Are you creating a booklet that requires readers to use caution or care when attempting to do what your booklet suggests? Maybe you’re writing a technical booklet that teaches something about electrical wiring, or maybe you’re writing a booklet that has to do with diabetics and diet. Maybe it’s a parenting booklet that offers tips for young parents or parents of small children or infants. Whatever your subject is, you need to ask yourself one question – and that is – “Can I be sued if someone gets hurt following my instructions?”
Why Checks And Balances Are Important
You may have the best of intentions when you create your booklet, and you may have performed the very advice you are offering hundreds of times yourself. But, just because you can do it easily that doesn’t mean that your readers will be able to perform it perfectly themselves the first time. Even if your booklet is written in a brain dead, simple manner, there is always the possibility that something could go wrong.
This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write your booklet. You absolutely should. There are people who will benefit from your information. It simply means that you need a set of checks and balances against which to weight your information before publication.
Go To The Experts
One of those checks and balances that will help keep you in the clear is having someone from your industry, who knows the information as well as you do or better, read your manuscript before it is produced. And if you can have more than one person look it over that’s even better.
These people are not editors, but they do know their stuff when it comes to your subject, and they’ll probably be thrilled that you thought enough of them and their expertise to ask their opinion. They’ll give you feedback you could never get from an editor, and that feedback just might save your backside someday.
Don’t underestimate the value of the service these people give to you. It’s worth a ton – especially if it keeps you out of court!
Write A Disclaimer
Getting the experts to read your manuscript is valuable, but those experts are human just like you and they can make mistakes. And no expert can ever know everything there is to know about a subject. That’s why you also need to write a disclaimer for your booklet. A disclaimer lets the reader know that they are reading your information at their own risk, and should they follow your advice or instructions you cannot be held liable for the results.
Just about every publication carries some kind of disclaimer these days. Publishing companies and authors are concerned, and validly so, about law suits. And while you may never be sued for the information you put into the market place, it’s a good idea to try to do your best to prevent it anyway. A disclaimer will help you do that.
You should make sure that you know your subject very, very well before writing your manuscript. Then, have at least one other expert look it over and include a disclaimer. These things will help protect you and keep trouble away.
NOTE: I am not a lawyer and am not qualified to dispense legal advice. You should consult an attorney should you have questions regarding this subject matter.
To your riches!
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