Thursday, January 01, 2009

Where's Your Wow? by Robyn Spizman and Rick Frishman

Where’s Your Wow? 16 Ways to Make Your Competitors Wish They Were You! By Robyn Spizman and Rick Frishman is a small book full of inspirational examples from various parts of the business world. With stories from entrepreneurs to authors to business moguls, each chapter is overflowing with the sort of cheerleading enthusiasm one would expect to find judging from the title.

What it doesn’t contain is evidence of a good proofreader. Here are some examples:

Today, Facebook is has the largest number of registered users among college-focused sites with over 34 million active members worldwide. (79)

He and cofounder wife Enid, who shared this dream, grew the ranch by word of month, offering low-calorie gourmet food, more luxury, and a world-class staff of professionals and leading experts in lifestyle medicine. (110)

When something or someone is outstanding, tempts our taste buds, evokes an emotion, or peeks our curiosity, we talk about it. (131)

That last one is my favorite because it should be piques and yet I see so many people write peeks as if our curiosity were peering out at the world trying to find someone who knows how to spell.

I don’t expect any writer to catch every mistake. Hell, I just had someone point out that I’d used it’s instead of its and I know I know the difference between the two but mistakes happen. That’s why publishers hire people to read manuscripts and catch these mistakes before they reach publication.

I honestly don’t know what to think. This book wasn’t as long as most books and still managed to have more than the usual errors. But usual seems to be the exception now and my standards are probably going to start lowering at the rate these poorly proofread books are being published.

It’s a shame. I like Robyn Spizman and I really wanted to like this book. I didn’t hate it. I just can’t help knowing that I’d have liked the book more if it hadn’t come off as something the publishers just threw out to make a buck and hoped the readers would be too careless to care about the quality of the product. And that’s what is so ironic because there are whole sections in the book about how it’s important to produce something that not only shows your personal WOW but makes others say WOW in response.

So for a book that’s all about the WOW, why did the publisher print what is merely a MEH?

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