You Can’t Make This Up

Here’s an email I received today, with my response. I’ve withheld the writer’s name to avoid public mockery:


I’ve enjoyed reading your book (Million Dollar Consulting), which is very well written. I nevertheless began highlighting typos on page 133 of your 4th edition, and have counted 15 errors in spelling, grammar, and punctuation.
You strike me as someone who holds himself to high standards. If you’re interested, I’d be happy to propose a suitable value-based fee in exchange for my time in reading the book again from the beginning and identifying and correcting all typos. My credentials in this area include
  • I was responsible for the content of ads, press releases, and other written communications for four Fortune 100 corporations (Best Buy, Whirlpool, Kodak, Campbell Soup).
  • I achieved perfect scores on the Sentence Correction sections of GMAT practice exams, and 96th percentile on the test overall (scores aren’t reported on a section-by-section basis for the actual test).


You’re out of your mind. First, typos are the responsibility of the publisher, not I. So volunteer your services to the publisher.
Second, I don’t care. Success, not perfection. There are actually 19 errors, so you’re not as good as you think.
Don’t call, I’ll be on the beach in Naples, continuing my imperfect, startling success.
Alan Weiss
PS: I’m putting this on my blog without your name. People who really take the time to read my work and not count my typos understand that I believe that people who pursue typos are at the extreme end of the anal retentive scale!
I will phone you at 401/884-2778 on Tuesday morning to follow up.

4 thoughts on “You Can’t Make This Up

  1. The first thing I tell people when I meet them is what they are doing wrong. And, I immediately cite my extensive work for past Enron and Tyco CEOs. By the time I am done talking about my brilliant self, I hand them a bill for my one minute charge.

  2. Alan, as this individual has thoroughly researched your firm, read your blog, clearly understood your priorities, your needs and what is most important to you, I’m sure the writer will be shocked by your reaction.

    I was not shocked by your response at all. Loved it!

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