Writing Tip of the Week: The Acknowledgements Page

While you probably wrote your novel by yourself, you probably had several people assist you along the way.  If the book gets published – either through self-publishing or a mainstream publisher – there are even more people who become a part of the process.

It’s important to be gracious and thank those who helped take your novel from Word document to published media.  An Acknowledgements page at the beginning or end of your book is a great way to give these unsung heroes the credit they deserve.

The last thing you want to do is be like Herman Munster:

Let’s talk about how to create an Acknowledgements page.

Should You Have One?

If you did everything 100% yourself, you don’t need one.  However, if you really think hard about it, you can probably think of at least three people who helped you along the way that made your book a reality.

If that’s the case, you should write one.  Now, it doesn’t have to be very long.  But giving credit where credit is due is always a nice gesture.  Especially if you want help on future writing projects.

Who to Thank

As you brainstorm who should be in your acknowledgments, think if these possible people:

•          Family and friends who offered support

•          Anyone who read your manuscript and gave you feedback

•          Your editor

•          Your cover designer

•          Your author photo photographer

•          Your publisher

•          Your agent

•          Anyone who assisted with research for the book

•          Any people who inspired you to write the book

If you had direct contact with them during the process, I would consider thanking them.  If you want to go the extra mile and find out who the typesetter was for the book and thank them, go for it.

Make sure to briefly mention what they did for you on the project, too.

Do I Need Their Permission?

If they are a public person with a business that helped you out – like a cover artist or editor – let them know you plan to put them in the Acknowledgements.  Make sure it’s okay with them.  If it is, ask if you can put their website or other social media contact info after their name.  

For friends or family, I would ask permission, too.  Some people may ask you to just use their first name, and others may appreciate the thought but ask for their name to be left out.

Either way, respect their wishes.

If this is a good team, keep them happy for future projects.

Examples

Skim through the books on your shelf, at a bookstore, or at the library.  See how different authors present their Acknowledgements Page.  Here’s mine for my second novel, Midnight House:

Midnight House would not be where it is today without the assistance of my editor, Kathleen Brebes.  Her notes and comments were a valuable resource that helped me polish and fine-tune the novel and its story over the past year.

Thank you, Kathleen!

            I’d also like to give a huge thank you to my good friend and feedback partner, Kevin Klein.  Kevin enjoyed my first novel, The Field, and I was excited to share the second novel in the series with him.  His feedback and opinions helped make Midnight House an even stronger Young Adult novel.

            Thank you, Kevin!

To my cover artist, Steven Novak, who once again took my ideas and brought them to life in another fantastic cover.  Thank you, Steven, for your help and excellent work!  Check out his work at http://www.novakillustration.com/

And to everyone else who asked how the second book was coming along, kept up the encouragement, and dealt with me disappearing to write and edit, thank you for all your support. 

And thank you to everyone for reading Midnight House!

Final Thoughts

Everyone appreciates being acknowledged for the work they did.  Whether your team members played a major or a minor role, taking the time to thank them in print is a great way to support and appreciate those who helped make your dream a reality.

Happy Writing, and I’ll see you next time!