San Diego Comicon. My publisher and I open a box of books we'd received just in time for the show. Because our printer was always perfect and pristine, this is the ONE time we didn't ask for a proof copy, in order to make the show deadline.
This was in the days of paper layout. We literally waxed certain elements into place. As we pulled the first copy of the book from the box, we saw – the waxed title logo had fallen off the front cover, and the book had been printed without its title. It had shipped all over the world AND IT HAD NO TITLE.
This was a Desert Peach issue dealing with rape in the military. The cover art I had done was graphic and frightening. Staring in horror at the book with no name, we looked up to see the first approaching fan. With a copy of this book in his hand. We braced ourselves. The fan lifted the book, and said, in awe:
“This is so profound. You let Donna's artwork speak for itself.”
While I was still standing there with my eyeballs and tongue stuck in place, my editor responded – cool as a copperhead:
“Yes, it was a difficult artistic decision, but I trust Donna in her vision.”
I jumped right in and pretended along with him. I am still in awe of his quick thinking and outright gall.
Do I have to tell anyone my publisher – as a child in Texas – went to cotillion?
What we learned: if the fans think whatever you do is wonderful, agree with them. It doesn't matter if you've made a mistake. If they're happy, say Thank You and pretend you meant to do that.