Simon & Schuster Admit to Selling Fake Hand-Signed Bob Dylan Books

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Simon & Schuster, publishers of Bob Dylan’s latest book, The Philosophy of Modern Song, are offering refunds to those who purchased “hand-signed” copies, after admitting that they used an autopen technology to sign the copies.

“To those who purchased The Philosophy of Modern Song, we want to apologize,” read an official statement by Simon & Schuster on social media. “As it turns out, the limited edition books do contain Bob’s original signature, but in a penned replica form. We are addressing this immediately by providing each purchaser with an immediate refund.”

Originally, Simon & Schuster revealed that 900 copies of the book were personally autographed by Dylan. “You hold in your hands something very special, one of just 900 copies available in the U.S.,” read a letter signed by Jonathan Karp, the president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, accompanying each purchase. “This letter is confirmation that the copy of the book you hold in your hand has been hand-signed by Bob Dylan.”

Once copies of The Philosophy of Modern Song started to arrive to customers, many who spent $599 for a hand-signed copy by Dylan, noticed that the signatures were replicated after sharing photos of variations on public forums and then took to social media to call out the publisher.

On Nov. 20, the publisher began responding to irate customers in an email letter, also signed by Karp, which read: “We apologize for the mistake that was made and are offering a full refund of your purchase. Please keep your copy of The Philosophy of Modern Song at no cost. We hope you will enjoy reading it.”

Presidential signatures are often placed on government bills using autopen, which has been in use since the early 19th century when Thomas Edison first began using the device. Earlier versions replicated a template of a signature, which was cut through a metal plate and then traced over with a stylus pen.

Photo: Fred Tanneau/AFP/GettyImages

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