I like books and I respect writers. As a child, I always wondered how different authors would be from a normal student? I'd not waste an opportunity to meet them.
We have book promotions here on Ranch; is it possible that the writers of the book sign the copy for winners -(if it really means something for the recipient of course)?
IMO, it adds that extra special touch to the prize.
I doubt it, since the details go to the publisher contact and then are sent from a distribution centre. In some cases the book is sent from a warehouse closer to the recipient so unfortunately it is probably impossible.
That's not to say you can't get a book signed...but it wouldn't be easy. My father once got me a copy of "The Mythical Man Month". He bought it, mailed it to Fred Brooks, asked him to sign it, and also sent a postage paid return envelope. I was quite surprised to find a personal note written on the title page when I opened it.
Naturally, this would depend on each individual author agreeing to do so, and if you live in a different country, the cost might be prohibitive...
There are only two hard things in computer science: cache invalidation, naming things, and off-by-one errors