Trend: the acknowledgments page

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Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby steve » 18 Jul 2010, 10:00

I loathe acknowledgments pages.

In fact they are so off-putting, I tend to avoid buying books that include them.

I know you love your editor and your dog and your mailman and your great-grandmother, but please stop.

Leave a little mystery for your readers; let the book stand on its own merit.

[Exception granted for historical novels that cite primary source materials, and prison-memoirs that thank fellow convicts with names like Short Dog and Mookie.]

What's your take on the acknowledgments page?
Last edited by steve on 18 Jul 2010, 11:08, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgements page

Postby Mark » 18 Jul 2010, 10:57

This is a little harsh, but I suppose it's your prerogative to not buy books with acknowledgement pages. It seems akin to being irritated by author bios because they give away too much of the mystery.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby steve » 18 Jul 2010, 11:15

Bios are fine and often amusing.

Acknowledgments are turning into something like film credits, way too much information.

Plus it detracts from the the book's existence, which, when all is said and done, boiled down to one person, alone, writing.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby maybegenius » 18 Jul 2010, 11:48

I often find them helpful for a quick reference as to who agented certain novels, but that's me *shifty eyes*.

Personally, I think it's nice to publicly thank all the people who supported you through the process of publishing a novel. Sure, some acknowledgment pages go on for a while and don't mean much to people who don't know the author personally, but they probably mean the world to those mentioned.

Fact is, most books do not go from author's hands to bookshelves untouched. There are other people involved. I don't think it takes away any mystery to say, "Hey, thanks to my significant other for reading 800 drafts of this thing, and my editor for helping make this book the best it could be."
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby CharleeVale » 18 Jul 2010, 14:38

I like acknowledgment pages, but I usually prefer them in the back of the book. Like steve said, Movie credits.

But I also agree with what maybegenius said. I frequently use acknowledgment pages in search of agents. :)

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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby Quill » 18 Jul 2010, 14:56

I like acknowledgment pages and I don't think they go far enough. There are too few dogs being mentioned and not enough babysitters or grade school teachers.

I'm feeling like there should be an industry standard, like 100 words of thanks per 10,000 manuscript words. You write a tome, you need to dig deep. And there should be some sort of proof-system installed at point of sale to verify that it is being read by the purchaser. Maybe a short written test. There isn't enough thanks being given nor acknowledgment of thanks given, and the world would be a better place if that could be beefed up. Let we the writing community rise above the trend of truncated thank-yous as personified in the film medium's award shows, and lead the way.

Thank you all.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby Bryan Russell/Ink » 18 Jul 2010, 15:21

steve wrote:I loathe acknowledgments pages.

In fact they are so off-putting, I tend to avoid buying books that include them.

I know you love your editor and your dog and your mailman and your great-grandmother, but please stop.

Leave a little mystery for your readers; let the book stand on its own merit.

[Exception granted for historical novels that cite primary source materials, and prison-memoirs that thank fellow convicts with names like Short Dog and Mookie.]

What's your take on the acknowledgments page?


Why wouldn't you simply ingore that page and not read it? It's like you're choosing to bother yourself.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby steve » 18 Jul 2010, 15:45

Bryan Russell/Ink wrote:
steve wrote:I loathe acknowledgments pages.

In fact they are so off-putting, I tend to avoid buying books that include them.

I know you love your editor and your dog and your mailman and your great-grandmother, but please stop.

Leave a little mystery for your readers; let the book stand on its own merit.

[Exception granted for historical novels that cite primary source materials, and prison-memoirs that thank fellow convicts with names like Short Dog and Mookie.]

What's your take on the acknowledgments page?


Why wouldn't you simply ingore that page and not read it? It's like you're choosing to bother yourself.


Actually, the author is bothering me with it.

When I spend $25 on a book, you can bet I'm reading every page. Even the A NOTE ABOUT THE TYPE page. I love that page.

There is something creepy about acknowledgment pages. I can't put my finger on it, but I question the veracity of each, and wonder what dark occurrences were left out (yes you love your wife, but that time you were working and she interrupted you and you yelled for her to get out--that is not acknowledged), and what backhanded favors are being repaid.

A dedication up front is classy; the rest is noise.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby Heather B » 18 Jul 2010, 16:33

If there's a book that really captures my attention I'll tend to go back and read those pages. I love seeing what a book went through to get onto the shelves. Usually, I just read those pages to postpone actually starting ch1. I like drawing books out, especially ones I've waited a long time for.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby maybegenius » 18 Jul 2010, 16:42

What makes the dedication page classy and the acknowledgment page "creepy?" The brevity?
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby Robin » 18 Jul 2010, 16:56

I actually enjoy reading the acknowledgments. As a writer who hasn't been published yet, I would want to publicly thank my family, friends, agents, and everyone who stuck by me and encouraged me through this process.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby Nathan Bransford » 19 Jul 2010, 20:02

Oh man do I love acknowledgments pages. Love love love them. They are insanely helpful for people in the business (and aspiring writers) to have a handy guide to who the agent/editor are, and I think it's nice that authors have room to thank the people who had helped them along the way.

Think of them like film credits - there's a lot of people behind the scenes who helped make the book happen. You can either sit through the credits or leave when the movie is over, just don't throw your popcorn at the screen.
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby Ishta » 20 Jul 2010, 20:53

Acknowledgment pages, like film credits, are my homework. I read them/stay in the theater for them because they give me valuable information about other professionals in my business. (Although I skip over the parts about favorite bands and best friends and babysitters.)
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby wetair » 21 Jul 2010, 18:11

i never read the acknowledgment page. and don't all books have them?
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Re: Trend: the acknowledgments page

Postby AnimaDictio » 22 Jul 2010, 05:45

steve wrote:
Leave a little mystery for your readers; let the book stand on its own merit.


That does it. Steve is going in my acknowledgments page. Front and center. With the added note "(because I know it would piss him off.)" Hee hee.

So, what's this about mystery? Books are supposed to be mysterious, now? Forget that. The industry is mysterious enough as it is. I say lay it all out. Give me agent blogs, editor blogs, indie bookstore owner blogs. I'll take Publishers Weekly. Publishers Daily, if you got it. And you darn sure better include that Acknowledgements Page. I would read the "Grisly Details of My Gall Bladder Surgery" page if it was in the book.

Anything that will help me get published...

And I don't see how it detracts from the story, itself. It certainly detracts from the image of the lone novelist doing the whole thing by himself, but we know that's a false image, anyway, right?
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