Since publishing my first two novels in 2009 and 2010, I have been searching for the perfect catchphrase to use while signing a reader’s book.
I wanted something short, clever, memorable and apropos to me that I could use in addition to my signature, but I had yet to find the right sentiment. I have even put the question out to my blog readers and Twitter followers without any success.
Instead, I have been writing arbitrary phrases like ‘I hope you enjoy my story’ and ‘Thanks so much for giving my book a chance’.
Meaningless drivel that caused me to suffer a great deal of disappointment and self-loathing with every signature.
But after years of searching, I think I have finally found the perfect catchphrase.
When signing a reader’s book, I will write:
I know we’ve only spent a few moments together, but you remind me so much of the spirit found on page 86 of my novel.
Except each time I will change the page number to a different, arbitrary page, leaving the reader to analyze and scrutinize the page in an attempt to bring some meaning to my purposefully random, intentionally amorphous statement.
Can you imagine the look of consternation on the readers’ faces as they read and re-read the page, searching for a hint of themselves amidst my prose?
It would be priceless.
Or perhaps I will choose half a dozen different pages from the novel that are especially suited to this purpose. Pages that are emotionally charged or perhaps devoid of emotion completely. Pages so inscrutable as to have the reader wondering about my comment for years and years.
I think this might be perfect. It would give me the chance to personalize every book that I sign and infuse it with some meaning (albeit false) while staying true to my own nonconformist, occasionally jerky self.
It might even work out well for some readers.
The narcissist will undoubtedly find a way to transform my comment into a sincere and meaningful compliment.
The introspective soul will have the opportunity to examine the page with careful thought and reflection.
The self promotional office braggart will have a new and fascinating topic of discussion for the next day of work, perhaps even photocopying the page and distributing it to his or her coworkers in an attempt to crowd-source an analysis of my statement.
Either way, I will have a little fun with the reader, and it will almost guarantee that he or she will share the book with others in an attempt to ascertain the meaning of my statement. this process might even lead to a few more sales as well.
Not bad. Right?