SCBWI's Blueboard - A Message & Chat Board

Writer's Room => Research => Topic started by: Alicia Curley on July 26, 2020, 10:14 AM

Title: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: Alicia Curley on July 26, 2020, 10:14 AM
Hello, All!

I've found 3 sources (per fact) to verify the information in my back matter, however I was considering reaching out to a museum who is an expert on the environment/setting of my informational fiction PB manuscript. I'm not sure if this is too much of a step, but I want to ensure that my information is as accurate as possible, and thought citing the museum in the book for more information could be nice (and a future marketing partner if the book is ever published?).

1) Is doing this necessary, or is my own fact checking enough for traditional publishing?
2) Does anyone have recommendations on how to approach a third party on doing this? I'm worried about using the wrong words, or making promises about their information being cited in the book, etc.

Would love any advice anyone might have on this!

- Alicia
Title: Re: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: Vijaya on July 26, 2020, 11:39 AM
Alicia, I always have experts vet my article but the publisher also does their own independent fact checking. I think it's a great idea to ask the museum person validate your piece. I doubt you'll say anything that will turn people off. Just be honest. Most experts are delighted to share what they know and are interested in having information that's accurately presented. Only once did a researcher turn me down but I was able to get hold of someone else in the lab. Good luck!
Title: Re: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: JulieM on July 26, 2020, 05:15 PM
If you feel you'd like to, then go for it. It's good to be as confident as you can with your ms. I wrote an email to a scientist saying what my book was about, the target audience, and that I'd love if she could read over my ms for accurate factual content. She kindly agreed, and even passed on some new unpublished data. I will thank her on the opening page (dedication).
If you can find the appropriate staff member from on-line information, it would help. If you can't, however, I'm sure the "first contact" people could pass your query on. Best of luck with it.
Title: Re: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on July 26, 2020, 05:59 PM
You have great advice above. If you aren't sure of the correct person, look for a publicity/public relations department. Often they will put you in touch with the right person. Just don't promise anything in terms of a mention in the book. That part is up to your publisher and be clear you don't have a contract lined up.
Title: Re: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: Alicia Curley on July 30, 2020, 06:21 AM
Thanks, everyone.

Is it common to offer compensation, in return? Or a donation, in the instance of a non-profit or museum?
Title: Re: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: Vijaya on July 30, 2020, 07:36 AM
Alicia, I've never offered any compensation, just an issue of the magazine or book after it's been published. It's perfectly fine to make a donation to the museum.
Title: Re: Working with a third party to "valid" your backmatter
Post by: Debbie Vilardi on July 30, 2020, 05:57 PM
I've never offered compensation either. I want someone who is so passionate about having correct info out there that they don't need to be paid.