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, July 7, 2008

talking with publishers

Seems that everyone wanted to catch up today after the holiday weekend.

1. I told one of my best clients a provisional no, thanks, to an index, just because I have too many of them scheduled back to back at a certain point in the future, and of the three tasks I undertake, the one I cannot do repeatedly (like four or five in a row) is indexing. I need a break from that, moreso than proofing and editing.

2. Another very nice publisher of mine contacted me because the author whose book she was publishing was questioning the serial comma (sigh) and was totally confused by the Chicago treatment of numbers. Well, no surprise there, because the Chicago treatment of numbers is totally confusing if you don't (1) work with it every day or (2) have someone like me to explain its confusion in easy-to-understand and impossible-to-remember terms.

3. Professional services firm from a few posts back continues to be confused on copyediting/proofreading. They emailed and said they could shuttle me some chapters to proofread, and then the designer could work on the layout and design from those corrected chapters. No, I explained, first the layout and design, then the proofing. After encountering the aural brick wall, I asked if I could just be put in touch with the person who is actually composing the book. Meanwhile, more time is wasted on the front end and, oh yeah, their deadline seems to have moved closer on the back end.

4. Again, if you're following the story, the publisher I mentioned a few posts back who is helping put out the out-of-date business book asked for my opinion on the tome, which I gleefully shared, and with which he 100 percent agreed. Now there's a cause for fireworks.

Next on the desk is an actual very up-to-date business book. What a nice change.

But also today, amid incessant phone calls and emails, was indexing the chatty book on how the wealthy should give their money away now. Interesting thing has developed over the years. From repeatedly indexing books on very difficult subject matter, I find that indexing books that are more anecdotal or down-homey, for want of a better term, is a harder task. Easy book, tough index. One of my publishing cohorts said that one of my greatest talents was to write indexes for books that have very little true content and make them seem substantive. Whether that's a good thing, I don't know.

Long day, tired eyes, boring post. Well, maybe they all are.

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