• No products in the cart.
  • No products in the cart.
Back To Top
Image Alt



There are still huge efforts to “offshore” work to cheaper labor in other countries. Some airlines have learned the lesson the hard way, and have brought reservations lines back to the US after massive customer complaints about poor service and poor English skills. I understand from the media reports that the World Cup flags were made in atrocious working conditions in Asia. And quite a few high-end designers have bee caught using “sweatshop” labor abroad.

I’ve also found that publishers have outsourced—of all things—their editing and proofing operations to other countries, most notably the Philippines. My experience is pretty horrible. There is no more “developmental editing,” in that there is no feedback on content in terms of duplication or lack of sufficient content explanation and examples. Because English is not native, there are additional errors created. For example, if I write “Their establishing a new outpost was innovative…” it is changed to “Their establishment a new outpost…” because a possessive and gerund are not recognized as a noun form. Tenses are often incorrectly changed.

This isn’t the practice of a few publishers, it seems to be an industry norm. It’s not terribly different from those “sweatshops,” in that very low-paid labor is being paid to do a barely acceptable job. Sometimes I’ve thought it’s nothing more than a spell check, indexing software, and the publisher’s style guide.

I’m reading Buzz Bissinger’s new book, The Mosquito Bowl. He’s a Pulitzer Prize winner for his great Friday Night Lights. Yet this current book is replete with factual errors about the military, dates, leadership, and so forth. Within two pages of each other, the exact same sentence and description appears needlessly. I don’t think an editor’s hands ever touched this book, and it suffers for that lack badly.

I guess I’m in good company in bad practices.



Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Post a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.