Some have resorted to having their Kindle or iPad case signed, but that's hardly ideal. A better solution is coming, however. It's called Autography, and it's a iOS app.
Here's how it works, basically. A reader poses with an author for a photograph, which can be taken with an iPad 2's camera or an external digital camera. The image then appears on the author’s iPad or is otherwise transmitted to the iPad if using an external camera. The author then uses a stylus to write (most would call this scrawling. based on the way writing of this type ends up looking like) a message beneath the photo. When finished, the author sends the fan an e-mail with a link to the image, which can then be downloaded into the e-book.
Those are the basics, and the way it would work for a traditional book signing, when the author is there at a store with a line of patrons awaiting a signing. However, Autography (site here) has some other ideas, as well.
a) Authors can sign a temporary signature page until the customer has completed the e-book purchase. The retailer's online store merges the autograph page into the e-book and transmits to the customer's eReader device. This sounds like no personalization is available, however.
b) After purchasing and downloading an e-book a customer can ask for an autograph. The author will be notified electronically of the customer's desire for an autograph. The customer can request either a generic signature or something specific (with differing pries, we assume). The author completes the autograph at a convenient time, it is then inserted into a new copy of the e-book and transmitted to the customer's device.
c) Another example which Autography believes can drive sales is signed samples of an authories work, such as a chapter. If customers like what they read, they can then purchase the full e-book, which is downloaded behind the signature page, leaving the autograph embedded.
Autography has been tested at book signings in the United States and abroad. It will debut in May at BookExpo America in New York, if things go as planned.
Watch a video below.