Now the secret can be told. I tried to suppress it, but my hand has been forced. The single surviving erroneous copy of Cthulhu Limericks has appeared for sale on Amazon–the one that has “Cthulhu” misspelled in the title.
I’ll admit writing a collection of limericks based on H.P. Lovecraft’s weird tales was something of a blatant attempt to create a book that would actually sell for a change. After reading just about everything the master wrote, I knocked out about 70 humorous rhymes that featured lines like “the LOL of Cthulhu.”
The first published version of the book ended in resounding failure: after I’d bought 30 copies, I realized that the cover contained a really stupid typo: “Cthulu” Limericks. The name “Cthulhu” was spelled correctly throughout the text, but my underpaid proofreader (me) blew it when reviewing the cover art. After a short period of self-loathing depression, I deleted the book from Lulu and even managed to persuade Amazon to remove it from their marketplace. I thought I had killed the deformed little monster when I destroyed and recycled the copies I had on hand.
That experience taught me to proof the cover art as frequently as the contents before publishing, but now it seems I’ll have to live with the mistake.
Call it the curse of Cthulhu, I suppose this is what one deserves for playing with another man’s toys.
You see, before I noticed the offending typo, I sent a review copy to Bizarre magazine in the UK–at the time my favorite periodical, now ceased publication. Then I sent them a corrected copy. Neither of them garnered a review. I had hoped they’d notice the new book, since they had given my tour guide, Mondo DC, a positive review, probably because I’d written a short feature about DC’s unusual attractions for them previously.
I figured both books had ended up in the garbage. But apparently some unscrupulous staffer–or garbage picker–held on to the erroneous copy and decided to cash it in. The seller actually has two copies on offer–a “used” one and a “new” one. But I know–and he knows–that there’s only one. He’s asking $56.77 for the new copy, and $45.42 for the used one. Maybe he thinks the boneheaded author will buy it to maintain his devious deception about the glaring titular typo.
Good luck with that, mate. The fully corrected, official book, Cthulhu Limericks, also available on Amazon for the low low price of $15.49, and the bargain basement price of $12.39 from Lulu, isn’t exactly making me rich and famous. In fact, I’m not sure any copies have sold.
The LOL of Cthulhu indeed. Looks like that ineffable, hideous Old One is having the last laugh in sunny R’lyeh.
Anyone who wants to gamble on my future fame might want to grab up this rare, bungled book–one of a kind!–in the hopes that one day it will be worth millions.
Until then, as someone who has advocated for the value of disinformation as a publicity strategy, I guess I can’t really complain that this uncorrected abomination has surfaced to haunt me.