I began my freelance career in 1991, following in-house editorial jobs with The Institute of Physics, Oxford University Press and B. T. Batsford Ltd, and a brief spell as a technical writer for BIS Banking Systems.
From very early in my career (even before I went freelance) I specialised in electronic publishing. Initially that meant editing authors wordprocessor files rather than using the traditional process of marking up hard copy for a typesetter to re-key. I soon realised that affordable desktop computers and laser printers meant that I could carry out the entire process from copy-editing to final output, ready for the printer.
It wasnt just the words I was able to deal with either. Drawing software made the production of high-quality illustrations possible without the need for outside assistance.
I was one of the first freelance editors in the UK to join the Internet, as a result of which I learned how to build and maintain websites.
More recently, the emergence of e-books as a significant part of the publishing has led me to develop skills in that area.
I have a degree in Physics from the University of Bristol, along with A Levels in Physics, Mathematics and Economics.
When Im not working I can often be found playing chess for Lichfield Chess Club. I helped coach the Nottinghamshire Under 11 chess team for five years (national champions in 2009 and 2010).
I am also the webmaster (and web designer) for a small charity – ICP Support. This site was shortlisted for the ‘Best Online Resource for Mums and Mums to be’ category at the Royal College of Midwives 2016 Midwifery Awards.
As of mid-2016, I am in training (if you can call it that!) for a half-marathon in October (I completed the Birmingham 10 km run in May). Almost 40 years ago I finished 123rd out of the 126 runners in my year in a school cross-country race, so this is a real challenge!
I typeset books and journals using the following software:
InDesign is used for most jobs. However, when mathematics is involved LaTeX has clear advantages.
Naturally, I generally advise against using a word processor to do the job of page layout, but good results can be achieved when they are used skilfully.
I will use whichever software is most appropriate for a particular job. Most clients prefer Microsoft Word for normal work. I use specialised text editors for LaTeX files.
If I am both copy-editing and typesetting the same job I generally use WordPerfect for editing, which has far better support for book-length documents.
I use the facilities available within the page layout software to generate accurate indexes. All entries are added by hand – I do not make auto-generated indexes from word lists.
I can work on paper or screen. Annotating Acrobat PDF files is now a popular way of working.
I use the following software to produce drawings:
Converting illustrations produced in other software is a speciality.
One caveat: Im not an artist! What were talking about here are diagrams suitable for academic publications.
If you want to publish an e-book (for Amazons Kindle, for example) as well as (or instead of) a conventional printed book I can help. Not all books are suitable for the e-book treatment, but a little planning may make it possible. From September 2012 to December 2015 I typeset the British Chess Magazine in both conventional and e-book formats.
I will deal directly with the author or editor of a book in order to smooth the flow of production. Everything remains under your control of course, and anything that has cost implications will be referred back to you for approval.
This is a little different from the publishing side of things, but many of the editorial services listed above are important on the Web too – badly written websites can drive clients away.
This site is an example of a simple one-page design. For a more complex site, visit ICP Support. This site formed the basis of ICP Support's shortlisting for the ‘Best Online Resource for Mums and Mums to be’ category at the Royal College of Midwives 2016 Midwifery Awards.
I dont claim to cover every subject, but I can handle most. Anything in the sciences (including mathematics) and social sciences is fine. Arts, media and sport are also strong areas, and I specialise in chess.
This is where I list all the technical stuff for those who are interested. You can skip this if you only care about how the finished job turns out and aren't bothered about the technical details.
Most of my work is done on a Windows 10 desktop PC, with (at last count) three separate hard drives (of which more later). I also use laptops running Windows 10, Windows XP and Linux when away from the office. I have a scanner for OCR and for handling those rare photographs that havent already been digitised. The desktop PC has twin 23 inch widescreen monitors, providing lots of high-resolution workspace for precision work.
Linux comes in handy for testing purposes, as well as the occasional piece of software that doesnt have a Windows equivalent.
This is mostly detailed under Services. My policy is to use whatever tool is best for the job, whether proprietary or open source. I still use a few programs (like WordPerfect) that arent particularly popular today, but which do their job more efficiently than any other. However, Im always happy to go with your preference if you have one.
A long time ago, before I went freelance, a typesetter that my employer was using suffered a fire that destroyed most of the jobs they were working on. The company lost its backups too – they were kept in the same building. That wont happen to anything that Im working on.
All work is backed up from my main hard drive to a secondary drive. That backup is then copied to an external hard drive, so if the main computer dies I can just plug the external drive into another computer and carry on.
In the event that both the PC and the external drive fail, all current work is continually backed up to cloud-based services and synced to the main laptop. And if the laptop were also to fail, I can still download the files to another computer and carry on.
Everything is protected by strong passwords for maximum security.
You can write to me at:
Ian Kingston Publishing Services
Flat 3, Russell Court
Email is probably quicker, of course:
And then there’s the telephone:
+44 (0)121 352 0071
or +44 (0)7989 714568 (mobile)
Office hours only please! (But if you’re in a different time zone I’ll do my best to be available at other times.)
I don't list any typical prices here because every job is different. If you'd like me to quote for your job, just send me sample material so that I can make a reasonable estimate for you.