Back in the days of yore, publishers didn’t email you a handy-dandy jpg of your book cover. You had to actually wait till you got the book to see the cover and then if you wanted to put it on your primitively-designed website–the horrors of which you were unaware in those days–you had to take it to a copy shop and get them to scan it for you. They would take several days and then hand it to back to you on one of those little square disks that we used in the olden days. You know, those little square things that your children see and say, WHAT IS THAT?
My new laptop doesn’t even have a drive for those old disks, and I can’t find the disks where I saved some of my old book covers anyway, so yesterday I went to OfficeMax determined to finally fill out the missing covers on my Books page. I also took some of my foreign editions in to be scanned. Okay, I took in about 34 books. The girl opened the bags at the counter and said, you want all these scanned? I said, yes. I’m not kidding, her eyes rolled back in her head. This will take a while….she said. I said, I’ll come back tomorrow. She didn’t know whether tomorrow would be long enough. (What is this, 1998 again? Was she going to put it on one of those little square disks, too?) She picked up one of the books and started flipping through the pages. Do you mean EVERY PAGE, she asked? No, just THE FRONT COVERS. Whew, she was relieved. Then I had to explain to her how some of the foreign issues, the ones in Hebrew and Japanese and Chinese etc were backward so the front cover was actually the back cover and vice versa, and in those cases I wanted what appeared to be the back cover scanned because that was really the front. Her eyes glazed over.
I went home, not sure anything was going to be done correctly since this was the same girl who had just closed up an express mail envelope for me and left out the letter. I had to make her get a new package, put IN the letter before closing it up, then show her how to put the airbill in. (Where do they get these people?) Then she called after I got home, very distraught. Ma,am. (Okay, chickie, start calling me ma’am and we’re already having a bad conversation.) We can’t scan these books. They’re copyrighted. It’s okay, I told her, they’re my books. Ma’am, I don’t care if they’re your books, we can’t scan them. THEY’RE MY BOOKS. It doesn’t matter if you own them, Ma’am. I DON’T JUST OWN THEM. I WROTE THEM. DO YOU SEE THE NAME ON THEM?
Ohhhhhhhh. (May I point out here that I go there ALL THE TIME and they all know me by name? I always get a sinking feeling in my stomach when I get there and this girl is at the counter. She is one stamp short of proper postage.)
So, miraculously, I now have scans! I’m planning to do a “Suzanne’s Books Around the World” feature on my site. Just for fun, here are a couple of my foreign editions now. This one is It Only Takes a Moment, in Norwegian.
This is The Billionaire and the Bassinet, in Czech.
I am Suzanne McMinnova! Why does that make me feel like giving someone a lap dance?