Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Thomas Nelson Isn't Listening

Inside burning buildings, Captain Caleb Holt lives by the firefighter's adage: Never leave yoru partner. Yet at home, in the cooling embers of his marriage, he lives by his own rules. Growing up, his wife Catherine always dreamed of marrying ... [emphesis added]

What’s wrong with the statement above? I copied this statement from Thomas Nelson’s website. Now my thought was that a publisher employees enough editors that they ought to be able to spell the word your correctly on their website, but people make mistakes. That isn’t the problem. I figured that since Thomas Nelson is trying to make a good impression about their products they would want to correct the obvious mistakes in the description. They wouldn’t want people thinking the book has the same mistakes in it. Since I noticed the mistake I thought I would contact the webmaster and tell this person about it. It would then be up to Thomas Nelson to decide if they really care enough to correct the description. I looked down at the bottom of the page, but I didn’t find a link to the webmaster. I looked several places for contact information and didn’t find anything that directed me to someone I thought would be responsible for correcting the problem.


The fact is that I could send an e-mail to Michael Hyatt and let him delegate this problem to one of his subordinates, but it is just a typing error and I’m sure he is busy doing other things more important than correcting book descriptions. That brings me to my point. Visitors to a website need to be able to contact the people responsible for the information it contains. Nothing will irritate a user more than the inability to provide feedback. Most people can ignore a few mistakes. Most people don’t mind if you disagree with them. The thing people hate more than anything else is if you don’t listen. By making it difficult for the user to contact the person responsible for the website, Thomas Nelson isn’t listening and that makes the difference between yoru and your a major problem.

4 comments :

Anonymous said...

I recently read a book published by Thomas Nelson and found many, many similar errors. I ended up reading it with a red pen but haven't had the courage to send my copy in to them.

It really made me sad for the author, honestly because it was a great story, but there were SO many grammatical errors it was hard to enjoy the book.

sigh. Someone may be listening, but apparently, they aren't READING close enough.

Christy O'Flaherty said...

Hi Timothy:

I have corrected that error in our database and the update will appear on our website tomorrow. We do want very much to hear feedback like this, and try to make our website's contact information as accessible as possible. I am sorry that you were unable to find our "contact us" form, and will ensure that we consider a more accessible method of contact for a site update that is currently in the planning stages.

Thanks very much for helping us to help our authors!

Christy O'Flaherty
Thomas Nelson
Design and Multimedia

Michael S. Hyatt said...

Timothy,

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. We will try to make the “Contact Us” link more prominent and also include a link to our Webmaster. Also, don’t hesitate to contact me via my email at mhyatt at thomasnelson dot com. (The link is also on my blog.) I can easily pass it on to the appropriate person.

Kind regards,

Mike

Timothy Fish said...

Anonymous 9:09,
I don’t know what they can do with problems in a product that has already gone to print, other than sending the editors to training and correcting the mistakes before the next printing, but it would be better to inform Thomas Nelson of your concerns instead of me.

While I have never met the man, I have interacted with Michael Hyatt enough that I would consider him a friend and I know that he wouldn’t have minded receiving a simple e-mail mentioning the problem, but the Contact Information page did not make it clear who should be informed. I trust that Thomas Nelson will attempt correct the issue.