Since I found out about the unattractive changes made to my cover art for Stay the Night, I've been wrestling with how best to deal with it. You all have been great sports and kept me smiling at times when I probably would have yanked out all my hair. So I thank you for the many comments, e-mails, and immensely helpful support. I would look terrible bald.
Charlene, you single-handedly kept me from doing something really stupid by suggesting I write this, and I owe you.
I did consider using the unwelcome pink color scheme to help promote the book when it's released on Tuesday. Surely no one will be able to miss spotting the novel, not even from the International Space Station, but we're supposed to promote our books and it was tempting to use the screwup as a gimmick.
Some of you suggested I tie in with the release a charity drive for breast cancer research, since that noble cause also uses pink as as symbol. I have to be honest -- as nice as it would feel to turn this around and use it to raise money for charity, I'm not comfortable with that. I think we should all donate to worthy causes, but not because I didn't do my job.
I dropped the ball on this book because I was busy, and didn't follow up on the cover art as I should have. I trusted others to do the right thing instead of making sure they did. It's a very tough lesson, and an embarrassing one, but as long as I've been doing this, by now I should have already learned it.
Some people have said I've overreacted, and that's probably true. This is just one book, after all. I've published plenty of others. I'll publish more. Who cares? I should be grateful that I am working and published when so many other writers aren't, and that's also true. As an author I am expected to be a cheerleader of Publishing, and forever shake my pom poms, and act as if every disaster was all part of the plan.
(I had quite a bit here to tell you just how I feel about the pink pom poms I've been handed, but it was really depressing and I don't think whining to gain reader sympathy is a way to sell books, either.)
Bottom line, it's my name on the book, my novel printed on the pages, and my responsibility to see to it that it's handled appropriately at all stages of production. As undignified and unfair a situation as this is, I really have no one to blame but myself. This is my book, warts and all; the buck has to stop here. I promise you that I will take this unhappy experience and use it to be more vigilant in the future.
As for the promotional aspect, I'm not going to treat this novel any differently than the other six in the series. If you like my writing and want to read the story and see how the series ends, I would appreciate the sale. But don't invest in Stay the Night simply because it's got an ugly pink cover, or may glow in the dark, or can double as a tanning bed. Don't plunk down your hard-earned money only because you feel bad for me. Buy it because you want to read what's inside. That is the only reason you should ever buy any book.