I have been collecting autographs through-the-mail for about seven years now. Besides simply writing letters to celebrities and receiving signed photos, I have learned that there is much more to this hobby. What keeps me going is that this is the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done with my spare time.
If you are interested in becoming an autograph collector, I suggest first making a list of maybe five or so famous people whose autographs you would love to have framed and hanging on your wall. Remember, be realistic when making this list. Right now, you probably won’t get Michael Jackson through-the-mail simply because of his level of fame. However, you may get major stars like Al Pacino or Johnny Depp, who both made Autograph Collector Magazine’s Top 10 signer’s List.
Research plays a major role in this hobby. You must know who signs by mail and who doesn’t. Who charges for their signature? But first, you must know the basics. First, it is crucial to your success that you always mail an S.A.S.E. along with your request. An S.A.S.E. is a self-addressed stamped envelope. The famous person is already giving you a signed photo, most won’t bother to pay for shipping, too. Next, write a short (but sweet) letter to the star. Say something nice about their work, why you admire them, and then hit them with an autograph request. It is important to keep this letter as short as possible. The celebrities who do personally read each letter will be turned off by a lot of writing. Another useful tip is to include an index card in with the letter, that way, if they don’t have a picture to send, you’ll usually at least get the card signed. Bill Cosby personally taught me that trick when he sent me an index card and a letter explaining just that! Last but most important, you need the celebritie’s mailing address! These are best obtained out of the aforementioned Autograph Collector Magazine or at www.stararchive.com. There are a bunch of websites out there with free addresses but some are not updated. Remember, most famous people move pretty frequently, so it is important if you get the addy off of a website, make sure it is updated.
I hope you are able to utilize some of these tips to land yourself some ‘graphs. Good luck and happy collecting!