Of Pictures and Monsters


Setting up a business means spending money. I’ve made my calculations, I was prepared. But every now and again I come up against an monster-smallexpenditure I am absolutely unhappy to pay. Because I feel it ought to be for free, especially for small start up businesses like me. Such as authors’ pictures. When I found out that I am expected to pay some photographer or other for an author’s portrait – a tiny picture for the website and catalogue which, in all honesty, is not going to make or break the books, I was – I am – outraged. And I aired my view to a friend at a book do.

Let me just stop here for a moment and explain about this friend. He is famous – I mean REALLY famous – for his drawings of monsters and dragons – and almost every child in this country will have a book of his on their shelf. Yeah, I might be a small unknown publisher BUT I have famous friends. Yep, celebs in fact.

So this friend said: I’ll can do the portraits for you for free.

Or at least that’s what I understood. I few days later I emailed him: Were you serious? In the meantime I had got quite excited about the idea. My authors ought to feel honoured to be sketched by such a famous monster painter. A bohemian solution fit for a small but special publisher.

My friend emailed me back. He didn’t really say that. What he said was that someone might be able to sketch them. It’s not his métier. His portraits surely would all have big round monster eyes and crooked witches noses. And that, he feared, might cause offence and angry reaction.

Ok! I guess if I truly try I can see his point of view. But only just.


Anyway, help arrived from a different direction. I received a couple of authors pictures for free. Only that one of them is hidden behind a microphone. It’s a beautiful shot of the mike. Now I have to ask for a replacement, which surely will come in due time. Only sadly a bit late for the autumn catalogue. So there will be no authors’ pictures in the catalogue.

But not all is lost: You will find a picture of me instead. The smile is free and no photographer owns the copyright!


P.S. The monster is by me too.

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