Tuesday, May 17, 2016


I mentioned my 'Should you fire your agent?' post last time - and I still want to do that, because I did fire my first agent and - whoa - what a story! Such drama! But it's a long one, probably a two-parter, so it'll take me a while. This week I thought I'd talk about something else that caught me by surprise - at least on my first book deal.

And that's who to thank in your acknowledgements!

I'm actually working on my acknowledgements for HUNTER'S MOON right now. I've said this before, but it takes a village to self-publish a book - at least it's taken a village to get mine off the ground - and it's important to thank those people who helped you.

Not just for them, but for you, because thanking people feels good!

Maybe you've already fantasized about what you're going to say in your acknowledgements, but in the traditional publishing world, it's a serious part of the whole process.

Because your acknowledgements need copyediting too!

So don't be like me - already going crazy with editing - and suddenly realize you need to write your acknowledgements from scratch. It can be a challenging task to get just right. Not too flowery, not too serious, not too corny, not too cold.

Plus you'll have to wrack your brain trying to remember everybody who helped bring your baby into the world. So start writing your acknowledgements now! Keep a separate file for them and add to it as you remember folks who meant something to you.

You don't want to forget anyone, because people really appreciate it!

In fact, some of the folks I've thanked in my books told me being recognized that way was one of the nicest things that's ever happened to them.

So think about who's been important to your writing career. 

Yes, your mom, your English teacher, your partner, agent, editor, etc. But don't forget people who've helped you in your research. A cop you talked to on the phone. A lawyer you met at a party who gave you some free advice about copyright. Your best friend from childhood!

I've thanked everyone from my first boss - to my former shrink!

By the way, most publishers will let you put your acknowledgements at the beginning or the end of your book.

However, if you have a long list at the beginning ...

... get it done early so that the typesetter can insert it as soon as possible. If the book's already been typeset and you add two pages of thank-you's, it might affect the formatting and you could get charged to 're-flow the book.'

For my second novel, the acknowledgements were at the beginning.

But on my first book, I put them at the end. Not only because the list was longer, but because there was a spoiler in the acknowledgements and I didn't want anyone to read it before they finished the book.

But it really is an enjoyable thing to do, so have fun with it!

And start now! Because your editor or editorial assistant will probably email you and tell you they need your list by the end of the day - "tomorrow morning at the latest." (That's the way publishers work!)

Meaning, you might only get one day to finish the acknowledgements and you could forget somebody.

So start thinking about who you want to thank now.
Even if you're an independent author, including acknowledgements is a good idea. I know it might be a little more money or time to have that extra page formatted, but as indie authors, we should try to look professional, giving our readers the 'feeling' of a well-published, polished book!

So think about it ... who do you love?

Big thanks to YOU for checking in! 

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