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A dedication is a way for authors to spotlight and give thanks to a person, or a group of people. The dedication page typically goes at the front of the book, after the title page, and is different from an acknowledgment (which is longer and is put at the end of the book).
Do you need to add a book dedication to your novel? Here are some tips and tricks to help you out.
Tips on How to Write a Book Dedication
Here are a few tips to keep in mind when writing a book dedication:
- Keep it short. If it’s longer that one paragraph (although they are typically only one or two sentences), consider creating an acknowledgement page to put that information in, and just writing a short dedication.
- Decide who to dedicate it to and mention them right away. Most dedications start with words like, “For [Name and Relationship], who…” But some are written more like a short letter; you have a lot of creative freedom!
- Choose how to address the person you’re dedicating to. Will you use first name only? First and last? Or just refer to them with your relationship to them and leave their name out?
- Check out examples. If you’re stuck, look at examples of dedications in your favorite books.
Who Do I Dedicate my Book to?
Not sure who to dedicate your book to? Here are a few people to think of:
- a family member
- a close friend
- a person impacted by the book, or by another book in the series
- a person who is featured in the book
- the readers of the book
- a supportive figure in your life
Did any of these people contribute to your book? Did they give you ideas? Did they help edit? Did they support you emotionally? Did they offer a lot of encouragement? Who stands out in your mind as someone who made that book possible? That person would be a great person to dedicate your book to.
Do I Need to Dedicate My Book?
No, you don’t! It’s typical, especially in traditionally published books, but not necessary. But people love to have books dedicated to them, so it’s a great way to thank someone or show appreciation. Plus, it looks professional.
Michelle Erickson in Hallows Gate:
For Korleen, who has shared so much with me—including the attack of a kamikaze mosquito eater. What did he think we were anyway?
Kiera Cass in The Selection:
Neil Gaiman in Anansi Boys:
You know how it is. You pick up a book, flip to the dedication, and find that, once again, the author has dedicated a book to someone else and not you.
Not this time.
Because we haven’t yet met/have only a glancing acquaintance/are just crazy about each other/haven’t seen each other in much too long/are in some way related/will never meet, but will, I trust, despite that, always think fondly of each other . . .
This one’s for you.
With you know what, and you probably know why.
Ann Warner in The Babbling Brook Naked Poker Club:
To Delores Warner—Sister-in-law, sister-in-heart, and Graphoanalyst extraordinaire
Rachel Branton in I Don’t Want to Eat Bugs:
To Lisbon, my inspiration, for always helping me dream up more fun ideas.
George R. R. Martin in A Song of Ice and Fire:
For Phyllis, who made me put the dragons in.
Leeanna Morgan in All of Me:
This book is dedicated to the man who worked in a shoe store in New York City twenty-five years ago.
Your random act of kindness helped a lost twenty-one-year-old find her hotel. I will be forever grateful to you.
Ken Warner in The Secret of Giza:
For Jeff, the best alpha reader an author could want.
Karen Kincy in Shadows of Asphodel:
To my beta readers, for championing a diamond in the rough.
Alexa Verde in Show Me a Mistaken Identity:
To Tandy, with love and gratitude for all your help and support.
Bridget E. Baker in Anchored:
For my brother Jesse
Oh, how I miss my anchor.
Nothing can make it right. Nothing can heal my heart. Nothing can replace you.
Heather Huffman in Body in the Books:
You bring more sunshine into this world than you’ll ever know—and certainly into mine. Thank you for being my bookish partner-in-crime, for your unwavering support, and for your friendship.
C. S. Lewis in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe:
My dear Lucy,
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather,
C. S. LEWIS
Have you seen any great book dedications? Let us know in the comments below!