I’m about half-way through correcting the proofs of my forthcoming financial services marketing book No Small Change, co-written with my old friend Anthony Thomson. For an inveterate copy-tweaker like me it’s a challenging exercise, because we’re under strict instructions not to change anything unless it’s obviously and embarrassingly wrong – a typo, for example, or an incorrect fact, claim or number.
I haven’t actually read large chunks of the book since I finished writing it late last summer, and I have to say I have almost no memory of much of it. For example, I’ve just read a paragraph slagging off moneysupermarket.com’s website, which I don’t recall ever visiting, and I’m amazed by the apparent strength of my feelings on the subject.
Coming back to all this material with a largely fresh perspective, I find myself frequently unsure whether to leave it as it is or make changes to it. I don’t really think I have anything much against moneysupermarket,com’s website, and anyway I’m sure they’ve changed it all since the iteration I was writing about. I know a couple of people there, and I have no desire to fall out with them. And the criticism I’m making – about a lack of integration with the brand’s TV advertising – applies to dozens of financial services firms: why should moneysupermarket.com be singled out for such a kicking?
On the other hand, my brief is clear: don’t make changes unless what’s written is obviously and embarrassingly wrong. It’s neither, and also it’s actually quite funny. Unfair maybe, but I think I’ll leave it as it is.