The Love And The Rain Water Are Equally Happy? Proofreading Is Important!
The ASD show in Las Vegas is a great event to find numerous products at wholesale prices. You can meet with many companies, resellers, wholesalers, and manufacturers. It is a worthwhile trip if you are serious about retail sales, whether online or offline. That being said, a brochure I received from a Chinese company that sells homes* at the event brings up an interesting point about proofreading.
This is a picture I took of one page of the brochure. This is not a cheap, home-printed brochure, rather it is more like a magazine in size and quality. The paper is thick cardstock and the printing is flawless. The writing inside is another issue. As you can see some of the text in the above picture describing their houses, which in part reads, “Breathes together with the nature, feels that universal love. Lives in this precious world, the humanity and the plant is equally happy, the love and the rain water are equally happy.”
Keep in mind that this is the write up for a house. Obviously they simply used a translator to translate from Mandarin Chinese to English. The translation software did a poor job, and they made it worse by not having anyone who speaks English fluently proofread the brochure. Every page of the 14 page brochure is filled with bizarre sayings and things that make little sense at all.
The above image from the brochure states, “Release souls,Hug the peace and drunk theterderness,While enjoy the woderful food and wines. Life is so nice!” That is EXACTLY as it reads, with all the grammar and spelling errors included.
The above picture from the brochure says, “Natural health. Not only not any chemical materials, radio aetive materials to our health,instead logs sent forth a delicate fragrance. These is very good to our health. According to the study, living in the log house for a long time will extended our life.”
Why do I bring this brochure up? Well, this company is trying to sell houses that people get in kits and assemble themselves. The display models looked very nice for the low price they were asking. The problem comes in when someone sees this brochure. This brochure undermines any interest people have in the homes because the lack of attention to detail in something as simple as a brochure immediately makes you wonder if they also lack that attention to detail when designing the houses. They would have been better off with no brochure and a site in Chinese.
This brings me to many eBook writers today.
In the old days people had to manually type up books and it was a tremendous amount of effort to get a single book published. Interestingly enough, where there were so many opportunities for spelling and grammatical errors in these books, they generally tended to be well edited. I guess due to the amount of time and effort it took to write a book the author was more concerned with it being done right.
Today you could write and publish a short eBook in a day. Despite this simplicity, including grammar and spell-check options in all word processing software, many of the eBooks of today are filled with errors. This directly reflects upon the author and his or her expertise. In some cases it does not matter, but in many cases such sloppiness brings into question the author’s competency in the subject at hand.
For example, I saw an eBook on private labeling products to sell on Amazon, specifically via Amazon’s FBA program. There were so many grammatical and spelling errors that it was pathetic. The author had obvious rushed the product out without the least concern for doing it right the first time. The problems were very basic things that they would have easily caught if they had even spent a second editing the eBook. Is a person that is this sloppy and lazy with an eBook they priced at a premium someone who I can trust to have put the effort into properly researching the legalities of private labeling, the potential liability, or the things to watch out for in this business? Not at all. I can only assume they did not put forth much effort in those areas either since they paid so little attention to detail in the writing of their eBook.
My encouragement to authors reading this is to hire someone or have a friend proofread your eBook before releasing it. Even well-educated people can make some simple grammatical and spelling mistakes, but if you are selling a product to people please put forth the most basic effort to make it appear that you were diligent in your writing task. This will produce a better quality product for you and help establish your authority in whatever subject you are dealing with.
*Yes, they have full homes on display, the event is that large.