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, December 22, 2008

Mystery solved . . . and an ominous answer

A few posts ago, "Work extra hard so someone else doesn't have to," I wondered about a client that told me to pay particular attention to copyediting the documentation because it probably wouldn't be proofread. In an email exchange regarding the project, I asked the press's managing editor about this comment. The response I received is rather chilling:


Many presses no longer proofread, given that manuscript goes straight from electronic Word file into typeset files without rekeying. This still makes me woozy, because I know copyeditors don't--and can't--catch everything. (Princeton UP had a recent book it pulped and reprinted because of all the errors that slipped through.) We stopped proofreading notes on scholarly books--which generally have fewer than 1,000-copy printings--about a year ago as a cost-saving measure, under the assumption that many people don't read them, so lingering errors there are less likely to be noticed than they would be in the general text. I'm no big fan of the idea, but unfortunately with an ever-tightening budget, we're having to make some tough choices.

We do use freelance proofreaders, if you're interested. Our rates are between 65 (trade) and 75 (scholarly) cents per book page, though--not much if one's trying to make a living off of the task.


Frankly, I could rant about these comments for quite a while, but I believe I'll let them stand alone.

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