Sometimes books don’t need much research. If your book is about a little girl spending a day at the circus with her grandparents, a quick refresher on what one sees or does at a circus is probably enough, maybe with a little girl in tow. Later you can go back and mull around to fill in the holes–or read others’ circus books.
Or you might be writing about some “how-to” process where you are already well informed, current, and understand what the reader doesn’t know but should. Just try out your “cure” before you write so your new follower doesn’t end up fingerless or haplessly befuddled.
Most other books need lots of accurate information to merit their existence. Even novels have to ring with authenticity. For example, it’s best to use a poison that’s lethal if that’s the murderer’s intent. Also, the characters must speak in the jargon used at the time of the book’s setting about things then known. Don’t have Cicero eating quiche, Florence Nightingale jogging while she listens to an iPod, or the crew on the Pinta calling each other “jerk.”
Which means that somewhere during the writing process, mostly before, you have to gather up the facts and anecdotes you need, and maybe test the theories or machinery that your pages will propose. Quotes add authenticity to books, too, actual quotes, historical ones, or factional imaginings (which is fiction but as close to fact as possible, like what you think Queen Isabella actually said, in a factional biography).
The accuracy and relevance of your research directly affects your expertise. If you want the reader to believe you, truth is the cornerstone. If somebody else is publishing your book, they may have an editor who looks for just such inaccuracy! Imagine.
And if you say you did something, what you write had better sound like you did. Use the correct terms. For example, if you are writing from authority to dentists, don’t call them cavities or caps or they will know you’re an outsider. Or bluffing.
In the last post we spoke about where you find more information for your book.
In the meantime, keep writing. You can always insert new facts or ideas, or replace those you have all wrong!
Incidentally, if you need guidance publishing your new (or old) book in ebook form, my How to Get Your Book Published Free in Minutes and Marketed Worldwide in Days may help.