While writing and self-publishing a book may seem like a solitary endeavor, often there are other people involved who help you reach your goal. From proofreading, to cover design, to beta readers and more, there may be individuals you want to thank for helping your self-published book become a reality. Your book’s acknowledgments page is the place to properly thank those people. The experts at Self-Publishing Relief have tips on who to thank in your book—and the best way to do so.
Who You Should Thank In Your Book’s Acknowledgments
Before you create your acknowledgments page, make a list of all the people whose support and assistance helped your book take shape. To ensure you don’t accidentally leave anyone out, think back through the process of self-publishing your book. Note which details each person helped you with and their full names. This list will be different for each author, and breaking it down into personal and professional shoutouts is a good place to start.
Personal acknowledgments can include:
- Pets (yes, pets are supportive and can be thanked!)
- Writing mentors or coaches
- Anyone else you have a personal relationship with who helped in some way
Professional acknowledgments can include:
- Editor and/or proofreader
- Cover designer
- Anyone who contributed illustrations, photography, or other artwork
- Assistants and researchers
- Anyone who assisted in the process of turning your manuscript draft into a professional-looking self-published book
How To Write Your Acknowledgments Page
You can pick up almost any published book to see examples of how different authors handled their acknowledgments page. Most acknowledgment pages are kept short—if your list of thank-yous goes on and on, it can lessen the impact of each individual thank-you. However, writing and self-publishing a book is an unparalleled experience, and you may only do it once in your lifetime. If it’s important to you to list ten family members and three cats by name as well as everyone who works at the coffee shop where you wrote the book, go ahead and do so!
The acknowledgments page usually begins with the most important thank-yous: spouses, editors, and agents listed first, followed by anyone who may have played a smaller role in supporting your book.
Your message of gratitude will be seen by many readers—and especially by the people you choose to thank in your acknowledgments. Keep each thank-you brief, but make sure it reads as a personal message coming from your heart, not a generic, canned statement.
To create a genuine message, imagine you are standing in front of each person and have one sentence with which to say “thank you.” What would you say? Let your personality and your relationship with these people shine through. State the reasons why you’re thanking each person, whether it was showing patience while you were endlessly editing, offering their formidable proofreading skills, or creating the eye-catching cover design that suits your genre perfectly. You want the examples to be specific to each individual.
You might consider grouping some people together to make your acknowledgments page more organized and easier to read. For example, if you had help from several proofreaders, you might thank them all in one paragraph. But try to mention something unique to each person to make your thankfulness seem personal and genuine. For instance: Thanks to my proofreaders, Erinn and Jill! Erinn for flagging even the hardest-to-catch grammar mistakes, and Jill for her insights into when to use “who” or “whom.”
Of course, you don’t have to include an acknowledgments page in your self-published book. But publicly thanking those who supported you and your book is a wonderful way to express your heartfelt appreciation. Everyone values being recognized and thanked!
Question: Who would you thank in your acknowledgments?