"You can always tell a book by its cover." That's one of the expressions my mother often used.
No, you can't! I just learned my lesson the hard way.
Yesterday, when I pulled a book from the supply I recently ordered from my publisher's printing company and opened it to sign, I got a big surprise. It was my book, Night Watch, on the cover, but the inside was a completely different book by another author! At first, I thought the front page was an ad for someone's book, but after flipping through the pages I realized that nothing about Night Watch was inside my cover. Besides that, the book inside was from a completely different publisher. How could that happen?!
I pulled more books from the box and discovered some were actually the real Night Watch and others were the book by the other author. All had my cover. In the box of 40 books, 20 were really mine, the other 20 contained the other book.
Do you normally check each book you order to see if the printer has made an outrageous mistake like this one? You should.
I have two events within the next week for which I'll need books. If I had checked my order sooner, the printer might have replaced the books in time.
The ironical thing about all this is that I learned last night the author of the other book lives in my native city (not where I now live) and is a graduate of the University of Mary Washington from which I earned my undergraduate degree. I had not heard of her before.
I also learned this is not the first time this has happened to her. She had incorrect copies in an earlier order this fall!
So just remember, you can't always tell a book by its cover. My mother would be very disappointed!