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.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Index Entry of the Day

Dear, John, 328n34

And for the newcomers to the wacky world of indexing, that means note 34 on page 328. Some style guides would have an indexer write that as 328 n. 34. LandonDemand doesn't do some style guides, and a number of my publishers prefer the set-tight, no-punctuation approach. If nothing else, there's no chance of the page-number entry breaking across lines:

328
n. 34

or

328 n.
34

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Today's Fun Typo

Unpublished, fortunately, but caught by some sharp-eyed editor:

How to Make a Drapery for a Large Triangular Widow

I don't think I can call up an image through the google that would do justice here. But if any of my sharp-eyed readers can do so, I'd be happy to post it.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Self-Publishing Made Simple

From The Network Is Your Customer (Rogers, Yale University Press, forthcoming [2010]):

An even greater impact on the book industry may come from the arrival of custom-printing kiosks, such as the Espresso. This “ATM for books” can print a hundred pages a minute and bind the pages into a finished book on a machine that will fit in the corner of a local bookstore. The first Espresso in Europe appeared in the famed Blackwell’s bookshop in central London, where it expanded the bookstore’s famously large selection with an additional half-million titles, ready to print from digital files. A customer coming in to find Charles Darwin’s out-of-print book on earthworms was able to print a copy in minutes for about twenty dollars (instead of paying a thousand dollars on the secondhand market for rare books). The first Espresso in the United States was in the homey Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, Vermont. The store found that many aspiring authors came in to print short runs of their own unpublished books once they found out they no longer needed an established publisher to accept their manuscript. As its digital library expands, the Espresso will allow small, local bookstores like Northshire to offer just as many niche books as an online powerhouse like Amazon.

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http://www.ondemandbooks.com/home.htm

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What great news for authors. And what's great news for authors should be great news for authors who want to put out quality books. Are you an author wanting to self-publish? Don't forget quality control. Have the book copyedited. Pay a professional to proofread it. Are you putting out a family history or a work of nonfiction? For your readers' benefit, the book needs an index. Whether you come to me or someone else, do your audience a favor and make the book the best it can be. Your future readership will grow as a result, and you'll be prouder of your past output when you look back at it.

A word to the wise.



Thursday, July 1, 2010

She's Gotta Not Have It, or No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


Bob:

When you edited chapter two of [a book on leadership], you changed his to the word her in the following sentence:

A sage leader learns to delegate her time wisely and finds a sense of balance in life.

Some of our writers might feel that we are trying to impose political correctness on them if we make changes like this. So for future reference, you can leave it as is (his) or change it to something like this:

A sage leader learns to delegate his or her time wisely and finds a sense of balance in life.

Thank you.

XXX


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XXX: I wouldn't call it imposing political correctness as much as living in the 21st century and not offending half of the potential readership. Don't these folks want to sell books? Does the writer not think there are women leaders?

I alternated "his" and "her" through the book rather than the rather clunky "his or her," which gets cumbersome after a while.


I'll do whatever you want me to do, though.

Bob

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Funny thing is, the CEO of this publishing house (not listed in my client list) is a woman.

In my mind, gender inclusiveness in a business title is not PC. It's common sense. When I read a book on leadership and every single pronoun reference is male, I'm wondering why the company has decided to reprint a Sputnik-era volume. In this day and age, if I'm a woman reading a book on leadership traits and no generic leader in the book is portrayed as a woman -- and when that's the case, I don't think it's writer laziness as much as a conscious decision -- I'm putting the book down, if not using it as a fire starter when wintertime comes.

Grrrr.