When Master Detective was first published, Kensington proudly send me a carton of books for promotional purposes. I had a signing lined up in a week or so and even had color post cards ready to give out. As I admired the freshly printed books, I suddenly recoiled in horror.
On the spine of every book, “Detective” was spelled wrong! Master Dectective? For crying out loud, it’s only a two word title and one of them is wrong? When I reported the problem to the publisher, they recalled all the books except the ones they had already sent out to my first signing, since they wouldn’t have been be able to get reprints there in time.
So now we had a signing due in a couple of weeks with a book that had the wrong title on its spine. Then we had an idea. We sent away for a box of cheap plastic magnifying glasses and attached one to each postcard. On the back of each card we printed the following: “The mystery begins on the cover! Can you use the Master Detective magnifying glass to find what doesn’t belong?”
The postcards were a big hit. Everyone was squinting at the book to try to solve the mystery. Months after the new corrected books had taken over, people still asked about the mystery on the cover, and we have been forced to keep a supply of magnifying glasses on hand “for the kids”. The negative had become a positive.