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, October 9, 2017

Daily Demands

Working on a 600-page index—40-plus chapters, all different authors, global study of an Issue of Importance. Indexing is different from proofing and copyediting in that longer jobs make for increased difficulty in a way that doesn't affect the red-pencil tasks. Typically indexing problems grow exponentially with length, and indexing problems are not always easily solved. I'm speaking of consolidating entries and subentries and even keeping track of what you've discussed. My usual tendency to overindex also gets worse with length, because I don't want to leave something out that might reemerge 450 pages later—and I want to have enough subentries because the listing will be huge. Sorry, publisher and Chicago, but this index is going to have a lot more than a dozen main entry numbers for UNSCR 1325.

At this point in my life, and I hope this is no jinx, there aren't many hard-to-solve proofreading and copyediting problems. Make a decision, mark the style sheet (in the case of copyediting), and move on. It's someone else's prose and output. Indexing is an original product, the result of decisions I make related to content and wording. It's writing. It's hard. It's not fun.

Before the return to indexing, though, I have some hours to put in for a relatively new client. I try never to mention or allow readers to identify clients here (usually successfully, I think), but one particularly notable employer resulting from some early posting on this blog comes in for a little revisiting. I ranted my way into employment with an Internet publishing outfit called Demand Studios, subsequently Demand Media Studios. If I ever write the book I've been asked to, but never will, that seven-year-long episode could merit a chapter.

But now it's led to a similar gig of reviewing the work of dozens of contributors to a company called Dotdash, which used to be about.com, which predated Google, for Chrissakes. about.com for a short period was the property of the old grey lady, but unfortunately for my great aunt Ettie, I cannot now say that I work for the New York Times. She'd have been pleased. So far, the task almost approaches pleasant. Causes me to learn a few new tools (never bad for this dotard) and actually improves my editing for more scholarly endeavors. And if the gig ever turns south, which I hope it doesn't for a long time, you'll not hear about it here.

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