Fact Checking Tips for Authors

December 29, 20213 min. Read

The joy and excitement you experience when you release your book into the world can quickly be replaced with fear and anxiety. The social climate today has become a haven for “cancel-culture” and “fake news.” Any misinformation can potentially discredit you and cause your book to get boycotted and “canceled.”

To avoid falling victim to the cancel-culture mob, it’s absolutely vital for you to learn how to fact-check all of your work.

How to Fact Check

‌When it comes to fact-checking, you are completely responsible for the accuracy of your work. Even large publishing companies hold their authors responsible for the accuracy of the content in their manuscripts.

Fact-checking is an entirely different beast than editing, and you shouldn’t rely on a content editor to fact-check your work. Instead, depending on how fact-heavy your work is, you may want to hire a professional fact-checker.

If you prefer to save your money, you can do your own fact-checking. The following list contains a few fact-checking tips authors should utilize to make sure their work is accurate:

  • Fact-check the entire time you’re writing.
  • Step away from your work for a while before fact-checking it.
  • Go back, and fact-check everything upon completing the manuscript.
  • Record all interviews you conduct.
  • Keep accurate records of where you found your research.
  • Call sources to double-check their claims.
  • Utilize experts to verify the information.

Fiction Fact-Checking

‌If you thought that writing fiction means you don’t need to fact-check, you’re very mistaken. Yes, you’re allowed a lot of creative freedom when writing fiction — especially if you create a fantasy world.

However, some areas must be accurate to make sense. Examples of areas that need to be fact-checked in fiction are:

  • Location details
  • Animal/ breed details
  • Character career details
  • Plot points based on actual events
  • Date for historical periods
  • Spelling of historical figure’s names
  • Match ages to dates
  • Descriptions of technical items

If you’re creating an entirely new fantasy world, then many of the above-listed items don’t apply. However, it would be best if you still fact-checked all of your item descriptions.

Non-Fiction Fact-Checking

If you’re writing a non-fiction book, then you will be doing a lot of fact-checking. One mistake can discredit you as an accurate non-fiction writer. However, as a non-fiction writer, researching and fact-checking should become second nature to you.

The following are a few tips to help you fact-check your non-fiction work:

  • Stop and fact-check each section as you are writing.
  • Double-check all quotes are correctly sourced.
  • Recognize the difference between bias and facts.
  • Utilize various fact-checking sites to verify news stories.

Palmetto Publishing is Here to Help

Palmetto Publishing offers a variety of services to help make your book successful. Our editing services include copy editing, line editing, and developmental editing.

Once you’ve completed the editing process and fact-checked it, we can assist you with cover design, interior design, printing, and marketing. Contact us today to learn more about our services.

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