Six free copies in Danish. . .


This may or may not be Danish. . .

It may seem churlish to moan, but moaning is what illustrators do, apart from illustrating, obviously. (My illustrator friend John says that the collective noun for illustrators should be a ‘Moan’, I can see where he’s coming from there. . .)

So, in churlish moaning mode, and carrying on from the title of this post, just what am I supposed to do with six copies of ‘I’m Not Cute!’ or whatever, in Danish? Or in French, or Finnish, or Japanese, or Spanish, or, or, or. . .


Almost certainly not Danish. . .

You see, every time a book is translated and published in another country I get my contractually agreed three or more copies of it in said language. Of course, it’s nice to get foreign editions and be read in other countries, and I am grateful and pleased etc, and getting copies is good, but the trouble is, these copies tend to end up in a box in the loft, along with the English copies I didn’t give away to friends or didn’t get round to donating to a local school or something. I get six of them, and a further six in paperback if there is one. I feel they deserve a better fate really.


Verging on the Danish perhaps?. . .

Don’t get me wrong, I am not presenting this as an awful problem, deserving of your sympathy. I suppose I’m just pointing out an unintended side effect of being a children’s author/illustrator that you are probably unaware of. My silly dilemma.

I do give copies to local schools from time to time but with all the sorting out of copies, finding a box to put them in, driving to the school, remembering to alert them beforehand and getting round to do any of the above when I don’t really have to and would rather be doing something else, means it doesn’t happen very often. . . Me being me and all. . .


Unlikely to be Danish. . .

I used to distribute them to friends and family , but now their kids are all grown up or in their late teens, that outlet has long since dried up. So even if I do manage to get round to shifting a few English language copies that still leaves the foreign language editions festering in their cardboard box. I know someone in France with a five year old so that’s one copy sorted, but that’s about it.


Danish? Look, don’t ask me . .

I mention all this because, today, for some reason, I had a burst of Resolve, which sounds like some kind of air freshener or something but no, this Resolve was the steely kind that Gets Things Done!

Today I narrowed my eyes, took a deep breath, unfolded the ladder, and boldly ventured into the loft. . .

There were a stack of about five of those supermarket veg boxes, heaving with my out of sight, out of mind books, eying me resentfully, little knowing that my only concern was their eventual freedom. Oh, Foolish books! Mind you, some of them had about twenty years worth of resentment to discharge. . .


Well, who knows? Could be Danish. . .

So anyway, I grasped the nettle and sorted them all out, keeping two copies of every English language edition and one of each foreign edition. The rest I heaved downstairs and sorted into piles according to language. I made a bunch of gift boxes for the nearest four or so primary schools out of most of the English language ones, which I will deliver in the next few days. The foreign language editions still glowered at me from their respective piles, but I had a plan! The local freecycle network! Maybe, I thought, if I stick them on there, someone would be glad to take them off my hands. We shall see.


 Not even close to Danish. . .

Tune in next time folks. . . Dan Dan Daaaaah! (whoever he is. .)

World Rights Boxer Books.


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