I’m one of those people who loves to read the Acknowledgments pages of books.
I get a kick out of the short, covert shoutouts that authors write to those folks who have helped them pen or publish their work, such as “This book could not have been written without Schlep — you know who you are” or “Joe, thanks for the hot dog.” I try to imagine what Schlep and Joe look like and just how that hot dog played into things.
But when it came time to write my own Acknowledgments page for Baby Grand, something that I anticipated excitedly, I was struck by how difficult it was to put in a page or two all the people who have meant something to me throughout the process of getting my first novel published. If only I had started some kind of list at the very beginning and jotted down all the Schleps and Joes who had helped me along the way, I’d at least have a head start. But I didn’t. (Or maybe I did and can’t remember where I put the darn thing.) Plus, I didn’t know how to go about organizing this page. Was there some kind of rule? Business before personal? Most important to least important? Age before beauty?
So I did what any stymied person would do, I googled “How to write the Acknowledgments page of a book.” A few interesting things came up, including an article that suggested making three columns — Yes, No, Maybe — and then getting rid of the Nos and Maybes, and then slicing the Yeses in half.
That seemed a bit harsh, so I just started to write, hoping something would come to me. And, for the most part, the list of names flowed from my fingertips.
I’m sure like many Oscar, Emmy and Spelling Bee trophy winners who have forgotten to thank their spouses or their parents in their acceptance speeches, I am bound to have left someone out.
But they’ll be the first ones on the list for my next novel, which I’m writing now. I just created the Acknowledgments document for that one, so let’s hope I can find it when I need it.
Have you ever written an Acknowledgments page? How did you go about it?