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, indexer, and proofreader. 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.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Open for Global Business: International Clients Welcomed for Editing, Proofreading, Indexing


I'm working on a book from an Australian author who is doing a postdoctoral fellowship in Sweden and publishing with an outfit in London. He somehow found this blog on the series of tubes, emailed me, and here I am a few weeks later proofreading his book. I'm almost to the end of it, and I must say that it might be the best written, best edited, and best typeset book I have ever seen. And I work on 100-plus books a year. I've not yet told him my impressions of the work, so as not to jinx it in case the situation turns south on me, and no offense intended to the publishers who've been keeping the family fed and housed and educated for the last number of years.

The book is set all in British style, of course -- different spellings, which I can handle, and a punctuation system that has always given me fits. But I can tell at least that it's consistent.

Same type of scholarly tome that I'm accustomed to, but written in such a fashion that you don't even know you're reading an academic book. I really can't say enough about it. Oh, one more thing: it's actually interesting.

Why, among other reasons, do I bring all this up? Well, first off, except for Demand Studios, this work is the first that I remember that results directly from someone (who didn't know me before or was referred to me) finding the blog and contacting me. If it's happened before, I don't recall. And the Demand Studios deal was more a tale of my encouraging them to consider employing me, and that story in this forum resulted in the hire. 'Nuff said about that incident. So, this blog finally paid off in the book publishing field -- my usual realm of opportunity -- albeit in a small way (it's not a big book).

But I was speaking with a neighbor the other day, a retired military meteorologist who does some traveling. He just got back from Morocco and Spain and was railing about how this country is different than it was 50 years ago, and it's going to hell, and we're no better than a developing nation and on and on. And, oh, by the way, the dollar's in the toilet.

I've been wondering why this previously published Australian scholar with a British publishing house went trolling the Internets to find a proofreader (and Paul, you might be reading this; please don't take any of this the wrong way). And I'm not saying this is what happened, but it occurred to me this morning:

My labor is cheap.

Yes, perhaps after generations of conquest and colonialism and feeling like we had the moral imperative to tell the world how to act (when we ourselves were no paradigm for morality [oooh, watch out . . . keep it apolitical]), because of the situation with the dollar, American labor in certain respects might become a bargain.

In the case of Land on Demand editing indexing proofreading, all I can say is, "Bring it on."

Authors and publishers from Europe, Asia, Australia, Africa, and South America: I am open for business. Send your manuscripts and PDFs right here. I accept payments by PayPal. Get that cheap American labor while the dollar is low. Don't waste those precious Euros or rupees or francs, or whatever your local currency of choice is. My rates remain the same, and they're probably looking better to you all the time in comparison to what your local labor charges. For now anyway, my dollar is spending just fine right here, and I'm making no international travel plans anytime soon.

Live outside the United States? Need an American editor, an American proofreader, an American indexer? Drop me a line. Great editorial services cheap. What more can you ask for?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Rogue indeed

Ripped from the headlines:

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Palin in book: McCain aides kept me 'bottled up'
By RICHARD T. PIENCIAK (AP) – 44 minutes ago

NEW YORK — The rumors are true, according to Sarah Palin: The McCain-Palin campaign was not a happy family. In Palin's new memoir, "Going Rogue," she confirms reports of tension between her aides and those of the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, Sen. John McCain. The vice presidential candidate confirms that she had wanted to speak on election night, but was denied the chance and says she was kept "bottled up" from reporters during the campaign.

Palin also writes harshly of CBS anchor Katie Couric, whom she describes as "badgering" and biased. Palin's series of interviews with Couric were widely regarded as disastrous, leaving the impression of an ill-informed candidate who was unsuited for the job.

The 413-page book with 16 pages of color photos but no index comes out Tuesday, Nov. 17. The Associated Press purchased a copy Thursday. "Going Rogue," with a first printing of 1.5 million copies, has been at or near the top of Amazon.com and other best-seller lists for weeks, ever since publisher HarperCollins announced that the book had been completed quickly and the release date was being moved up from next spring.


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More proof that the big publishers don't really care about quality. No publisher in the Land on Demand stable would think for a minute about putting out a book like this without an index. Why would a company publish a first-person memoir from a person of significant public interest without an index? The reasons are numerous, none of them admirable. I don't think for a minute it has to do with time or money or lack of resources. I personally believe that it's an intentional move on the part of the author and her handlers to hinder research and to keep the dreaded media from easy access to discovering what's in the book in advance of the first blitz of her media tour. I could rant, but I've tried so far to keep this blog apolitical.

What's the keyboarding equivalent of biting one's tongue?

If any readers out there want an index for this book, send me a copy and a check for $1,600 . . . a number that I hope is never again associated with this woman.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Quality: editing and proofreading

Good books are good for a number of reasons. The writing is just one aspect of it.

If you go to a movie in which the acting is fine and the story is interesting, would you be able to ignore dialogue that two characters repeat 10 minutes apart, as if it had never happened before? What about the watch one of the charioteers is wearing in Ben-Hur? Maybe you can see the reflection of the camera in a store window. Does that not bother you?

My wife's a huge Al Green fan. He came out with an autobiography a few Christmases ago, and I bought her a copy, as did one of her friends. She could barely get through it because of all the typos. Might have been Random House that published that one . . . one of the big boys.

As a self-publishing author, you owe it to your potential audience to put out the best book you can. Editing and proofreading are essential elements of quality control. You, as an author, are hopefully a wonderful storyteller or a great researcher, or you can write about complex subject matter in a fashion that a layperson can enjoy and learn from it.

I'll be the first to say that I can do none of those things. I can't write stories at all, I have no subject I'm interested enough in to research, and I certainly have no command of any complex subject matter.

But what I can do is make your writing a lot better. You have your area of expertise, and I have mine.

One of my goals as an editor (and as a proofreader, for that matter) is to ensure that no speed bumps appear in the text. That is, the reader should never get hung up on a certain sentence, wondering what that meant or trying to determine how the sentence is supposed to read so that it makes sense. It's awfully hard to produce a page-turner if your reader is constantly saying, "Wait . . . what?" Or, as in the case of my wife, your reader is so distracted by the mistakes that enjoyment of the content is severely diminished, which is a shame.

If you are self-publishing and you want your readers to have a pleasant experience (and to buy your next book), hire an editor before the book is typeset. Hire a proofreader after the book is typeset. Employ a professional so that the book which will forever have your name on it is something you can look back at with pride.

Just a thought, and more to come.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Self-Publishing Editor. Self-Publishing Proofreader. Self-Publishing Indexer.

Do you need a professional editor if you are self-publishing?
Do you need a professional proofreader if you are self-publishing?
Do you need a professional indexer if you are self-publishing?

Yes.
Yes.
Yes.

And in the next post or two, I will give the reasons. In the meantime, you can take a look at my client list and get a feel for my background and why you should consider giving me a call.