I love when authors have a special tagline for signing specific books, and both STEPHANIE PERKINS and DAISY WHITNEY (who even adds a special stamp) do, which makes the signature a little more meaningful.


ALA was a hotbed of awesome author signings. I was lucky to be able to do some Christmas shopping for my nieces and nephew while I was there – who doesn’t love a personalized signed book?! I knew when I saw KATHERINE APPLEGATE would be there that I had to get a signed copy for my nephew and I was happily surprised not only when she recognized my name from twitter, but also when I saw her signature signing saying for the fantastic The One and Only Ivan. Can’t wait to gift this one!


Picture book authors/illustrators have some fun with their signatures and I certainly couldn’t leave out my new niece or nephew coming in September, but when I told BARNEY SALTZBERG what I was doing, but didn’t know the name, he responded, “Here’s what we do” and proceeded to doodle a welcome to the yet-to-be-born. As he let the pen go, he scribbled and then decided it looked like a face-it wasn’t planned out, he just went with it artistically.


PATRICK MCDONNELL adds an adorable giraffe to Me…Jane which, since it’s an animal, I’m including with Blackout because although JOHN ROCCO’s line was long, once we saw his fun drawing, we knew it was worth the wait.

There’s just something about graphic novelists and their drawing skills that I love. So I always enjoy getting a GN signed because they each have unique doodles they include with their signature. DAVE ROMAN’s doodle in Astronaut Academy is one of my favorites-I wish I could get it blown up poster size-and his Teen Boat one is fun too.


Oh, one more I almost forgot (how could I?!)…TOM ANGLEBERGER’s electronic signings of The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee. 21st century book signings!


This sticking to just ten thing is really hard for me, so I’m adding a bonus author, mostly because I feel that this one is not just for me, but for all members of Nerdy Book Club! SIMONE ELEKELES’ books are very popular with my students, and when she came to the area, I took them all to be signed. It was a small group, so we got to talk about teaching/students, and I love her message, so I am passing it on to all of you! You are the champions here.


I’d love to hear some of your favorite author signatures/signing experiences!

*This is only from my personal experiences of authors I’ve been lucky enough to meet in person (Lara being the exception) and have sign a book. It’s not to say there aren’t others who have fun signatures also, but these were my most entertaining or meaningful to me.

Jillian Heise is starting her eighth year of being an educator at a new job teaching both 7th & 8th grade language arts at a private American Indian cultural school in the suburbs of Milwaukee. Here she will continue her innate need to be a book pusher and find that one book that will hook each one of her students. Join her conversations about books and teaching on twitter @heisereads. You can also read her more in depth thoughts on books at her blog, Heise Reads & Recommends, www.heisereads.com.