Thursday, May 19, 2011

5 Reasons We Have Chapters Reviewed by Experts

So, you're written a few chapters in your textbook and they've been fine-tuned by a developmental editor. Now what?

Now come the chapter reviews.

We'll send your manuscript to a number of experts for their feedback, and we'll pay close attention to what they say. That's because a manuscript review serves different purposes than a proposal review. Here are five of those purposes.

1. Check for clinical accuracy

The most important reason to obtain manuscript reviews from subject matter experts is to make sure that all the clinical content is fully accurate. Yes, you're authoring a book, and yes, you're an expert too, don't worry, no one can take that away from you.

Here's the thing. Whatever you write in the book, when it's finally published, will be the Word. And the Word will be yours. And so will the lion's share of the responsibility for errors in those Words.

We do our part, certainly, and we want to help do your part too. So we show your Words to people who can best point out where they might be confusing, incomplete, or inaccurate.

Even if they misread some Words and think you've made an error but actually you haven't, that's good too. It tells us where there are slight hiccups in the writing, so we can smooth them over.

All praise the Reviewers!

2. Double-check features and flow

You know all those wonderful features you planned to include in the book—key terms, themed sidebars, case studies, whatever? Well, we want to see if they actually work and do what we intend them to do.

If the reviewers confirm what we thought, yay for us. If not, we can fix the issues and move ahead.

3. Verify the vision

When you set out to write your book, you and your acquisitions editor formed a clear idea of what the book would be, who it was for, and what would make it stand out above the crowd. Now it's time to make sure we stuck to that vision or, if we didn't, to make sure our deviations made sense.

4. Procure promotional points of view

The reviewers love your book, don't they? Of course they do. We use manuscript reviews to obtain quotes we can use in promotional materials and give to our sales reps, so they better understand the key sales points about the book and how best to sell it.

When you have a reviewer write something like, "This is an extremely well-written text, and I can't wait to adopt it"—that's gold.

5. Seed the market

Manuscript reviews also help potential adopters become invested in the product. If they think their feedback is helping, if they think we really listen to it and make adjustments accordingly—and believe me, we do—a kind of emotional bond can begin to form between the book and the reviewer.

It takes time, but it pays off. When the book publishes, those reviewers will be more likely to adopt the book and recommend it to their colleagues at other schools.

And you can take those Words to the bank.