Your Acknowledgements and Dedication Pages

Many authors like to take a bow (or curtsy) to those who helped their book become reality. Many also like to honor someone special in their lives by dedicating the book to them. These names respectively appear in the acknowledgements and dedication.

Though the lists may be short, they can appear on separate pages or the same one – it’s entirely up to you. Either way, the acknowledgements and dedication follow the table of contents. Typically they appear in the same typeface and point size as the book’s text. The header “Acknowledgements” and “Dedication” typically is used.

Sometimes the number of people an author wishes to list in the acknowledgements is so long that the names simply are placed at the end of the introduction (more on that section later!). This also allows the author to add a special note to many of these he acknowledges.

Who should appear in the acknowledgements? Anyone the author likes. Still, traditionally if a person created material that appears within the book – say photographs, tables/charts, illustrations, cover design – their names should appear on the title page as well. Others that you wouldn’t list on the title page but that could be placed in the acknowledgements include:
• Supportive family members (spouse, children)
• Editor and proofreaders
• Agent/manager
• Contributors/advisers
• Research assistants
• Former teachers
• Inspirations
• Office staff (attorney, accountants, executive assistants)
• Paginators (those who formatted your book)

Limiting the dedication to just a couple of names at most is traditional. After all, the dedication is a high honor; dedicating a book to a lot of people tends to diminish its specialness.

Finally, always make sure you have the names spelled right and give the correct titles. There’s perhaps no greater way to insult someone than to get their name wrong in a book’s acknowledgements and dedication!