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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for visiting. Leave me a comment. Come back often.
Wednesday, August 31, 2016
Every once in a while the presses screw up, as do I. I can't lay the blame for this decision at the feet of the person who sent me the work, because the mandate likely came from the author or some other, uh, authority.
This month has brought four different index update projects, which is as many as I might get in a typical year or two. I usually don't like this process, mostly because I'm having to deal with other people's indexes -- often the author's, I fear.
For the current project, the existing index is a mishmash of, in addition to about 50 percent useful entries, material in the author's head that doesn't appear on the page (very difficult to update) and the most inane type of word-search-instead-of-an-index that I've seen (very frustrating to update from an indexer's point of view, but it's not my job to eviscerate the index, because I wasn't hired to improve the content -- only update it). For example, if the phrase "heart of darkness" appeared in the book, "heart" received a citation if that word was indexed for another reason.
The previous indexer also missed obvious citations for which there were already entries, as with names. I'm adding those if I see them.
Here's the kicker: Not only is it a very demanding press (I'd get fired for submitting an index like this), but I could have written a much better index in less time than it's taking me to update the page numbers . . . and they're paying me the same price as they pay indexers now, as far as I know.
Mitigating circumstance: I would not have received a request to update this index in the first place because I don't index for this press anymore. Why? Because of the rate they pay.
But I like this press enough that, in a softhearted moment, I might have suggested that I just rewrite. I suppose I wasn't in the mood or made the discovery too late.
So . . . I'm taking too long updating an index that should be rewritten for an otherwise good book (I think) that I'm not even getting to read.
As much as I bitch about it, I do kind of like the reading part of my job.
UPDATE: Now here's something hilarious. I was looking at my blog posting history, and this year is on the way to being the most prolific yet, not that I really care. But I opened up 2013, which was the year I'd written least (only 18 postings for the year; damn). Clicked on the first link, and to what did my wondering eyes appear?
Another rant on updating indexes. Title: Torture and Bafflement
Monday, August 29, 2016
One might say, but it's the copyeditor's job to make the manuscript better. I've done that. But it's also a sane copyeditor who recognizes when the work could become substantive editing real fast. And that's not what the job order is calling for.
Saturday, August 27, 2016
My friend is fifty-eight years old and has a delightful six-year-old son, which informs the email I received today:
Just wanted to tell you that the Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers live CD has grabbed a spot in Zachary's brain. We listened to it a good bit for a week or so after you sent it to me, and then a couple of times here and there. Yesterday, he was walking around muttering "dum de dum de dum dittle um day, oh New England!" and I just had to laugh. That's not even one of the songs we've played a lot. We were in a loop of playing "I'm a Little Airplane," "Ice Cream Man," "I'm a Little Dinosaur," and "My Little Kookenhaken."
So we had to play "New England" like 3 times on the way to school today.
You are one subversive motherfncker.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Monday, August 15, 2016
Sent today to a restaurant chain's corporate office on their customer feedback portal.
Awful experience, and we never got past the host station. We'd planned on going to Ruby Tuesday’s next door, but it had closed up shop that very day. We went to XXX's, and the following conversation ensued. The XXX's employee was one of two at the host station -- a lanky mid-to late 20-something with lightish brown hair and quite an attitude.
Me: You're benefiting from your neighbor shutting down. When did Ruby Tuesday's close?
Me: No notice?
XXX's: Nope. All the employees let go.
My wife: A lot of restaurants around here are closing and moving to Tennessee. Why would they do that?
XXX's: You have something against Tennessee?
My wife: Well, taxes are higher and --
XXX's: Well, you live in communist Virginia.
His comment was made without a bit of humor and with far more of an edge than one would expect. We turned around and walked out.
We'll never be back to this XXX's or likely any other if you continue to tolerate this type of blatantly confrontational attitude from employees at your restaurants.
I would welcome a response to this feedback. I hope you'll let the manager at the store know as well.