When I was a kid, there wasn’t much that bugged me more than picking up a book and discovering that, though the character image on the front had green eyes, the book clearly described the character’s eyes as brown. (You may remember me complaining about this before.) It was like the publisher wasn’t even paying attention–like they thought we wouldn’t notice.
Which is to say: Details matter. Because I did notice. And–I think I’m not alone in this–the more passionate I am about something, the more important the details become.
We work hard to get the details right, here at Smart Pop, and this is particularly true when it comes to the properties we cover. We expect our authors to be fans, and to know the details of the scenes and characters they’re writing about. We keep a close eye on accuracy during editing, and whenever we can, hire copyeditors who are already familiar with the show or books or films our book is on. (In some cases, we’ve lined up copyeditors early just so they could get familiar.)
We’re not perfect, as much as I wish we were. (Check out, for example, my failure to accurately spell two Veronica Mars character names in this 2007 interview with MarsInvestigations.net.) But always trying to be is something that’s important to us.
Over the years, we’ve tried to–whenever possible, given scheduling constraints–make sure we invited a few fans to read over our manuscripts early and, in effect, help us “fact check” the details by flagging anything that looks off. Many times we’ve looked to fansite administrators (because there’s nothing I can think of that demonstrates love for a property more than devoting that kind of unpaid time; seriously, have you thanked your favorite fansite staff lately?). And that’s something we plan on continuing, because it’s always been a fantastic help.
But for our upcoming anthology on the science and science fiction of Fringe, I thought we’d try something new: posting a call for volunteers here, from among our regular Smart Pop readers.
If you’re a detail-oriented Fringe fan, and interested in doing an early read-through of Fringe Science to help us make sure everything’s accurate and true to the show, leave us a comment on this post. We’ll pick 5 at random to get an early copy of the manuscript, plus a thank you on the acknowledgments page and a copy of the final book as soon as we receive our office copies.
Thanks in advance for your help!