Buyers Of 'Signed' Bob Dylan Books To Receive Refunds


The publisher of Bob Dylan’s new book The Philosophy of Modern Song said Sunday that anyone who bought limited edition “hand-signed” copies can receive refunds after it was revealed that the signatures are not authentic.

“We apologize for the mistake that was made and are offering a full refund of your purchase,” read an email to customers from Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster. “Please keep your copy of The Philosophy of Modern Song at no cost. We hope you will enjoy reading it.”

In a tweet on Sunday afternoon, Simon & Schuster explained: "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."

The news came less than 48 hours after reported that collectors were raising questions about the authenticity of the signatures – which they said were done using autopen, a device that replicates signatures. Collectors shared evidence in several online forums.

Karp did not respond to a request from on Friday seeking his assurance that Dylan hand-signed the books and that autopen technology was not used.

MORE: Collectors Question 'Hand-Signed' Copies Of Bob Dylan's Book

According to Simon & Schuster, 900 copies of The Philosophy of Modern Song signed by Dylan were up for grabs in the U.S. and another 99 were available in the UK. They were priced at $599 U.S.

On its U.S. website, the company hyped the book as an “Exclusive Edition Signed by BOB DYLAN” and boasted that the books are “guaranteed to be personally hand-signed by Bob Dylan!” 

Karp’s name was on a letter of authenticity, dated Nov. 15, that was shipped with the books. It read, in part: “This letter is confirmation that the copy of the book you hold has been hand-signed by Bob Dylan.”

(Shortly after reported on the controversy, the website was updated with a message that read: “This edition is no longer available for sale.”)

Dylan's team doubled down on Saturday, tweeting: “Each individual copy of the limited signed edition of Bob Dylan’s THE PHILOSOPHY OF MODERN SONG was personally signed by the author.”

Who made the "mistake" to which Karp referred in his email to customers and when did Simon & Schuster learn that the books were not, in fact, “hand-signed?” He did not immediately respond to questions from sent via email on Sunday.

In October, Indigo president Andrea Limbardi notified customers that it “had to cancel the orders placed for this signed edition” because “the publisher and the artist have decided to take a different direction for the signed version of the book and, at this point, will not be selling it in any retailer.”

Limbardi added: “I know … that getting a signature from Dylan is rare so I am sure there must be deep disappointment.”

Melissa Perri, Indigo’s manager of public relations, did not respond to a request from on Friday for more information.

On eBay, most of the “signed” books that were selling for between $2,670 and $10,011 on Friday are no longer listed.

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