A story about proofreading

Published by Jackie Barrie on


As a child, I remember seeing my Dad reading the newspaper at the breakfast table and circling any errors he spotted.

“My father used to pay me one anna* for any mistake I found,” he told me.

That might have been when I got the idea in my head that you could earn money from proofreading.

As a professional copywriter, it’s my job to get everything right, although I don’t do proofreading for clients any more – members of my team can do that if required.

And people just love it if I make a mistake myself.

Before it was published, I’d had three proofreaders check my Experiential Speaking book (as well as me). I’d gone through about seven proofs. I thought it was OK, and printed 30 copies for the launch party… then spotted a typo on page 11.

I set it as a competition for the audience, and offered a prize to the first person to find the typo.

George Chiesa went through his copy of the book with a fine-tooth comb – argh, he found loads more errors! Including an absolute howler on page 200-and-something. It gave me the chance to fix them all. But even George missed the mistake on page 11, so I didn’t have to award a prize. (Only my Mum spotted that one, and she didn’t want to win anything.)

That was in June 2019.

The version you can buy on Amazon today is typo-free… unless you tell me otherwise.

* Dad lived in India until he was a teenager, and an ‘anna’ was a small coin.

Categories: The book

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