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, June 22, 2009

Meltdown for Some NY Freelancers

Moi: I'd suggest a few belts of tequila before you tackle this one:


Quote of the Day

This is not going to become a regular feature, but I ran across this quote a few days ago (forget which book):

"A guy approached [C.S. Lewis] on the street one day and asked him if he could spare a few shillings. Jack immediately dove into his pocket and brought out all his change and handed it over to this beggar. The chap he was with—I think it was Tolkien—said, 'Jack, you shouldn't have given that fellow all that money, he'll just spend it on drink.' Jack said, 'Well if I had kept it, I would have only spent it on drink.'"

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Quote of the Day

Those damn womenfolk.

From a book on religion and society in Latin America:

"In 1733, for example, the friar Diego Núñez accused his mulata slave of bewitching him, causing him to expel from his body human and animal hair, stones, wool, and a paintbrush."

I'm sure ER doctors hear this one all the time.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Not from the Good News Department. Better that I just keep working and avoid updates from the outside world.


Nice quote about linebackers, but it is true that most big southern universities (or their alumni supporters, anyway) are far more concerned with their standing in the AP polls than, well, just about anything else.


Saturday, June 13, 2009


This blog quoted on the editorial page of the Columbus (GA) Ledger-Inquirer.


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

E-Publishing, Journals, Page Citations (or Lack Thereof): Yay or Meh?

Working on a book about Latino/a theology. One of the chapter authors quotes a journal that used to be in printed form, but now publishes only electronically. The citation is author, article title, journal name, and month/year. No page number, but a note from the chapter author indicates that no page number appears because the citation is from an electronic journal.


Different takes:

I suppose that if I'm looking up a quote from a journal article online, then I can just search for the term in the article. Good in theory, but half the time when I search for something on a Web page (using, for example, the "find on this page" feature), the search term doesn't appear. One is at the mercy of any number of things that I don't claim to understand. If I suspect that the search feature is not working properly, then I'll search for "the" or "and," and if the computer tells me "Search term not found," then I know that the search engine for that page is not working properly.

And what if it's not a direct quote, but the author is referring to a concept, though not necessarily by the exact name that the cited author uses? Then how is one to find it electronically among what might be thousands of words?

And why would it be so hard for a electronic book/page designer to put in faux numbers somehow so that a researcher could indeed look on a particular page for a concept? I think some forward-thinking designers do this.

Compared to Gutenberg, we're still pretty early in this e-publishing game. There are some quirks to be ironed out. But as a reader, I'd be a whole lot happier if I saw a citation that read something like:

Jim James, "Latinos/as and the Liberation Motif," Hispanic Theology Journal 4, no. 3 (December 2002): 36.

Yeah, I'd have to locate the issue, but I'd feel a whole lot more confident knowing that -- once I did -- I'd pretty quickly be able to find what I was looking for.

On Second Thought

For one of my copyediting clients, I edit the manuscript, using the Track Changes feature in Word, and then send the redlined printout to the author to review the changes. The author does per's review, answers my queries (in a perfect world), and returns the document to me. Then I make the author's changes, accept all the changes in Word, and send the marked-up, redlined proofs back to the press along with the cleaned-up files.

Sounds easy enough. The press pays me three-quarters of the fee when I send the document to the author, and the final 25 percent upon delivery of the final manuscript.

I just finished working on a book for this press, and the author made a whole lot more changes than is typically done -- line edits, reworking some material, adding and deleting sources . . . and the most puzzling: changing material in prose extracts. A prose extract, for you newbies, would be long sections of material quoted from other books.

In the parlance of the times, WTF?

One of at least two things happened here, none of which offer particularly satisfactory explanations.

1. The author misquoted material the first time around, which makes an editor worry and scratch one's head. Presumably the author is just keying in the material from the source.

2. The author was quoting dozens of sources from memory across multiple genres, and only later went back to check per's work.

Both seem most unlikely.

Why would an author be changing quoted material? Why, after the book has already been copyedited, would an author even go back to the source material to see if it was properly quoted?

More questions than answers were raised in my mind by this particular episode. And we are not talking about obscure works or works in translation, where the author might have found a passage phrased better by another translator. For the most part, these were all recognizable works of fiction or nonfiction or published screenplays.

I am puzzled.

Remember what Eliot wrote? "We are the hollow men, we are the stuffed men," or maybe that was, "We're empty inside, we are filled with goo."