Writing acknowledgments

Acknowledgments aren’t as big as a dedication. They’re simply a way of saying “Thank you” for something specific to the book. This doesn’t have to be big; little stuff is worth acknowledging, too. I’ve acknowledged people who came up with important ideas, reviewers, agents, publishing staff, and people who made a last-minute repair to a computer monitor or sent me information about one nitty little technical point.

Here’s a short list of people you may want to acknowledge:

  • your spouse/significant other
  • your agent/agency
  • the staff at the publisher, including the acquisitions editor, the developmental editor, the production people, the copyeditor, the proofreader, the indexer, any artists connected with book design and cover or inside illustrations, the marketing team, and so on
  • your tech reviewers and researchers–they’re very important to the success of your book and deserve praise
  • friends who were supportive
  • company representatives who provided support, as well as the names of companies who may have been helpful
  • people who inspired you to do this book in the first place

Always keep track of the acknowledgments as you go. Don’t figure you’ll remember the names of everyone who helped or the circumstances by the end of the book. Start an “acknowledgments” file when you first start trying to pitch the book and make notes as soon as they happen.

Another interesting thing to consider is that you should make sure that the people want to be acknowledged. Sure, most people respond to getting their names in print, but you might actually hurt someone if, for example, their employer doesn’t allow them to have anything to do with outside projects even if they don’t make any money. You can make sure that someone wants an acknowledgment when you check on how they want their name to appear in print and that you’ve spelled everything correctly.

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