Sometimes I think I should become a proof-reader. Whatever happened to editors?

IMG_0871I see it everywhere and it drives me nuts. Whether it’s printed or digital newspapers, books by top authors, articles, or in this header from FOX. News services stand out the most because you expect good spelling and grammar from them and whilst we know they are culling out the more highly paid staff (often those with the experience) we also expect them to set the standard.

I see it in so many company brochures, profile documents, corporate PowerPoint presentations, magazine articles, packaging and product instructions and don’t get me started on Asian product descriptions from people for whom English is a 3rd language, I expect that, but if a brochure or a web page can’t even spell correctly when they are promoting their business, what impact does that do to their credibility? You can trust our products and services, we just don’t put attention to detail.

Then there are books. Whether it is fiction or nonfiction the quality is going downhill in proportion to the number of new books that become available through self publishing or at least volume digital sales through Amazon Kindle, but even those with professional editors who are anal about quality like Stephen King still slip up once in awhile. Now in fairness that is very rare, but yes, I’ve found typos in Stephen King books, the man who wrote a book on how to write to perfection. I was really disappointed to find those few, because I know how proud he is, not only of his prose, but also the delivery.

I’m not talking about mixed metaphors or the constructive quality of the writing, just basic things like spelling and grammar. I’ve thought of bookmarking them and going back to the writer and suggesting edits, but the act of doing that spoils my reading pleasure and I decided that the writer probably would also be upset to hear from me, given that the books would have already been edited at least twice and they have paid for that service. I remember reading through the instructions when I first published on Kindle. It focused on proofreading and its importance. Even Amazon cares about the quality of your product and they are a distributor not a publisher themselves.

I suspect these days a lot of people are just focused on churning out quantity at pace on limited resources. Perhaps they should just up their focus on quality assurance, because it doesn’t reflect well and guess what? People talk about what they read, but they don’t tell the writer or brand. It detracts from the topic. Your readers do in fact care and whilst the odd mistake can happen (especially if you ignore the tools at your disposal like a spell checker) multiple errors do reflect on your reputation.

About Luigi Cappel

Writer for hire, marketing consultant specialising in Location Based Services. Futurist and Public Speaker Auckland, New Zealand
This entry was posted in brand, Business, Business Consultant, Business Writing, Consultant, Customers, eBook, Editor, good books, Marketing, News, Proof reader, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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