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.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

With copy like this, who needs a blurb writer?

Unedited sentences from a recent book:

"I grew up an eccentric and extremely quiet adorable kid. According to my older siblings, I was simply brilliant."

I'm forty-seven years old. I have an older brother who still is, in his own way, one of my heroes, and certainly about the funniest person I've ever known. We don't communicate much, although in these days of email, we correspond about 100 times more than we did when we were in our 20s and 30s. Not that there has ever been a single solitary problem between us (well, maybe except for that one time he tried to drown me), but let's just say that the Lands would never be mistaken for the Walton family. Not even Bill Walton . . .

But I don't think my brother would ever, even if prompted, use such gushing language about me. And that's fine, but this is only the beginning of the types of prose this author uses in 1st-person references. And in case you're curious, his name does not appear among my "recent work." By the end, I felt like maybe I should have been paying him to work on his book.

Oh, my brother? He's a . . . proofreader. Must have been something in the water on Staten Island in those years. Funny, though. My brother says that where he works, he cannot claim the steepest descent into proofreading. No, that prize would be awarded to a certain gentleman who attended Harvard Business School with our current president. Think how much better we'd be as a nation if George W. Bush were holed up working third-shift somewhere proofreading filings for the SEC.

Something to think about.

Gotta run. More bad prose awaits.

And then an index for a 900-page book. Yow.

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