Once you get past the cover design, and all the copyright information (and yes, for the record my book is registered with the Canadian Intellectual Property Office - not entirely necessary but it made me feel more secure) there is the issue of acknowledgement and dedication. With so many people helping me along the way this is a hard one to nail down - possibly even more difficult than the actual writing of the book. I didn't want to offend anyone, I didn't want to leave anyone out, and I couldn't include the entire world - or could I?
Some authors do a full page of acknowledgements, spewing out lists of people who helped them research, provided valuable information and offered inspiration. After the giant list they then dedicate their work to the one person in a particular moment they feel is deserving. Usually that person is their spouse, parent, child or close friend. Occasionally I have run across all-encompassing dedications such as "the women of Africa" or "all the children yet to be born" - as if any of them would even know the book was written for them.
I do have a page of acknowledgements listing friends, family, and figments that all pushed me along the way to get the words out and the book completed. I was careful to make special mention of the select friends who read and encouraged while I wrote, and of another close friend who has critiqued, edited and pointed out inconsistencies. Of course I made mention of the multitude of social network friends who kept me going without even realizing they were contributing to my small work of art.
I tried to be fair about who I listed, but the list seemed to become an endless chasm of "I can't forget so & so", and "I don't want to hurt so & so's feelings", or "if I include so & so I also have to include so & so". The end result looks something like this:
Special thanks to:
Joanne, for introducing me to NaNoWriMo
(and subsequently the NaNoWriMo team) – you really can write a novel
start to finish in one month; it’s the edits that cause all the trouble.
Sharon, for helping me get through all those edits and revisions,
your help and support are invaluable.
Vik, for providing numerous “vikopedia” references.
All of Olive’s friends, for laughter and continuous encouragement.
Special thanks to all my wonderful family and friends
who helped me along on the way with support, encouragement and patience.
Thanks so much to Lucy for daily reminders and being the best figment ever.
The Dedication page is another dilemma. Who, exactly is deserving of this honour? I actually considered leaving out a dedication for this first attempt at a book because in all honesty, I wrote this book for me.
I'm still not sure I managed to include all those that were deserving in the acknowledgements, but in all sincerity I am grateful for the abundant support I received from everyone over the past year. Those same people are encouraging me along on my second book.
Then I realized that in writing the book for myself, I also wrote it for my family - not so much my mom and dad, although I did acknowledge their support, but my husband and children who didn't complain too much when I neglected to make supper or they had to wear mismatched socks. In my opinion your family is an extension of yourself, and they were the most deserving of the dedication. In the end it looked something like this:
This book is dedicated to
my wonderful family who endured
late dinners, forgotten homework,
neglected laundry and a little bit of moodiness.
Thanks for putting up with it all.
Most importantly for my husband.
I love you.