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.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Where's That 3D Printer When I Need It?

Because I'd like to take this author's attitude, copy it, and embed it in the mind of all the authors out there who think they know what belongs in an index, all the evidence to the contrary.

I'd also like to send him flowers, even though the first line of his email scared the living hell out of me.


Hi Bob,

I hired you because I figured you know how to do an index. The last one I did took too much time.

So I am just going with the index you produced.


Monday, November 6, 2017

New Blog Approach

It’s what you might call multipurposing of related content. Scholars do it all the time. If I had a dollar every time I saw an author with a virtually identically titled article published the same year in a different journal, and it was a book chapter somewhere else and a presentation at a conference, I’d be able to make the next payment on my Lamborghini.

And this way, I’m sorta always on topic. Unless I need to throw down for an hour on the therapist’s couch.

I gotta buncha killer emails to India to post. Good lord. Being that angry all morning, from the time your eyes have barely cleared, is no fun.

Reminded of a line from Jim Bouton’s Ball Four, as I often am. The players had been asked to report for batting practice at 10am in advance of a 12:30pm start because of a nationally televised game. One of the players said, “Ten o’clock? I'm not even done throwing up by then.”


By the way, on this note from your email—and not apropos to this project—

Endnotes no longer need to be provided as separate document as InDesign has a new feature available in its latest edition of the platform.

First, that’s great news. Second, one day I’d like to sit down with all the designers and typesetters and managing editors I work with and say, “OK, Just what the hell can InDesign do?” Because, as far as I know, all my folks use InDesign but they all tell me different things. And I don’t know what designers are doing on their ends that I should probably be doing, or what I’m doing that I don’t need to be doing (such as HTML coding if InDesign can pick up a bulleted list). 

I’ve heard different things for years about notes and lists and tables and style sheets (thank you, [name of press here]) and so much else. There’s one press I work for, and the designer absolutely refuses to learn how to do style sheets. They’re in InDesign, of course, right? You match up the style sheet in Word with the style sheet in InDesign and voila? The jobs are basically novels and memoirs, very little formatting, and my life would be so much easier if I could just use style sheets—which very, very few presses use, I’m sorry to say. The two times I tried style sheets, he wrote the publisher like the world was going to end. I tried to explain it to him up front. He was agreeable. Then no way. Not gonna do it. 

Nothing Worse

I think the worst part of my job is dealing with authors who want to remake an index because they "don't understand the rationale" behind, well, apparently anything. I'm dealing now, thankfully at second-hand, with a volume editor who is wondering why a particular phrase, which must be wrong, is appearing in the index.

Because it's not only a term, it's right where the index says it is.

I finally responded to the press, somewhere within about a four-email string of seething rage, that if the editor didn't like the term in the index, they should take it out of the book.

Oh, an email just came in. Maybe it's from India, telling me what else is wrong. I hate waking up to emails from India. They are never good. Work requests don't seem to come at dawn.

Maybe my problem is going to sleep. I don't know if it's easier to start a day or end a day being just off-the-rails pissed off.

"Ant trade," in case you're wondering.