Best way to get a (sort-of) free auto? Book signings

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By Chris Olds | Editor

If you’re patient and have plenty of time to wait in line, there’s one sure-fire way to get autographs of top sports figures and celebrities.

Book signings.

Any time someone famous decides to write a book, there’s almost always a tour.  Often you just have to be in the right place at the right time, but some larger independent stores will sell signed copies of books in advance of or just after autograph appearances. (Or, if you know where to shop, you can find books that were signed without appearances because the owners have good contacts or know the authors personally.)

I have obtained books signed by football legend Joe Namath, former baseball commissioner Faye Vincent, WWE star Batista, steroids whistle-blower Jose Canseco, To Kill A Mockingbird author Harper Lee and Forrest Gump creator Winston Groom in this way just to name a few.

No show fees. No authentication fees. No personalization fees. Just the cost of a book — and not even always that. Is it worth it? Have you seen what signed anniversary copies of Mockingbird go for? Go look… I’ll wait.

While most autograph appearances don’t net instant monster collectibles like the Lee classic (she briefly signed books which were sold through a store in her hometown in Alabama several years ago but, I believe, has since stopped), there’s no doubting the value in meeting someone and getting their autograph. People do it all the time. It’s an affordable way to collect.

Here’s a sampling of just a few upcoming signings in the Dallas area from this regularly updated and excellent site:

Josh Hamilton signing copies of Beyond Belief
Tonight (Oct. 22) — 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble – The Parks Mall, Arlington

Stephen Baldwin signing copies of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips
Nov. 17 — 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble –- West Berry, Fort Worth

Jamie Lee Curtis signing copies of Big Words For Little People
Nov. 5 — 5 p.m., Barnes & Noble — Stonebriar Mall, Frisco

Mike Huckabee signing copies of Do the Right Thing
Nov. 22 — 8 p.m., Borders Books –- Preston Road, Dallas

Bob Lilly signing copies of A Cowboy’s Life
Nov. 13 — 7 p.m., Borders Books –- West Freeway, Fort Worth

Isaac Mizrahi signing copies of How To Have Style
Oct. 29 — 7 p.m., Legacy Books — Dallas Parkway at Legacy Drive, Plano

Not wanting to wait on a signing? Check out the autographed book selection from Hollywood’s Book Soup. The large independent book store regularly holds signings and sells a lot of signed copies. (For example, Hugh Hefner signed books there on Tuesday night — but they did not sell copies online as demand for his signature is high.)

Do you know of any other large book stores that sell signed copies online or regularly have appearances? Let me know —

Chris Olds has collected sports cards and memorabilia since 1987. Before coming to Beckett Media, he wrote about the hobby for the Orlando Sentinel on his blog, SportsStuff, and for the San Antonio Express-News and The Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News. Do you have a comment, question or idea? Send e-mail to him at


  1. SMood
    Posted October 24, 2008 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    If I print out his blog post, will you sign it for me Chris? No personalization please

  2. Posted October 24, 2008 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    Having a Harper Lee signed copy of ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ would be amazing. Probably my favorite book ever, and one of the bets books ever written, in my opinion.

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