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, October 19, 2009

Tell Me Again Why I Hired You

Just got off the phone with an author whose book I copyedited. Author is meticulous, professional, and experienced.

We are reviewing the Contents. Per asks if I would recommend using B-level heads in some chapters and not others. I say no. Per says she'll likely override my recommendation.

Per mentions in passing that all instances of the word "percent" when accompanying a number will be changed to "%." Chicago, AP, and every style manual I know recommends otherwise in running text. But per says that most of the readers of this book are also readers of the Wall Street Journal, and since the WSJ does it that way, so will per. Whatever.

Per also mentions that since receiving my copyedits, per has made quite a number of changes to the book. I'll also be proofing this book, and I told the author about problems with noncopyedited copy. To per's credit, I'll receive sections of the manuscript that have been rewritten before receiving the proofs to give them the once-over. Or per will pay me at proofreading stage for any text that needs copyediting. I wish some publishers, who should know better, would be so enlightened.

Really, though, it doesn't matter to me what an author ultimately does to any book after I copyedit, unless it's a book I particularly care about. Well, I care about them all--in my own mercenary way--but, no offense to this author, this title isn't one that hits close to the heart. And there's nothing wrong with that. It's not that kind of book.

An editor's stock-in-trade is consistency. The variation in presentation of different levels of heads in the Contents is misleading to a reader, because it gives the impression that some chapters have a level of detail that others don't. I explained this perspective to the author. Once. I just hope I remember come proofreading time that all this had been ironed out beforehand.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

hello again

I knew it had been awhile since the last post. Almost two months is unconscionable. From mid-August to about now is always busy with chilluns going back to school out of town. Our younger son has a parents weekend at his school that turns into a week, and we just returned from that. All of this contributes to compressed work schedules. Nothing like trying to do four weeks of work in three weeks, not to mention that I really have to do five weeks of work in three weeks to make up not only for lost work time, but money spent traveling. It's a double hit, and usually by now I'm both out of money and behind on monthly work quotas. This year is no different.

Workwise it's been up and down the last few months. The schedule always manages to fill in somehow or another, but it's not always with the premium jobs, or maybe -- as happened this summer -- I get a lot of good-paying work from a slow-paying client. Not that my many creditors seem to care; their bills are due regardless of the status of my receivables.

One outfit that I do some work for flew me out to Santa Monica, CA, for a few days last month--plane fare, food, hotel room all covered. Hotel was a very nice property essentially on the Pacific Ocean. I can go on and on about that trip, but suffice it to say that it's rare that a freelancer like me is ever given this type of ride. And I can absolutely say that the trip never would have taken place were it not for this blog. Met some wonderful people, saw a part of the world I'd never seen. As I say, I could go on.

As part of the aforementioned long weekend at our son's school, we spent a few days in the Berkshires earlier this week. It already seems like weeks ago. And our older son is home for the weekend. We've seen him about four days since mid-June. He turned 20 years old in the interim. How did that happen?

I've got emails to answer from weeks ago, a bunch of work to do, and it's 1:20am. I was planning on working tonight (why is this night different from all other nights?), but ended up going to see a play at the theatre where my wife works. A wonderful production. While we were up at the theatre's offices, I was helping her with some of her work, and a friend dropped in and said that I hadn't posted to my blog in a while. Peter, this one's for you. I had no idea you were out there.

I'll try to post a little more than I have been. But work seems like it's ticking up, and my managing editor gig is about to start up (I hope) with the book series I work for, so time will get even tighter. Beats the alternative.