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.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Blowback from the Editorial Desk

My corporate credo since day 1 has been "I will work for anyone who does not advocate violence against me or my family directly." Yes, I am your basic freelance whore, and I've had some clients call me such. As a freelancer, I'll wear that as a badge of honor.

I almost expanded the credo today. Message sent this morning to a publisher, regarding a 5,000-word hagiography of Ronald Reagan:

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I'm working on the Reagan project, but it's all I can do to tell you that I'm about a step away from saying I can't work on it.

From the author's claim that Reagan was born in 1911 in "the middle of the Great Depression," which didn't occur until 20 years later, and his characterization of Jimmy Carter as a simple peanut farmer from the plains of Georgia -- when he was from Plains, Georgia, and was a former Georgia governor, not to mention instrumental in the navy's fledgling nuclear submarine program -- I can't help but really question the veracity of this book overall. The bare facts of history are easy enough to research, but if the intent of the author is to skew history to the point of misconstruing facts and even getting such basics wrong as when the Depression took place, I'm not sure it's worth $80 or so of my time to contribute to such a volume, nor do I understand why XXX would want to be associated with such a treatment of history.

I will hold my nose and keep plugging away, but I'm really surprised at what I'm reading, and what XXX was planning on publishing. I'll state right out that I'm no fan of Reagan, but even his biggest fans shouldn't have to rely on lies and deception to get their point across.

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Best and only comment yet comes from my wife: "It's most likely a textbook for Texas school children." Bravissima. 

 No word yet from the publisher's managing editor.

5 comments:

Chip said...

I tried to spend as much time as I could during the Reagan presidency playing squash.

czar said...

Chip: I think vegetables are an entirely appropriate metaphor for the Reagan era. As are rackets.

moi said...

Hey now. Ooops. I forgot, I'm a GOLDWATER republican. We research.

czar said...

Moi: At one time, I probably would have considered myself a Javits Republican. Talk about an extinct species.

joy at proofreading and editing said...

This reminds me of the practice in making historical films where some facts are twisted around for a more aesthetic effect.

All in the guise of artistic license.