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.
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.
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.