A finished book may be written by a single author, but in most cases, that author had many people help him along the way. A book dedication is an opportunity to acknowledge the people who played a part in getting the book to the publication stage. It can also be a place for the writer to mention a cause or group that is integral to the book's subject matter. Ultimately, the book dedication is a personal note that gives insight into the author's motives and process.
Family Members and Friends
The loved ones who supported the author throughout the process of writing a book are great people to include in a book dedication. If a particular loved one provided inspiration for the book's subject, this is a great place to acknowledge the relationship. Personal relationships often play a part in creating the unique details of a book. A book dedication can take the time to thank friends and family members for their moral support during the creative process; however, there can be disadvantages to dedicating a book to a significant other or a spouse. The dedication to a novel lasts forever, while the relationship may not.
People who were essential in an author's professional success or in the writing of a particular book, such as an agent or an editor, are great people to include in the dedication. In most cases, it takes more than just the writer to produce a finished book, and the book's dedication can showcase that.
Causes or Groups
Whether a book is a work of fiction or nonfiction, it may center around a cause the author is passionate about. The book dedication is a place to share that passion and to give a nod to individuals who might relate to the content. An author may want to dedicate her book to all individuals who are coping with the same difficult situation as one of the characters or to a charity that works to advance the central cause.
Readers and Fans
Books are published because publishers are willing to bet there will be an audience of readers who will buy them. Without a fan base, an author will fade into obscurity. J.K. Rowling used this approach when dedicating "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows," the final book in the series. After listing several individuals, Rowling ended the dedication by acknowledging the readers who had followed the entire series.
- "The Telegraph"; To Whom it May Concern; Edward Docx; June 2007
- "The Telegraph"; Book Dedications: So Few Words but Such Big Stories; Lizzie Enfield; January 2010
- "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"; J.K. Rowling; 2007
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Polka Dot/Getty Images
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