For the first time, Kindle, the electronic book reader from Amazon, had a stand at the London Book Fair this year. On the stand were a number of best selling authors who have come out to support electronic book readers.
"Our mistake," said Kindle Marketing Director, Ken Doll, "was having a book signing."
The authors agreed to sign copies of their new Kindle-only books for visitors to the stands.
"At the time," said Stu Pidget, the owner of a Kindle-Fire, "I thought it would be really cool to have my copy of Fakebook signed by the author because I thought the book was really cool. Sadly, I cannot read anything on my Kindle now, because I've got the guy's scrawl across the screen in permanent marker. Not cool."
Pidget's Kindle wasn't the only one ruined. He started a trend at the Book Fair, with hundreds of Kindle owners queueing up to download books from the authors at the stand, and then have their Kindle's signed.
Ida Otic, a mother of three from Dorking, went further than most, and downloaded books from all fifteen authors, getting each of them to sign it.
"My Kindle's ruined," she said. "The screen is just a mass of autographs."
All was not lost for some of the Kindle owners. With A Paul Ling's book, Big Trouble In Little Dorking becoming the first kindle only book to be short-listed for the Booker prize, all those Kindles with his signature on have suddenly become worth a considerable chunk of cash to autograph hunters.
"I wish I'd got Ling to sign my Kindle," said Pidget. "One guy sold his Kindle on AutographBay for two hundred quid. Oh well. I'll just have to hope my autographed Kindle is worth something someday."
Amazon have refused to refund anybody with an autographed Kindle. Instead they get redirected to a page of nail varnish remover.