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petwriter
04-12-2008, 04:22 AM
As you're writing your non-fiction book chapters (or perhaps when you have the first draft of the whole thing done), do you have other experts in your field (colleagues or networking contacts) review your chapters for content and accuracy? What if you don't have this network of experts? Has anyone been in this situation, and, if so, what did you do?

escritora
04-12-2008, 04:42 AM
I didn't have experts review the chapters, but if I had a question I certainly called them.

scope
04-12-2008, 05:10 AM
I always try to have experts authenticate the facts in my nonfiction books. If I don't know any or my agent can't recommend someone, I google around the internet until I find the right person or people and then contact them by e-mail or snail mail and discuss the matter. I also try and get their permission to use their names(s) and affiliations in the book, my promo materials, letters, etc.

petwriter
04-12-2008, 06:00 AM
I always try to have experts authenticate the facts in my nonfiction books. If I don't know any or my agent can't recommend someone, I google around the internet until I find the right person or people and then contact them by e-mail or snail mail and discuss the matter. I also try and get their permission to use their names(s) and affiliations in the book, my promo materials, letters, etc.

So what I'm talking about is beyond just interviewing experts to include their quotes or whatever in the chapters--I'm wondering about having an expert review entire chapters to make sure everything looks ok. Meaning, if I'm writing a book about real estate, after the chapters are done, and I've incorporated quotes from real estate professionals in there, I may want to have a real estate professional read the entire book (or have several read several chapters each) to make sure everything is accurate.

I'm thinking that just contacting the appropriate expert and asking them to review your chapter for accuracy might not get you anywhere, unless you offered them monetary compensation for their time and effort. If a book writer doesn't have this network of colleagues/experts willing to do this for free as a professional favor, how would you find these experts to do the reviewing?

escritora
04-12-2008, 06:26 AM
Petwriter, it seems as though our nonfiction writing is different. I am an expert in my field and my published book is based on my experience and advice. In other words, I was contracted to write the book to provide my insight.


I'm thinking that just contacting the appropriate expert and asking them to review your chapter for accuracy might not get you anywhere, unless you offered them monetary compensation for their time and effort.

Here's my suggestion: you are making an assumption. Contact whomever is the appropriate person and ask. You'll be suprised by what people will do to get their name mentioned in the acknowledgement section of the book - no monetary gain whatsoever. If that person says no, then move on to the next person on your list. People are willing to help if you just ask.

scope
04-12-2008, 07:28 AM
I have never paid an expert to read any of my manuscripts for authentication. And once again, I am speaking of experts I do not know or who have been recommended, but rather those which I came to by my own tireless research and reaching out. Of course I tell them everything up front, and as I said I offer to "publicize" their name in the book, on my website, and wherever else possible. As well known as they may be in their field, most are flattered and like the idea of "laypeople" becoming familiar with ithem.

In addition to pure facts I send them the entire manuscript and as you suggest, I ask their opinion abut the entire work. However, you must be careful here. Assuming you gotten all the have all the facts on target, don't assume any of the experts know a hoot about writing a book (there are always exceptions) -- that's where you come in. You should listen to what they have to say, but in the end you are the expert when it comes to writing - not them - as long as everything makes sense to you.

nybx4life
04-12-2008, 07:35 AM
I have never paid an expert to read any of my manuscripts for authentication. And once again, I am speaking of experts I do not know or who have been recommended, but rather those which I came to by my own tireless research and reaching out. Of course I tell them everything up front, and as I said I offer to "publicize" their name in the book, on my website, and wherever else possible. As well known as they may be in their field, most are flattered and like the idea of "laypeople" becoming familiar with ithem.

In addition to pure facts I send them the entire manuscript and as you suggest, I ask their opinion abut the entire work. However, you must be careful here. Assuming you gotten all the have all the facts on target, don't assume any of the experts know a hoot about writing a book (there are always exceptions) -- that's where you come in. You should listen to what they have to say, but in the end you are the expert when it comes to writing - not them - as long as everything makes sense to you.


Yup, and in short, the person is saying "the final decision is up to you, regardless of mistakes"

saf1367
04-12-2008, 07:32 PM
I don't know if this is a common practice but your publisher might handle the expert review and authentication for you.

I recently submitted a book proposal to a publisher and they sent it out to industry experts for review and feedback. A few months later, the acquisition editor sent me a detailed synopsis of the review, including what each reviewer liked about the book, strengths and weaknesses, chapters to expand or eliminate, potential markets and suggested pricing.

I am told that, after I write each chapter, the publisher will send the completed chapters out to industry experts for review and comment. The book's final draft will also be circulated to experts in the field for comment. I am considered the "content expert" but they want to make sure the book resonates with the industry and will sell once its published.

The publisher locates the experts and handles the reviews and I don't pay for this service.

Has anyone else had this experience?

K1P1
04-12-2008, 07:38 PM
I too am in a slightly different position, because of the type of nonfiction I write (knitting books), which need to combine technical accuracy and factual/historical accuracy. At the research stage, I contact people who appear to have expertise or experience I feel I lack, to inform my content. My publisher hires an editor (either a project, technical or copy editor) knowledgeable in my field so that the editor can comment both on accuracy and on whether the material is understandable. In addition, my editor herself knits, at a level consistent with the intended audience for my books, so she can accurately comment on the content and the writing. I never give my manuscripts to another expert to read. I am an expert and, like Escritora, I'm contracted to write about my own approaches, solutions and opinions.

scope
04-13-2008, 12:36 AM
The final decision is always that of the writer (ultimately the publisher), with or without the best of advice and/or suggestions from reviewers and/or authenticators. They are not the writers.

scope
04-13-2008, 12:43 AM
saf1367,

Everything you say is correct, however not all publishers work this way. Even if they did (I have done work for both types) it's still our job as nonfiction writers to turn in a manuscript that to the best of our knowledge is right on the money regarding everything. If we don't, if we turn in a work that's shoddy and overly inaccurate, it will never go anywhere. On the other hand, if we turn in something we've worked hard to make as good as it can be in all aspects, and there are some minor corrections, that fine and everyone will be happy.