You never know when you’ll run into someone who wants an autograph or knows someone else who would like one. Signing books is a matter of spreading good will and showing gratitude to readers. As SFWA Vice President Mary Robinette Kowal recommends in her great post on signing books, they should be on hand for when you need them. But bookplates can get expensive. So I decided to make my own, using my years of computer and office support staff experience. Here’s how I did it.
Supplies: Things You’ll Need
1) Avery Labels 8164 or compatible (you can easily replace this with heavier duty labels but these work find with caveat below*)
2) An image with license to use
3) Microsoft Word or Open Office
3 Steps To Making Your Own Bookplates
1) Create a full page template of labels with Avery 8164 in Word. Here are the buttons to click:
a) Click Mailings. (It’s in the top menu bar for MSWord 2077 and 2010. Earlier versions vary.)
A sheet filled with the labels will appear in MSWord.
2) Create Your Bookplate Template
a) Create a Text box and insert Ex-Libris, standard Latin used on bookplates or some other phrase.
b)Insert the image centered on the page below the Ex-Libris (leave blank space at the bottom for your signature)
c) Once you have the image and text where you want them, then copy and paste to the other labels to make a page and save.
3) Print your bookplates
a) I suggest that you print first on the back of a label page OR a blank 8 1/2 x 11 sheet and hold on top of labels up to light to see if the borders work.
b) Once borders are verified and any adjustments made, print your bookplates on the labels themselves.
Cost: $10.99 for labels (25 sheets of 6 each) + partial print cartridge and your time.
*Caveat: Label adhesive, like tape, can lose strength over time. For best results, I suggest adhering these to the inside of a book page rather than the inside of a cover and be sure and rub it down good so it adheres well.