Posted by: nancyisanders | October 17, 2013

Highlights: Contact an Expert, Part 2

Here is a copy of the e-mail I sent out to contact an expert for a review of my nonfiction article I’m writing to submit to Highlights. I’m pasting it here so you can copy it and use it to send out your own e-mail. Please feel free to tweak or change it to meet your own needs.

Dear XX,

I am currently writing a nonfiction article about XX with plans on submitting it to Highlights magazine for children. Part of their submission requirements is to have an expert review the article and send me a response.

I know you’re very busy with all you do! But I was wondering if you might be available to read my article and give a short affirmation of its accuracy.

I completely understand if you don’t have the time to do this, but your expertise is valued tremendously. I have copied and pasted the article below for your convenience if you have the time.

Thank you,
Nancy
Nancy I. Sanders
my street address
my city, state, and zip
my phone number
my e-mail address
my website

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain confidential information. Please do not share this information with anyone.

MY ARTICLE PASTED HERE

A couple of things I want to mention about this e-mail that I sent out.

THING #1
First of all, I have created a separate e-mail that I use whenever I do something official such as this to contact experts, to contact places about acquiring photographs, to contact historical societies or other people regarding my research. This free e-mail is basically MyNameResearch@providerdotcom.

This way these important e-mails always land in this e-mail folder and don’t get lost in my general e-mail. It’s especially important months or a couple of years from now when an editor contacts me to question me about the e-mail to fact check something and I can find it quickly in its own folder, not in the hundreds and thousands of e-mails I get each month from friends, family, etc.

THING #2
Secondly, I add a specific signature to the bottom of all these e-mails that is tacked on automatically:

Nancy I. Sanders
my street address
my city, state, and zip
my phone number
my e-mail address
my website

CONFIDENTIALITY NOTICE: This e-mail is intended only for the use of the individual to whom it is addressed. It may contain confidential information. Please do not share this information with anyone.

This shows the expert that I’m a professional and reminds them not to share my information about my project with others. This is important to me.

THING #3
I pasted the article below my e-mail letter because many people don’t want to click on links or attached files due to viruses. It also shows the experts that, really, this is a really short article compared to the volumes they work with. Hopefully, they’ll just scan on down and quickly press reply and give me a response.

THING #4
I pasted the entire article footnotes and all. Not only was it cool to see how my e-mail handled all these footnotes, but this shows the expert that my sources are valid. Plus, I made sure to add a footnote that includes HIS book he wrote!

NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH! NEWS FLASH!
As I was writing this post about e-mailing an expert, the expert responded to my e-mail and said he’d be happy to take a quick peek. Is that cool or what?!

But what happens if you don’t hear back from the expert you contacted? Just contact another one…or another. Look for more authors who wrote books on your topic. Or contact historic societies or museums that feature your topic. Just google them and find out how to e-mail someone there.

So try it out! It’s actually kind of exciting and scary and BIG…and fun! Worst case scenario is they tell you something is a glaring mistake, but actually that’s very very helpful because then you can fix it.


Responses

  1. You are very brave, my friend! Good for you!!

  2. Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing!


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