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MLA Full: "Signing 200,000 Autographs." YouTube, uploaded by vlogbrothers, 11 July 2017,
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In which John answers questions about the 200,000 autographs he is signing. You can preorder (probably! not definitely!) signed copies of my new book, Turtles All the Way Down, in the U.S. and Canada at THESE LINKS:
Hudson Booksellers:

Amazon and Barnes & Noble have sold through their allocations of signed copies but unsigned copies are available for preorder at and

Thanks to everyone who has preordered the book already (signed or unsigned!) and for all your support related to it. This is definitely an intimidating experience, but also a very exciting one.

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Good morning, Hank, it's Tuesday. I'm still on vacation, but don't worry. I brought 35,000 sheets of paper with me. And as you can see here, I've signed very nearly 120,000 sheets.

Today I thought I'd answer some real questions from real Nerdfighters about signing, beginning with "are you LITERALLY signing 200,000 sheets of paper?" Yes, so I sign all of these sheets and then I send them to Pennsylvania where they are bound one by one into copies of my new book, Turtles All the Way Down. And because the book obviously has to be printed somewhat in advance of its publication on October 10th, I have to finish signing by, like, August 17th.

"Are you aware that your signature is currently worth -$4 on Amazon?" Yeah, I actually think it's -$3 at the moment, but it's true that the signed edition is currently less expensive than the unsigned one. I get the same royalty regardless and have no control over Amazon's discounting, but also Amazon might be on to something because once for like, a year after The Fault in Our Stars came out, unsigned copies were much rarer than signed ones.

"How many paper cuts have you gotten so far?" Amazingly, none yet, but I spend a lot of time worrying about it.

"Why 200,000?" Uh, at the time, it seemed like enough, but not too much?

"Why u do dis?" To be honest I'm not totally sure, but I do have some theories. One reason is that it's always struck me as unfair that people who don't live near major metropolitan areas or for whatever reason can't go to author events don't get signed books unless they pay a surcharge, but there are also a lot of selfish reasons, one of which is that, you know, like for the last two thousand days or so, I've been trying to write this book, and on most of those days, I didn't know if what I was writing would ever make it into the book. A lot of those days I couldn't even tell if the work I was doing was getting me closer to a book I was proud of or further away from it. With this, I know that I'm doing something people will like and each time I do it, I get a little closer to being done. Writing is not like that for me. 

"does your hand hurt?" No, I got some incredibly effective physical therapy when I was doing this for the Fault in Our Stars because I have ulnar nerve entrapment and, since then, I've been able to just sign all day.

"Why don't you hire someone to make a machine that perfectly mimics your signature?" You know, there are some jobs that robots that robots just can't do and one of them is monotonously create the same scratch on a page 200,000 times. 

"How consistent does your signature tend to be?" So I think it varies wildly, but Sarah thinks I just spend way too much time looking at my signature. I've grabbed three here that I think are very different to give you a sense of the variation.

"How many papers can you sign in an hour?" It takes about two hours to do a thousand, so, in total, this project is gonna take around four hundred hours.

"Would you please put that pen to work on another book instead of a zillion fairly anonymous tokens?" No, see, the problem is the pen does not want to work on another book.

"What kind of pen are you using?" I use Sharpies and lots of them. I'm in something of a blue period, by the way. 

"Are you sponsored by Sharpie?" No, I wish. I'm ready to sell out for some of that sweet, sweet Sharpie money, but, no, I buy my Sharpies.

"How do you decide what colors to sign in?" Well, you're deciding the color break-down of the last hundred thousand thanks to your votes.

"Do you ever write or draw random things in some of the books along with your signature?" Yes, for reasons that will become obvious to readers of the book, I sometimes make a spiral.

"What good media have you been enjoying while signing?" I'm mostly listening to podcasts, including all of these, but I also listened to Pride and Prejudice on audiobook and it is still great.

"What's your rhythm? Pull, place, sign, pass?" I guess my rhythm looks approximately like this and, once that done pile gets big enough, I stack 'em and start again.

"Can you draw turtles all the way down on mine?" No, but I did draw signatures all the way down on this one.

"What are some interesting thoughts you've had during this process?" I would actually say the chief pleasure of it is that I don't have many thoughts at all.

"When you first started signing the books, did you think it was fun?" I honestly still it's fun.

"Where can I buy the book?" Somebody knows how to ensure their question gets answered. The signed edition has its own ISBN. There are links in the doobly-doo below, but also pretty much wherever books are sold.

And lastly, "Can I Hanklerfish some?" Hank, I'll be putting this box in the mail shortly.

I'll see you on Friday.