Daddy's Christmas Angel

Friday, December 3, 2010

You Can't Always Tell A Book By Its Cover!

"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!


Susan Elizabeth Ball said...

Besh wishes for your book signings. Now that we've connected, I want to read your books. After two mishaps involving my book (and it's only been out two months), I will be careful to check every book I receive in the future.
Susan Elizabeth Ball

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

That's wild! My publisher sent a few copies, but they really were my book. said...

Oh goodness that is terrible for you. I do hope you can get the proper copies sent to you for your book signing.
It's certainly a salutory lesson, should I ever become a published author.:O)

Golden Eagle said...

I hope you manage to get the right copies . . . that's certainly a mess!

N. R. Williams said...

How frustrating. My mother had this happen to her. My aunt told her that when she ordered her book, she got the cover ok but the inside was all about economics and not a mystery at all.
N. R. Williams, fantasy author

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Thanks, Susan. This is just another thing not to take for granted!

Alex, I'm sure this is very unusual, but obviously the wild, unusual thing can happen.

Madeleine and Eagle, thankfully about half of the copies appear to be okay.

Nancy, the scary thing is that if I hadn't pulled out copies to send you and Patricia, I wouldn't have known until I got to the signing event! Hope your mother's book situation got corrected okay!

Daisy Hickman said...

Surprise, surprise, right, Monti! Seems to be the way of the world, one mix-up after another ... but with a book one really wants the cover and the contents to match!

Helen Ginger said...

Wow, this is definitely a reminder to check your books. I hope you're able to get books before the next signing.

Notes Along the Way with Mary Montague Sikes said...

Next signing is tomorrow, Helen, but unless I have a huge surprise I'll have enough for it. This event is a Christmas market event at the historic Tides Inn in Irvington, VA.

When they don't match, it's traumatic, Daisy.

Thanks for your comments!

Patricia Stoltey said...

I know an author who found a bunch of her books were bound with the insides upside down. And another whose books were missing the last few pages.

I guess we always need to dump them out of box and scan every book.