Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tips for Writing Your Author Acknowledgements

By Julie Musil, @juliemusil

Part of the Indie Author Series 

Do you read author acknowledgements? I never used to, but now I find them fascinating.

What is the acknowledgement page? It’s where the author publicly thanks the people who played a part in creating the book.

Before I share some tips for writing your acknowledgement page, here are some points to consider:

1. The acknowledgement section is generally one page long (or shorter).

2. It can be either at the beginning of the book or the end. I used to notice them more at the beginning of the book, but with the popularity of ebooks and downloadable sneak peeks, they’re commonly placed in the back of the book. I put mine in the back, behind my “other books” and social media links. I don’t want the valuable real estate of the downloadable sample to be used for the acknowledgements. As with all things indie, this is a personal choice.

3. Personalize your gratitude. Don’t just say “thanks” without any personality. For instance, I referred to skinny margaritas and chocolate in my thanks to my beta readers, cuz, you know, we love skinny margaritas and chocolate.

When creating your acknowledgement page, here are some folks to consider:


Do you have a spouse who supports your writing habit? Do you have kids who’ve put up with you being distracted? Did your mom or dad foster your love of books? This is a great way to let them know how much you appreciate their support and patience.

Beta Readers

I thank my beta readers Lisa Gail Green and Leslie Rose in every book. In my next release, I’m adding Sarah Skilton. These talented authors took valuable time to read every page of my manuscript and offer valuable feedback.


Do you have an agent who shopped your book to publishers? My agent diligently shopped my first release to many publishers. We came “this close” to a deal, but alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Still, she deserved thanks for all her hard work.


Whether you’re traditionally published or you’ve chosen the indie route, you’ve likely (hopefully!) had your manuscript edited by a professional. Give them the credit they deserve. You can even add their professional link to your ebook.

Cover Designer

Did your cover designer bring your vision to life? Were they patient with you while you changed your mind 99 times? You may want to thank them and add their professional link to your ebook.

Experts and Sources

Did a cop help you with police procedures? Did a doctor or nurse teach you about surgery? Did an athlete help you nail the language related to their sport? Whether you write fiction or nonfiction, if someone guided you through unfamiliar territory, they deserve your thanks.

These are just some of the people you may want to thank in your acknowledgements section. But remember, keep it personal and short.

For more tips on how to write an acknowledgements page, visit Tom’s Book Templates or this post by Alicia Dunams. And just for fun, check out Barnes and Noble’s opinion on The 25 Best Author Acknowledgements Ever Written.

Is there someone I’ve missed? Anyone else we should add to our acknowledgement pages? Do you have a favorite author acknowledgement? Please share!

Julie Musil writes from her rural home in Southern California, where she lives with her husband and three sons. She’s an obsessive reader who loves stories that grab the heart and won’t let go. Her Young Adult novels, The Summer of Crossing Lines and The Boy Who Loved Fire, are available now. For more information, or to stop by an say Hi, please visit Julie on her blog, on Twitter, and on Facebook.

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  1. We have our differences, Julie, but here I agree with you 100%.

    This is frankly among the easiest thing I wrote for my debut middle grade novel.

    It takes a lot of help to get a book to a publishable state.

    While we disagree on the process, and how "simple" that is, we agree on recognizing the people who helped us.

    Not just the obvious people like our editors, cover designers, illustrators and agents (if applicable) but our family and non-writer friends who gave us the moral support we all need, no matter how resilient and realistic you see things.

    But for those of us "Wear one's heart on our sleeves" types, emotional support is VITAL to stay the course.

    Like you, Julie, I didn't always read the acknowledgements, but now I do on every book I read that has them, because now that I'm an author myself, I know every person mentioned there helped make this book I love a reality I'm holding in my hand (or reading on my screen).

    1. Taurean, it says a lot about you that you had an easy time writing your acknowledgments. That means you have a lot of gratitude in your heart!

  2. I like the "credits" at the back of ebooks, but do you keep it in the front for print books or move it to the back there too?

    My biggest fear would be forgetting someone.

    1. Southpaw, I still keep it in the back on print books. That's a personal choice. I guess my thought is to get to the story right away. That's the beauty of indie, though. You can put it at the front or back, whatever you prefer.

      I also worried about forgetting someone. That's another good thing about indie--you can change it any time and reload :) One thing I do is keep a list of folks who helped during the process. That way I have less chance of forgetting them.

  3. Excellent post. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Sheila, I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for visiting!

  4. Janice and Julie, this post was very helpful. 😊

    1. Thanks, Tracy! Glad it was useful. Good luck on your own author acknowledgements :)

  5. One author I read stupidly acknowledged the person who helped her with her research into carbon monoxide poisoning. That very specific acknowledgement in the front of the book was in the very first paragraph where even those of us who just glance at the text would see it. The big secret of the story was, you guessed it, what killed the family who haunt an old house.

    1. Oh ouch! That's a good thing to keep in mind.

    2. OMG that's such a great point! Note to self: keep spoilers out of the acknowledgements. Thanks for the laugh.

  6. Thanks for the tips, Julie!! I didn't used to read the acknowledgements either but lately I do to learn more about the behind the scenes.

    1. Traci, thanks for visiting! Yes, isn't it cool to see who helped with what during the process? Amazing how we see things differently now as authors.