Creating An Acknowledgements Section

Plenty of books these days come with acknowledgements sections near the back, where the author lists everyone from research assistants (should you happen to have any) to agents (should you have one) to God (should you have one to worship). Not all novelists have them, but I find they are useful things to have. Not only do they show who was instrumental in the creation of the book, but they are also a great way of saying, “Thank you for helping me in the creation of my book. Without your part, this novel wouldn’t have been written and you wouldn’t be sitting here reading this”.

When I write acknowledgements sections in my books, I try to follow a few guidelines to make sure the sections are as nice, neat, and presentable as possible (though I sometimes forget my own rules. Nobody’s perfect). Here’s what I try to do:

1. Make a list of who to thank. You want to thank everyone who’s been instrumental in the creation, polishing, and publication of the book. Sadly, human memory is not as good as we’d like for it to be. So keep a list, so that when the time comes you won’t forget anyone.

2. Organize. I usually thank people starting with people who helped with research and writing, followed by editing, then publication. After those people, I thank my family and friends, and then I thank God. And finally I thank the reader, because honestly they deserve thanks for picking up my book and deciding to read it. It doesn’t generally have to follow this order, but keeping things organized in groups usually helps.

3. Sometimes I include a little story. One that relates to the main novel, of course. Maybe it’ll be about the process of writing, or maybe it’ll be about what created the main story of the novel in the first place. It depends upon the story in question. Of course, not every novel gets a story. The story of the novel can be enough sometimes.

Whether or not you include acknowledgements in your novels, knowing how to make one is always a handy skill. I hope you found this helpful in creating your own acknowledgements section (though if you did, you don’t have to acknowledge this blog or its writers in your next book. It’d be flattering, but it’s not what we’re here for).

4 Comments

  1. I know I’ll have to have a number of people to make note of for mine.

    1. When the time comes, I hope this post has made thanking them a little easier.

  2. I haven’t given serious consideration to acknowledgements beyond a dedication, but thinking about it, I can see how it could add to the book. A “how this book came to be” would be especially fun. RL Stine has a couple of those at the beginning of some stories, and I love knowing what inspired a certain plot. I also think it’d be nice to acknowledge those who make the book special in some way or for those who’ve helped with it. I was acknowledged in two books (one that I beta read way back in 2005 and another that I helped an author with) and both mean a lot to me. So this is a win-win for everyone. I’ll have to look more into what I can do. It could be a really neat “extra” in our books. 🙂

    1. Whatever you decide to do, I hope it works out. Good luck to you, Ruth.

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