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, October 26, 2010

Guidelines Minutiae

Indexing

I worked on an index recently that is destined for a university press consortium that is new to LandonDemand. The consortium represents five universities in a part of the country known for its excellent higher education. I will leave it at that.

The press offered an interesting detail about how it wants its final indexes to appear.

> Use subentries only for entries that have more than eight or ten page numbers. As far as possible, make sure that each subentry has multiple page numbers rather than a single page number.

That guideline would take some getting used to, although I'd do well to heed its advice. The level of detail in my indexes would be diminished, and I'd likely spend less time in composing them. Having done something a certain way for years, the shift would require an adjustment in my work practices. I can think of a few of my clients who probably wouldn't be wild about the change in approach, but maybe I've been overdelivering for too long. Speaking a few weeks ago with the freelancer who kind of inspired me into this business and finding out that she's charging about 33 percent more for her indexes than I am makes me think I could stand to pull out fewer hairs over this tedious task.

Copyediting

From the style sheet of one of the clients I rehabilitated earlier this year:

> Do hyphenate all participle-terminated prenominal compound adjectives (e.g., “participle-terminated” in this sentence).
> Do hyphenate predicative compound adjectives that are participle-terminated (e.g., “participle-terminated” in this sentence).
> Do not treat noun-adjective compound adjectives in general in the same way as participle-terminated ones.
> Do not hyphenate compound adjectives consisting of noun modifying noun (e.g., “water quality analysis”).
> Use an en dash in compound adjectives consisting of two joined nouns or parallel adjectives (e.g., “Thai–Cambodian border”).
> Do not hyphenate adverbially modified compound adjectives (such as “adverbially modified” in this sentence) even if the adverb does not end in -ly.

I admit freely that except for the line about the en dashes, I had to read the above about four times before I understood what the hell was going on. Not to pull the curtain back on the Wizard or anything, but I am not Mr. Grammar, which might be a surprising admission for copyeditor. (And to those folks who think the SAT is a predictor of future career success, if that's the case, I'd be an engineer today instead of an editor.) I know proper grammar, but I can't explain it. I can't tell you what all the different tense variations are or the names for anything other than the essential parts of speech, but I guess if my client list is any indication, I do a fair job out of making sense out of the whole deal.

Without any doubt, the person in my work career who could throw around all the names of tenses and parts of speech with the greatest facility was one of the worst editors--and certainly the worst manager--I have ever encountered.

====

On an unrelated note, some ignant author stories are lurking, but I need a little more distance between job completion and talking out of school before I write anything about them.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Random Notes

Mostly because I'm tired of the guy pictured below.

1. An old friend/author/client popped into my head recently -- a guy I worked with in Atlanta whom I came to know through some freelance work on the political newsletters and then some ad agency work. He eventually wrote a novel and then moved to New York as a late career change . . . actually to teach in the inner-city schools: a rather noble and admirable pursuit. I'd edited a draft of a novel of his some years back. I thought yesterday, I need to get in touch with him and see how he's doing -- unrelated to his book. I'm working at the computer today, and an email from him comes in, saying the new draft of his novel is almost ready, and could I work on it? I wrote him immediately, Strange thing. I thought of you out of nowhere yesterday. He wrote back, Haha. that's great. I just started thinking about contacting you yesterday! Universe works in funny ways.

2. Yes, funny ways. I dreamed last night that Moi and I were shopping in New York City. Not sure if this is dream or nightmare or somewhere in between. I can imagine spending time with Moi in NYC in any number of pleasurable pursuits from which I could benefit from her vast knowledge: museums, food festivals, dingy nightclubs with echoes of long-lost genres. Shopping with Moi in NYC? Nyet.

3. I am in the middle of about five consecutive indexes, which means I am psychically about to come off the rails. Lord, deliver me.