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.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Happy Holidays

I've never seen this movie, but I've had the soundtrack album for 30 or so years and love it. I'd totally forgotten about it until I saw a post on another website that referenced Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's awfully pretentious albeit incredibly successful "Lucky Man." In the holiday spirit, I offer you:

If you have a friend on whom you think you can rely,
you are a lucky man.
If you've found the reason to live on and not to die,
you are a lucky man.
Preachers and poets and scholars don't know it,
Temples and statues and steeples won't show it,
If you've got the secret just try not to blow it,
stay a lucky man.
If you've found the meaning of the truth in this old world,
you are a lucky man.
If knowledge hangs around your neck like pearls instead of chains,
you are a lucky man.
Takers and fakers and talkers won't tell you.
Teachers and preachers will just buy and sell you.
When no one can tempt you with heaven or hell,
you'll be a lucky man.

--Alan Price

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Spirit of Christmas

Folks, I just proofread it. I don't make it up. In the holiday spirit, I offer you:

Take a dump for Jesus.

Behold my dear Brethren! the blessed Bridegroom cometh, clothed with Majesty, as with a Robe, with Light, as with a Garment; with Zeal, as with a Cloak. See he is girt with a golden Girdle, his Head and Hairs are white as Snow, and his Eyes are as a Flame of Fire, his Feet like unto fine Brass, as if they burned in a Furnace, and his Voice as the Sound of many Waters [cf. Rev. 1:13b–15]! See the unrivall’d Beauty of his Person, and the inexpressible Riches of his Love! Our adorable Jesus, Is white and ruddy, the chiefest among Ten thousand! He is white in Regard of his unsullied Innocence, and red in Regard of his severe sufferings for us! See he comes from Bozra and Edom, with his Garments died red! his Vesture is discoloured, or rather adorned with his Heart’s-Blood; O amazing Sight! See those Wounds, Believer, he patiently and willingly bore for thee! Wounds which are Scars of Honour, Signatures of Victory, and Arguments of Love and Endearment! Surely his Garments smell of Myrrh, Aloes, and Cassia, out of the Ivory Palaces: Now let the everlasting Doors of your Souls open to embrace your Lord; now let your Bowels move for him: now let your Hands drop with Myrrh, with sweet-smelling Myrrh, upon the Handles of the Lock [cf. Song 5:4–5]! While the King sits at his Table, let your Spikenard send forth the Smell thereof; seeing the Marriage of the Lamb is come, O let the Spouse make herself ready to embrace him. Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus. Amen. Amen.

Gilbert Tennent, Brotherly Love recommended, by the Argument of the Love of Christ: A Sermon, Preached at Philadelphia, January 1747–8. Before the Sacramental Solemnity. With some Enlargement (Philadelphia: Benjamin Franklin and David Hall, 1748), 35-36 (emphasis added).

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Judgment Call

I'm working on a book that mentions counterculture icon Wavy Gravy. Do I index the name as "Gravy, Wavy?" Decisions, decisions . . .

Friday, December 17, 2010

RIP, Don Van Vliet: "Everybody's Colored, or You Wouldn't Be Able to See Them"


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Getting What You Pay For

I do some work for an Internet publisher that has a help desk for its writers and editors -- and wannabes. This missive came in today.

Message: This my second massage to you.I have read your contribuors articles which is very informational and intrested contribute my knowledge through but i am from india.Indians also have good knowledge in all areas & one of the biggest English speaking country in the world other wise our mother tounge is HINDI.If possible give a chance to indians including me to share our knowledge through you around globe . Thanx and regards.

A friend passed along an interesting article a few weeks back relating to the fear of the coming hundred years being the Chinese century. One of the article's points was that the next ten years might be the Chinese decade, but that the century will belong to India because it is an English-speaking country, and 5 billion people don't want to learn Mandarin. Not that one person's email in search of employment to a help desk halfway around the world should serve as a proxy, but this person obviously feels his English is good enough to write for money. That's telling.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

To Boldly Go

Like the world's not scary enough. Ripped from the recent workload:

Many Pentecostal believers have not considered that they might be commissioned and trained as lay ministers to be sent to "new" frontiers. After all, public schools, government offices, and corporate entities are often condemned as "worldly," "secular," and evil instead of being viewed as places of genuine Christian (missionary!) service.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Not Your Father's Christianity . . . and a Glimpse into the Future, Maybe

"Three insights from science today that shed light on the emergence of Christ are morphogenetic fields, quantum entanglement, and holons."

Page 6. And I had a headache before I started.

Books generally print according to cycles, mostly geared toward big conventions. Publishers speak of their spring and fall seasons. Spring means books are coming out in March, printed in January-February . . . which means indexing in December. My schedule presently shows indexes for seven books (some are mercifully short) for December. Yet another reason that Christmas is most certainly not the most wonderful time of the year.

I've said it before: If you're a publisher who happens to be reading this and you must have some copyediting or proofreading work done this month, the lines are now open. There'll be someone here around the clock waiting to answer your email.


Received an email today from one of my favorite presses. The press has a proofing job for me, with a twist. Proofing marks are to be made electronically on a PDF of the book. They wanted to know my take on the matter. My response below:


I can do it, but a few things:

1. It's something I can do because I have the full version of Adobe Acrobat. Proofreaders who just have Reader would need to spend the money to buy Acrobat to have this tool.

2. Regardless of the final product (a marked-up PDF), personally I would still print out the pages, mark them up, and then transfer changes to the electronic version. I realize that's my problem and not yours, but -- and this is just for me -- the quality of my proofreading would go through the floor if I did it all on screen. I can proof or edit a very short document on screen and suffer no loss of quality, but a lengthy, academic tome . . . I don't think I'd keep many clients doing it on screen only. Again, that's my problem.

3. Even if I were confident of proofing on-screen, marking up a PDF is definitely far more time consuming than marking up hard copy. An hourly paid invoice would necessarily reflect that.

4. Something for your consideration: What's the ultimate intent here? Is it to stop shuffling paper around? Stop hard-copy merging of people's comments? Perhaps one PDF can be passed onto another person? I proofread a book for an Australian professor who was doing a postdoc in Sweden, and he found me on the Internet. I proofed his book, then found it would cost about $150 to send the pages to Europe via UPS, and even then, it would take about 8 days to arrive -- both of which were unacceptable. What I did instead was take my marked-up proofs to Office Depot, where they scanned them in and saved the file as a PDF. I then sent the author the PDF of the marked-up pages. Far as I know, everything worked out fine. Personally, I'd far, far rather do that than electronically mark up a PDF. But you guys are signing the paychecks.

I'm willing to try just about anything, especially in the interests of keeping a very good client happy and dragging myself a little more into the 21st century. I'll take the job, and I'm sure you've considered on your end the reasons for doing this. If I can otherwise help with this conversation at all, let me know.


What do you think, folks? Proofreading a 200-plus page book on the screen and marking up the PDF?

And for what it's worth, it doesn't sound like the kind of title that's destined to keep one's eyelids from drooping anyway. Too, anytime I'm tied to the computer, it's all I can do to veer off to check emails, look at Moi's blog, read the news, check out youtube, search for people online, update the blog, and a million other things that keep the Land on Demand meter from running. Which isn't good.