I was visited by a ghoulish apparition last night.

The ghost of book publishing present.

Unlike his close cousin, the ghost of Christmas past, this translucent figure spake unto me…

“Scrooge, you are doing all this wrong. Why do you hold back Sales from Tiny Tim, your business bank account?”

“What do you mean?” I inquired.

It was then that he whisked me away to our first stop of the evening…my book’s Front Cover.

“Tell me, young earthdweller, what do you see?” he asked.

“An exciting image, a clever title, and a provocative subtitle.” I was, of course, rather pleased with myself for having a grand ole cover to show him. Yet, much to my dismay he was ominously quiet.

Then he asked in a deeper than earlier voice, “And what, young earthdweller, is the point?”

That was the question I was unprepared for (a problem in and of itself). My mind scrambled about and scraped together this answer…

“To get them to buy the book.”

His arm swang around, tattered bandages in tow, and glided through my face. It did not hurt but it sent an unspeakable chill down my spine.

“I would prefer you not do that again,” I squeaked.

In a fit of ghoulish rage he said, “Well I would prefer you understand the point of your cover!”

“Well what is the point?” I asked.

“It is to take the customer to our next stop on this evening’s excursion.”

Everything faded to black and then all at once we were floating high above…my book’s Back Cover.

“Why would we want the customer to come back here?” I asked.

“So we can give them a taste test of the inside,” he said. “Tell me, young earthdweller, what do you see?”

“An author bio, a book summary, and my publisher’s logo.”

“And what,” he said, “is the point?”

The dreaded question. My brain scrambled even more than before. I could almost feel the pain of his first translucent slap.

And then…shyly and timidly, I replied…

“To get them to read the book.”

His arm swing around with the force of a hydraulic press.

WHOOSH! His hand passed through my face once more. And once more I felt that wretched tingly spinal feeling.

Except this time, we were immediately transported to the book store cash register.

And all at once, everything faded to black. I woke up in my bed in a cold sweat. Left only to ponder the evenings events.

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