Wednesday, December 12, 2007
A Million Thanks
Christmas is a time for saying thanks and showing our love and appreciation for family and friends. It is also that time of year when the gifts pour into the office from the people we've worked with during the year.
Admit it, we like gifts and we enjoy being thanked. We like to know that we are appreciated.
This brings me to book dedications. I see a lot of them in my line of work, and it seems there is a trend these days toward very long and drawn out dedications/acknowledgments.
I completely understand how an author wants to recognize the support of family and friends and to acknowledge help given by other authors and research sources, but. . .
Though your mailman may get a kick out of seeing his name in a book, does he really require a thanks for manhandling your manuscript? Or, really now, does your dog honestly need a dedication for time lost in walks while you wrote? Does your reader really care to weed through two pages of your dedication and acknowledgments that names all your relatives and critique buds? I have to think not.
I'm all for giving credit and thanks where it is due, but I tend to think these very lengthy accolades take away from the specialness of a book dedication. I'd like to encourage authors not to be too quick to praise everyone you know in your dedications. Instead, be very choosy about who you praise within short, concise wording. Then your readers will know that your dedication is something special and the person(s) is worthy of note.
I don't know how many readers have told me they skip all that front matter "junk," like forward notes, dedications, acknowledgments, and even prologues. So keep it short and memorable. By doing so, someone may actually read it. (big grin)
Editor Du Jour Becky