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.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Work extra hard, so someone else doesn't have to

Folks, I've been doing this kind of work for quite a while, as you can tell from this blog, but that doesn't mean I can't be surprised.

I received a job the other day from a press for which I have a lot of respect. Not only are their projects prepared well before they come to me, but their books typically are interesting, too. For me, this is not a common combination.

One problem I do have with this press, though, is that each job is accompanied by literally about 9 pages of notes and instructions for the copyeditor. I guess this speaks some to their attention to quality and detail . . . but I'm not getting paid to read those 9 pages. On the other hand, if I don't follow the instructions therein, I'm not getting more work from the press.

Anyway, I'm giving the latest list of instructions the once-over before the file goes into the stack of jobs I'll be tackling later. Screaming off the page comes this sentence: "Please pay extra attention to the documentation, because the proofreader will not be reading it."


First, I don't pay any more or any less attention to the documentation (notes and bibliography) because I'm told to do so. As I've ranted about in a previous posting, one of the things that grinds my guts is when a copyeditor does a bang-up job on the running text and feels like it wasn't worth their trouble to do a decent job on the documentation. So I always try to do as good a job on the documentation as I do on the rest of the book. It's not like I take the approach of, "Well, I'll give 90 percent on these pages and 110 percent on these pages." They all benefit, I hope, from the same approach and quest for quality.

But to be told that the proofreader will not be reading the notes and the bibliography . . . (1) Why the hell not, and (2) Where do I sign up???

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