What It Is (posts below left; rate sheet, client list, other stuff below right)

My name is Bob Land. I am a full-time freelance editor and proofreader, and occasional indexer. This blog is my website.

You'll find my rate sheet and client list here, as well as musings on the life of a freelancer; editing, proofreading, and indexing concerns and issues; my ongoing battles with books and production; and the occasional personal revelation.

Feel free to contact me directly with additional questions: landondemand@gmail.com.

Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.

Monday, March 9, 2009

I'm baaaack, and the case of the Flying Negroes

Thanks to my five or four regular readers for allowing me this little hiatus, and for occasionally checking in to see if the test pattern was still up. I can't say that it won't go up again soon, but there's been a little activity that calls for an update.

Big question among freelancers is "How's business?" One of my fellow freelancers, a book designer and typesetter, is staying busy because he has learned how to lay out books for Kindle and such. Smart guy.

Another one who mines similar fields as I do, I've not gotten a real good feel for how things are for him. His client list is by design a little smaller than mine, but it used to be that a lot of my work came from him, and if his clients are sending him work and he has time or the need to do it, he might very well be busy, and it keeps work from coming to me. No hard feelings there. I would do the same thing.

I wrote to a few of my publishers last week. One, which has a printshop in the basement (a big one), just laid off 35 people on the pressroom floor and in the art department. Not a good thing.

Another one, a production company that kept me very busy over the last year and a half, says that business has slowed tremendously, and if it keeps up, they don't know what they are going to do. I think much of their work revolved around the textbook market, and it might be that the publisher who was their main client has decided that new editions every two years are not necessary. As the parent of a college student, I can't say this hurts my feelings that much.

So I've been beating the bushes a little the last couple of days. One or two things might turn out. Maybe. I'm going to go along as if nothing will happen, because that's often when something does. But a cratering economy causes people to put on their thinking caps, and that's what I did. We'll see.

So, what's with the Flying Negroes? Probably one of my earliest posts dealt with the phenomenon that I'll go my entire life without hearing of a concept, and then I'll read about it in consecutive unrelated books. This last weekend I was working on a book of essays about Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to be published in the United States (late 1700s, from New England). The book mentioned the Flying Negroes, a myth from that time about slaves in America who sprouted wings and flew back to Africa. Interesting stuff. The book went back to the publisher Sunday night.

Today I'm reading a book of essays about the Gullah-Geechee culture in the barrier islands of Georgia. And here again come the Flying Negroes. This time there was a little hint of the whirling dervish thrown into the mix.

Anyway, the test pattern is gone for now. If you're reading this, I'm glad you're here. And I hope the feeling is mutual. Let me know what's been going on in your world since I've been gone.


moi said...

Holy Crap! The Gullah-Geechee culture sounds mucho interesting! And, since I'm either drumming my fingers from no work or beating my head from dealing with an inept NM State Gub'mint (post to follow), that means I have tons of time to catch up on all sorts of interesting stuff to get my mind off my troubles. Either that, or I'm going to have really, really clean bathroom tiles . . .

Glad you're back.

czar said...


I was encouraged by the concept of the book, and maybe the best is still to come (I'm about halfway through). Nothing yet about their footwear :), a little about architecture. I'm reading about pottery now, and there was too short of a chapter on conjuring. With tabby architecture, if the slave life slowed down (hah!), did they have to clean the oyster shells?