“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” —William Arthur Ward
When I got the news of my first publishing deal, along with feeling insanely happy, shocked, and slightly drunk, I also remember the overwhelming sense of thankfulness I felt to not just my agent, but the entire universe. I think I even hugged my plant. That day, I wrote down all the people I wanted to thank, which would eventually become my acknowledgements. Through the course of the next year, I obsessed over my acknowledgements. I didn’t want to forget anyone, and I wanted to make sure I expressed my gratitude in a way that felt personal and genuine.
So how do you craft your acknowledgements? There are no hard and fast rules here. You don’t have to stick to any formula, and the voice you use can be entirely yours. Here are some funny ones to inspire you.
But if you want to go the traditional route (and we highly recommend this for your first book), we compiled this handy checklist of who to thank to help you cover your bases.
- Your agent and your publishing team. While it would be difficult to acknowledge everyone who worked on your book given space limitations, mention your editor, your publicist, and anyone with whom you had a working relationship, or who helped you in particular (e.g., the school and library marketing team, your agent’s assistant who pulled your query out of the slush pile, the intern in Public Relations who always sent your ARCs out on time, your book’s cover artist, who found the perfect shade of pink for your font). Were there special people who went out of their way to help you in some way or made you feel welcome?
- Your beta readers and critique partners.
- Institutions that aided your research. For me, that was historical societies, museums, online sources historic sites, parks, gardens, schools, libraries, and more.
- People you interviewed. These might include people you spoke to as part of 3), such as tour guides, volunteers, or docents, or people whose experiences inspired or aided your work.
- Mentors. Remember your writing coaches, or anyone who fostered your creativity, whether connected to your writing or not.
- Author support groups. Debut groups, blogging groups, anyone whose support buoyed you to the finish line.
- Bloggers, reviewers, booksellers, librarians, teachers. Was there anyone in particular who went out of their way to support or champion your work?
- People who provided your book with blurbs.
- Miscellaneous supporters. This catch all category might include favorite cafes that served the coffee that fueled your writing, pets who warmed your feet during those chilly writing mornings, musicians whose songs inspired you, historical figures whose work inspired you in some way.
- And most of all, thank your family.
Remember to have someone proofread your acknowledgements, and check spellings of names. I almost forgot an accent mark on one of my critique partners’ name. These things matter.
Finally, while we’re on the subject of thankfulness, thank YOU to our readers for supporting Publishing Crawl with your shares and comments. We hope you find a little Thanksgiving in every day. In the comments, please let us know if we missed anyone.