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, June 26, 2008

at it again

I've sent a few folks here recently, and it probably doesn't look good that the site's not been updated. So, I'm checking in.

To say that I've been too busy to post is not an exaggeration. I really have not had the time. Potential clients, take note: Don't use this admission as an indication I don't want to hear from you. I always want to develop new relationships, because the old ones can come and go. I came damn near to firing perhaps my best client today because I just can't continue to accept the invariably impossible jobs they routinely send me. Admittedly they don't put out many easy ones, but when I look at their catalog I think, Hell, they could have sent me that, for a change. I just finished indexing another book from them that was right over my head, and I'm embroiled now in reading a dictionary that's like the vegetables your parents gave you growing up -- the more you chewed, the bigger they grew in your mouth. It seems like the more I work on this book the more I have left to do on it. And it's not a particularly difficult one. Just . . . so . . . damn . . . long.

And I've had some contact lately with potential new clients for whom I'd like to make some room, and then there are those to whom I have emotional ties, and then there are actually some where I enjoy the reading. I shouldn't have reason to complain, as I'm busier than anyone has any right to be, but, well, I'd like to see my family once in a while. Both my boys are home, and I feel like an absentee father, while they're walking around on the floor above me. However, they are the occasional source of relatively inexpensive labor for tedious tasks. And they're not bad at it. I'm not trying to give them career advice at this point by any means. For all I care, they can become indie rock gods or CIA agents or both or neither. I did tell one of them the other day though, that if he remembers nothing else that I've told him over the last 18 years remember this: Don't ever get yourself into a position where working 24 hours a day is not enough. That's about where I am now.

But, hell, I'm not in a coal mine or being shot at. I did have a potential new client ask how I got to be doing what I'm doing, and I explained that it's this or working at the Amoco station down the street. I have no other marketable skills. Thankfully, I have a market. I know at least one designer who is out of work, and a good friend is hanging on by the skin of her teeth as a newspaper reporter. I've received 2 newspaper articles in the last 2 days about papers either getting rid of copyeditors or outsourcing the task to India. An author I know (the father of a friend of my son's) who writes law texbooks when he's not lawyering says that his company has recently begun outsourcing copyediting to India. When I asked him how it was going, he said that they queried or tried to change all the jokes or puns because they didn't understand them. He finally told them just to let it slide and to trust him. The readership will understand.

I could go on, but my 24 hours are slipping away. Thanks for reading.


moi said...

Yay! Bob's back! Look out, non serial commaists.

Anonymous said...

That's good career advice you've given the boys. I've found that, if you cross enough time zones, you can work more than 24 hours in a day, and that too is no way to live.
Creating new demand, as you are attempting to do with this blog, is the best reponse to the threat of outsourcing for any business. In fact I'll be in Bangalore next week providing services and products to Indian companies. There is a reverse side of the coin of globalization.
Anna and I hope to see you in November at Q's pig pickin'.

czar said...

Chip, you old industrialist. The textile business has been following the ducats from time immemorial. No one could blame you for stopping now. Hell, you were globalizin' before Tom Friedman began fulminatin'.