WRITING A DEDICATION AND THANKS PAGE
It’s hard to believe I’ve finally reached that point. My publisher is finalizing the manuscript and is ready to send it off to the printer for the first galley. The artwork is done. The only thing left for the inside is the dedication and thanks page.
What to do?
SOME KEEP IT SIMPLE
How many books have you picked up and come to the dedication and thanks page only to find:
That’s it. One line.
Or, in plenty of cases, there’s nothing at all. I know that in some cases, a thanks/dedication was intended, but because of a publisher mixup, it was omitted.
THEN THERE ARE THE MORE ELABORATE…
It’s quite understandable for a first novel to have an extensive thank you and dedication page. After all, to get to that first novel, the author didn’t do it alone.
On the other hand, if they’re an established author, if their dedication and thanks is five pages long, is this a case of loving to hear their own voice (or read it)?
WHO READS IT?
I wonder who actually does read these pages. It may surprise you to know that I always do, from the short to the long. Of course, my eyes tend to glaze over at the long lists of names, but once in a while, I catch a familiar name amongst the telephone book listings. After all, I’m as curious as the next person.
We, as authors, like to give credit where credit is due. Therefore as a reader, I like to see who helped the writer get from point A to B. As often as not, I take note of a writer’s group among the list of names, even from some of the big-name writers. You’d be surprised.
Though I tend to remember a lot of useless trivia, I should write more things down. As for Meleena’s Adventures – Treasure Of The Umbrunna, I thought I started a file to list all those that not only critiqued the story at the writer’s group, but beta read it. Well, if I did start that file, I can’t find it. Also, since I originally wrote it, I bought a new computer and though I tried to transfer my e-mail to the new one, I’m not sure it all made it, including my sent and received files of the original manuscript to friends who beta read it. I had to rely on that rusty steel trap of my mind. I think I covered all the bases, but I have a sneaky feeling I missed somebody here and there. Because of that, I had to add the inevitable “If I missed anyone, I apologize.” I really hated to do that, but without my references written down, and possibly faulty memory, I didn’t have any choice.
THE THANK YOU SECTION
Because this is my first published novel, the thank you section went a little longer because it became a mini-story about my struggle to get to this point. Subsequent novels may or may not be as elaborate, depending on how I feel and the context.
This time around, the dedication was the shortest part, only two sentences. It didn’t need to be any longer than that. It followed the pattern of the Keep It Simple section.
It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to start writing your thanks and dedication page when you complete your first draft and keep it filed away for constant tweaks as you progress on your quest to get the book published. That way, you have less chance of missing someone. Since I haven’t quite finished the sequel, Gods of the Blue Mountains, I have a jump ahead, this time.