Someday, I hope to walk into a book store and see my own books on the shelves. I hope to stop by the front desk and see if they’d like to have me sign their stock.
From what I understand, there’s no ID check. They just figure, only the author would want to sign their own books. This always made me wonder, what if they did ask for proof that I am who I say I am in order to have me sign my books?
Especially for authors writing under pen names, I’ve often wondered what authors should do. Should they carry a copy of one of their book contracts showing that they wrote and own the copyright to their books when they attend functions like these? I can’t think of any other proof off the top of my head.
I also do a lot of travel for the day job and when travelling internationally have been asked some detailed questions. (Perhaps I look to be a shady personality) So let’s consider a hypothetical conversation:
Passport official: Reason for visit?Me: BusinessNature of the business? I’m doing a book signing (squee!)You’re an author? YesWhere will this book signing occur? Are you publicized as one of the authors signing?Well, I am, under my pen name…
Seems far fetched, I know. However, I have had this level of detailed questioning occur for the day job in which the last two questions were – what office is your client site and are you registered with their office as an expected guest. I doubt the passport official followed up to check, but they did ask to see if I started getting nervous.
My passport is up for renewal and I still travel internationally for my day job as well as on vacation. Someday I’d love to travel for author-related stuff. Do I list my pen name under the section “Are you know by other names?”
I doubt it’ll ever be a hugely important thing, but it’s still an interesting point to consider.