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Of BMW mechanics and cheap Bangladeshi writers.

I recently had some work done on my classic BMW 328i. New clutch, brakes, brake light switch, flywheel, seals, oil change, sensors and some other items. The bill came to $2,259. I didn’t have a dealer do it (who needs that headache?), but an independent auto repair shop that specializes in European automobiles. I’ve been going to that shop for years. They’re honest and they know what they’re doing.

When I picked up the car, I knew it would perform as it should. And it did.

There were other options. I could have found a cheap mechanic instead. But I didn’t. I did not want to deal with delays, mistakes, excuses and do-overs.

You know where I’m going with this, right?

Earlier today I spoke with a woman who wants us to write a TV pilot script. We talked about the writers I have on staff. I described the lengthy elimination process I used to select them. “These are the survivors,” I cracked. “Ghostwriters Central doesn’t present a laundry list of writers you can choose from, including many who are pure bargain basement.”

Apparently she had looked at one of those lists. She told me about a writer in Bangladesh who would do the work for around $5 a page. I just laughed.

I have a video security system here. Like everything else, it’s made in Asia. The printed instruction manual might have been written by that guy in Bangladesh. It’s nearly incomprehensible. The manufacturer should have had our Mike Branom, a technical writing expert and native English speaker, write it. Then people could understand it.

The goal is to communicate effectively and successfully, and on the first attempt. It’s easy to sabotage yourself.

The lesson here is: Don’t have your car repaired by someone inexperienced or incompetent. And don’t hire a non-native English-speaking person to write your manuscript, screenplay, speech, instruction manual or anything else. Just don’t. The odds are excellent that it will be messed up, resulting in your having to shell out more money (and time; when is your deadline?) to fix it.

Call us and the job will be done right at a reasonable price.

 

Michael McKown

Journalist and specialty magazine editor/publisher for 22 years and co-founder of Ghostwriters Central in 2002.

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