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.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

errors and omissions

I just finished another work where those flashes of light that occur in the sky were routinely spelled as "lightening." And this wasn't a compilation of unedited third-graders' weather reports. What the hell is going on these days?

And another book in which the sun was referred to as being 96 billion miles away from the earth. Come on now. I am far from being Mr. Science, but, damn.

Personally, I think people write and spell crappily and can't get the most basic facts right because they don't read.

One author in particular for whom I've edited four novels in the last six or so years cannot master the basic structure of questions in dialogue. I charge about a 40 percent markup on per's work because 400 pages of changing the following sentence structure just drives me nuts:

"Where is the party," Jim said?

Now, you'd think that after seeing three books that I've worked on of per's, per would get the point. I think the underlying issue is that per's either not read enough to see what looks correct, or per's just too damn dense to understand. I really don't think the latter is the case, so I'm left with the former conclusion. Per's opuses (opi?) now constitute about sixteen hundred pages of the most implausible plots and characters I've ever read, but they've won awards and I'm sure garnered per no shortage of recognition. And per can die with "author" on the tombstone, for writing four books of what started out as a trilogy.

But per keeps writing and writing. And I hope per keeps at it. Man does not live by theology alone.

And no word yet on the aforementioned internet publishing dustup. I am waiting and will report.

PS: I had to go through seven pages of google.images to find an image posted of "lightening" that did not refer to lightning.


Don said...

opera (Oprah?)

Years of Latin.

In response to your question, Bob, I mostly work for the NYC trade publishers (FSG, Random House, Simon and Schuster) with a little medical publishing thrown in to pay the bills.

czar said...


Opera? Damn. That's what I get for stopping Latin after 8th grade. Amo, amas, amat.

Ask a copyeditor. Always the life of the party. I tell people I'm an expert in things for about a day. then it all goes right out the window. If you want to know something about the book I'm working on, you've got about a 24-hour window to get any reliable information out of me.

Needless to say, this is very frustrating for publishers who call to ask specifics about a project three weeks after I've sent it back to them.

I just finished working on a book about the Episcopal liturgy, which claimed there were only 5 vowel sounds in Latin. True?

moi said...

Didn't you recently catch me lightening something that should have been lit up instead? Oh, no, I remember. I nearly fluorinated rather than fluoridated a client's water. That would have been bad. Very, very bad.

czar said...


Didn't you ultimately determine that they had made that mistake themselves? And you had merely passed it along?

moi said...

Is that what happened? Gah, that project is such a blur. Regardless, it got by ME, but not YOU. See how you keep the universe from completely falling apart?

czar said...


Problem is, I caught it while indexing, which means I missed it at copyediting. Ssshhh. Don't tell anyone.

And regarding the universe: it'll get along just fine. I'm the one who's falling apart.