Most readers open a book and flip to chapter one, surpassing all of those small items that make up the first few pages. They don’t realize the work that goes into creating them.
Whether it is mandatory information or something to be left to the author’s discretion, it still has to be inserted in the right place and the right order, following some guidelines.
If you will take a moment and look at a few books, you’ll be able to see that not all books provide the same information before the first chapter.
While most authors dedicate their book to someone special in their lives, not all include a page of acknowledgements. If you weren’t aware there were pages before chapter one, no need to panic—quite frankly, I didn’t pay attention to those pages until I published my book, Pinnacle Lust.
A book’s acknowledgements page gives credit to those who helped the author write the book. It typically refers to the author’s family members, sources, and the team that helped put the book together, including subject matter experts, editors, illustrators, book cover designers, agents, and publishers.
A dedication on the other hand, deals with people the author holds in high esteem. Imagine it. After hours, weeks, months, maybe even years of work, dedicating your entire book, to a select few. That’s pretty serious!
When the time came, I followed the rules. On the acknowledgments page, I thanked those who supported me on my path from rough draft to published novel—first and foremost my husband—but also my editors, subject matter experts, cover designers, etc. On the dedication page, I offered the book to my parents.
As I gear up to finish and launch book two of the Pinnacle series, I’ve decided to dedicate this book to my husband. And if you ask me why this book and not the previous one? I’ll tell you that I’m not really sure. Maybe because with the first book, I had the need to thank him for his continued support. But now I truly want to give him my work as a gift, almost as if I wrote it for him.
So when a handful of people ask me directly to dedicate my next book to them, I appreciate the compliment. However, as this is an esteemed privilege, I think what they ask of me is a pretty big deal. And so my response is somewhat ambiguous, like “We’ll see.”
But the truth of it is that if you have to ask for the privilege, you probably aren’t on the author’s list of dedications. Plus, you may risk offending the author by asking.
What do you think of dedications and acknowledgments in books? Do you read them?