Only two things can be known for sure: An Uninvited Ghost is available for sale, and E.J. Copperman, whoever he or she may be, is a very funny, um, person. Here Copperman joins us to give a useful lesson in that all-important front-of-the-book matter, the acknowledgements.
How To Write Acknowledgements For Your Book
- Pretend you’re accepting an Oscar for your book.
- Make sure you mention your agent, your editor, the publicist at your publisher, and your spouse (not in that order).
- Be humble—make believe you didn’t write this book all by yourself.
- Thank other authors for their support. This has the added benefit of attracting the eye of those authors’ fans. Keep in mind that acknowledgments are at the front of the book, and might be seen by casual shoppers in bookstores.
- Mention your children—it doesn’t cost anything, and they have their names in a book!
- Acknowledge the help of those who actually helped you, like the person who suggested that exotic poison you hadn’t ever heard of before, and the person you despised so much you couldn’t wait to kill them off in print.
- Mention someone who doesn’t know you—one of their friends will tell them, and you’ll get a new reader. Besides, it’s fun to confuse people.
- Thank anyone who judges for an award you really want to win. Lefty voters, this one’s for you!
- Describe the writing of your novel in the most grandiloquent terms. This helps mystify the process, and reinforces the myth that only certain gifted individuals can write.
- Never mention the night you were up until three in the morning trying to figure out how in hell that guy could have been the murderer when he was clearly in Venezuela at the time of the killing.
- Read your book before you write the acknowledgments. You might have forgotten something.
- Mention your spouse again. It’s been ten tips since I said that, and they get cranky.
- Thank a really famous author. People will then think you know that author, and have more respect for you. The cease and desist letter you get from the author’s attorney can then be sold on e-bay.
- Thank Oprah. What the hell. Her cease and desist letter will probably bring enough for you to retire.
- In a list of people you’re thanking, throw in a completely fictitious name. See if anybody notices.
- Do not thank arms dealers (for—wink, wink—advice on weapons). The FBI is everywhere. Shh! Act casual.
- Don’t mention every teacher you had since kindergarten. You can pick out one if it’s really important to you, but face it: Nobody cares.
- Note to self-publishers: Don’t thank yourself. It’s redundant.
- Thank Julia Spencer-Fleming. She probably helped you.
- I just helped you write your acknowledgements—you should thank me!
E.J. Copperman is the author of AN UNINVITED GHOST, the latest in the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series, which began with NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED. E.J. lives in New Jersey. Don’t ask which exit. They’re called “interchanges” now.