I am discovering that the #1 reason writers do NOT use proofreaders is that egocentric writers don’t take criticism – or editing – well. What a mistake. This is especially true of senior levels in companies; CFO’s and COO’s take great pride in their treatises and shrug off the need for another to review their work.
Today, now more than ever, mistakes show up and mistakes cost. For example, the negligence of one airline caused a loss of $7.2 million due to a pricing error.
In 2005, a Japanese securities firm got bit by a typo that cost $340 million. 610,000 yen per share was sold at 610,000 at one yen apiece. Huge damage.
A misprint in a Macy’s mailer advertised a $1,500 necklace for $47. (It should have been $497.)
As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. Accuracy is especially important when it comes to price lists, instructions, technical data, warranties, and more. When errors are missed, it can be costly to reprint documents and signage or make things right with customers.
Even if you’re small potatoes, you can’t afford to publish inaccurate prices or specials.
And if you’re writing a book (non- and fiction) for publication, the world will see your work. I kid you not, you may not be in a league of millions, but mistakes – including a misplaced decimal point online – can hurt your reputation.
Employ the 2nd pair of eyes no matter what.
A reminder to the egocentric: everyone’s writing has errors or opportunities for improvement, even yours. Once you have worked on a writing project for so long, you can become blind to things. When you first start reviewing what you wrote, you may catch egregious errors, but the more you review the more your brain identifies with “the way it is” and you stop seeing mistakes. This is why you need an expert like me.
Occasionally, I see typos in a magazine or newspaper headline, the largest letters on the page. Gets my goat every time. How does this happen? The proofreader probably did the text and someone else at the last minute came up with a “better headline” that wasn’t double-checked. Oops.
Or (for me), the worst kind is when the proofreader goes through a manuscript text and the author publishes the description and back cover without being proofed. This gets more than my goat – it hurts my brain.
But all in all, typos can be costly, and embarrassing. At least know the difference between “it’s” and “its” or where a comma is most appropriate.
Let’s connect and discuss your writing project. My 2nd pair of eyes could save you printing costs or better, credibility. Contact me here: https://proriskenterprises.com/contact-me/